Why Footballers Shouldn't Be Allowed to Drive Cars
This week saw Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez get arrested for driving while disqualified.
It is alleged that Tevez was behind the wheel, despite already being disqualified from driving in January after other driving offences.
He drives when he isn’t meant to.
He doesn’t play football when he is meant to.
It’s safe to say Tevez is a maverick who plays by no one’s rules but his own.
So is car-less Carlos a good argument for all footballers being banned from driving cars? Let’s look at the evidence for a complete removal of football players' driving licenses.
They Might Not Obey By The Speed Limit
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Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema is currently facing jail for driving at 135 mph, nearly twice the speed limit.
Benzema claims he was involved in a race, however it's unclear as how effective this defence will be as life is not like the plot of 2008 film, Death Race, and people are very rarely forced into a car race.
Benzema had previously been fined for driving recklessly in Ibiza—and being so reckless that it breaks the law in Ibiza is quite an achievement.
They Might Not Pay The Fine
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Despite playing in Abramovich era Chelsea, Michael Ballack tried to avoid paying a €10,000 (£8,000) speeding fine in Spain by protesting that he was currently out of work.
The fine would have been one fifteenth of his weekly salary when he first signed for Chelsea (£120,000 a week).
You’ll be surprised to learn that there isn’t a registered charity to help out-of-work Premier League footballers pay their speeding fines.
They Could Suffer from Road Rage
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Leon Best, who shares a last name and not much else including level of talent, with George Best, was cautioned in 2011 for shouting at a mother who dared beep her horn at him.
The Mirror claims Leon Best unleashed “a volley of abuse”—knowing Best, the volley probably went six feet over the bar—at the woman who had caught up with him after he had tailgated her during a road race he was involved in.
When former Manchester United legend Paddy Crerand isn’t making bizarre phone calls to national radio stations. He’s bI also usy driving, after he was cleared in 2007 of attacking a man with a golf club over a driving row.
The act of road rage is aggressive behaviour from one motor vehicle driver to another. Driving can be a stressful experience.
And anyone who saw ITV’s coverage of Manchester United vs. Real Madrid this week when Roy Keane’s unbridled contempt for Gareth Soutgate after he disagreed with him on a controversial red card can imagine how terrifying Keane’s reaction to being stuck in a traffic jam at rush hour could be.
They Could Get Attacked
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People in football aren’t always the one who are doing wrong on the road. Sometimes they are the victims.
In a bizarre incident in 1991 Kevin Keegan was attacked by three men while sleeping in a lay-by.
“I had a lot of bad luck all the way home. I'd driven 1,600 miles and hardly slept. My intention was to sleep on the ferry crossing and then I got this Spurs fan. He kept asking what I think about Tottenham and I ended up talking all the way across. I got in my car at Dover but fell asleep at the wheel and someone tooted me. I parked up and put a pillow against my head that Jean had given me. That saved my life.
“They threw a massive stone that hit my head but fortunately also hit the pillow as well. Then they hit me with a baseball bat, took my wallet and I tried to get out. Jean and the kids had flown, but I needed to get the car home as well.”
True to his word, a battered and bruised Keegan did get the car home.
And that’s not even the worst incident involving a footballer in a lay-by (see: Stan Collymore).
They Could Defecate on the Road
image via Newsline Scotland
You might not think there’s a real danger of footballers defecating by a roadside.
But you’re not aware of Jeffrey de Visscher, who played for Dutch Eerste Divisie side, FC Emmen. de Visscher was caught by police, in the early hours of the morning in November 16 2012, squatting next to the road in Emmen.
What he did on the roadside really hit the fan for de Visscher when his club, FC Emmen, decided to implement a zero tolerance policy towards calls of nature by the road and terminated his contract over the incident.
Let’s hope Jeffrey has a plan B to get work and can utilize his No. 2 career option.
They Could Be Jermaine Pennant
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On the pitch, some claim Jermaine Pennant is a poor man’s Aaron Lennon
On the road, some claim Jermaine Pennant is a poor man’s George Michael.
In February 2004 Pennant was given a 16-month driving ban for driving down the wrong side of the road in Paddington, London.
In March 2005 (please note, March 2005 is LESS than 16 months after February 2004) he was jailed for three months after wrapping his Mercedes around a lamppost. Whilst banned from driving. Whilst drunk.
Pennant would then go on to become the first player in Premier League history to play a game of football with an electronic tag on his ankle, as part of his parole conditions. A football record that no one is envious off. Except maybe Joey Barton.
Pennant would then rack up a hefty parking fine in 2011, when playing for Real Zaragoza. He forgot that he parked his Porsche at a train station for nearly half a year and he forgot he even owned it. Completely rubbishing claims that footballers are stupid and overpaid.
When told by Real Zaragoza that car was waiting for him (by the time he’d already signed for Stoke City) he claimed he couldn’t remember the car. Even though it had the personalized registration plate “P33NNT”.
In May 2012. Pennant avoided a second jail term by pleading guilty to drink driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
But the worse thing Pennant has ever done in a car?
Three words: Chrome Aston Martin.
I suppose that will make it harder to forget.