The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Armoured cars on Becks’ mind

London: England soccer captain David Beckham and his wife, former Spice girl Victoria, are test-driving a pair of armour-plated BMWs worth nearly £350,000 ($525,000). They’re considering adding the beemers to their automotive stable — which includes two Ferraris, an Aston Martin and a Lincoln Navigator — after an alleged plot to kidnap Victoria and sons Brooklyn and Romeo was foiled three weeks ago.

A BMW spokesman confirmed Friday that, at the Beckhams’ request, the German automaker was loaning them a fully-armoured 750IL, worth up to £250,000, and a lighter 540I, which sells for £90,000. A mass-circulation newspaper said Beckham’s bodyguards were also trying out a four-wheel-drive X5, stock versions of which sell for up to £50,000 in Britain.

Desailly to pay heavy price

Toulon: France soccer captain Marcel Desailly was ordered by a court here Thursday to pay 1,200 euros ($1,200) a month maintenance to his 12-year-old illegitimate daughter. The inflation-linked payments will be backdated to February 1998, when the paternity case was first brought to the courts, and will continue till the child reaches 18. In March last year, a Toulon court ruled Desailly had fathered Aida by Helene Mendy who said her legal claims for maintenance had been justified. Testimony of witnesses produced by the mother had been enough to convince authorities Desailly was the father without recourse to genetic tests.

Couto ‘spat’ irks Scot

Glasgow: Scotland defender Christian Dailly has said he was “raging” after Portugal captain Fernando Couto apparently spat at him during Wednesday’s international friendly. The West Ham United player, whose side lost 0-2 to the Euro 2004 hosts, was involved in the incident with Couto during the first half of the rain-soaked match in Braga.

“Couto and I were involved in a tussle in the penalty box in the first half and that was when it happened. He spat right at me,” 29-year-old Dailly was quoted as saying in Friday’s Scottish press. “I was raging and I went looking for him to sort him out, but he was away.”

Dailly said the Lazio defender apologised to him at half-time but that did not stop Scotland manager Berti Vogts from seeking out Couto at the end of the match.

A boost for Fashanu hopes

Lagos: Former England international John Fashanu’s hopes of becoming the head of the Nigerian Football Association have been given a boost after a protest against his candidacy was thrown out.

“After a hearing, we discovered that the allegation against Mr John Fashanu is not correct,” Muyiwa Daniel, spokesman for the committee responsible for the NFA board election, said Friday.

Hong Kong betting

Hong Kong: Betting on soccer matches may soon be legalised in Hong Kong, sources close to the administration said on Friday. Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa’s cabinet and the legislature’s Home Affairs Panel are expected to discuss the likely legalisation next Tuesday.

Khorkina’s first love

Debrecen (Hungary): Olympic champion Svetlana Khorkina will continue her foray into the acting world rather than compete in the World Cup finals in Stuttgart next month. “I need a rest so I won’t go to Stuttgart,” the Russian said in a statement Thursday.

n Soccer: Spanish Football League live from 2 am (Sunday) on ESPN n Soccer: Premier League, Manchester United vs Newcastle United live from 5.30 pm on ESPN nCricket: Australia vs England, second Test live from 5.57 am on STAR Sports n Elver Rakhimich (centre) of CSKA in a tussle with Lokomotiv’s goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov during the final of the Russian Premier league in Moscow, Thursday. Lokomotiv skipper Dmitry Loskov led his side to their first ever domestic title, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 playoff win over city rivals CSKA. (AFP)

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