Despite the optimism surrounding Major League Soccer and the astounding news that Oxford University has extended an invitation for troubled superstar Diego Maradona to lecture, the soccer world has earned one penalty card after another of late:
? FORT LAUDERDALE, OCT. 11. Former Piper High soccer player Gary Beharrie, who needed knee surgery after an opponent intentionally injured him in 1992, wins $277,000 in damages from the Broward County School Board. A coach in the district, Phil Droskick of Deerfield Beach High, admitted that he yelled to one of his players, "Waste him!" in reference to Beharrie.
? LONDON, OCT. 11. Details of a huge fixing scandal are made public as former Premier League striker and current Gladiators host John Fashanu is charged with bribing two goalies to throw games in 1993 and '94.
?MESTRE, ITALY, OCT. 12. The Red Tip Sexy Shop sponsors a local amateur team. Shop owner promises porn stars and pom-pom girls on the sidelines.
? BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA, OCT. 17. Wilson Perez, a Colombian national team defender, is arrested at airport with 171 grams of cocaine in his luggage.
? TURIN, ITALY, OCT. 19. A fan of a visiting Scottish team is stabbed by Turinese crazies. Sean Connery is there, but not even 007 can save the day.