Mid-Day Ticker: Brawl breaks out at West Ham dinner, CAF backs Blatter and more

Mid-Day Ticker: Brawl breaks out at West Ham dinner, CAF backs Blatter and more

International Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Brawl breaks out at West Ham dinner, CAF backs Blatter and more

Screen shot 2011-05-17 at 10.43.59 AM

By CALEB SONNELAND

Police were called to the Grosvenor Hotel in London Monday night after a brawl broke out at West Ham's end-of-season dinner.

West Ham striker Demba Ba was at the center of the altercation, after he reportedly got into an argument with a fan, which resulted in the fan racially abusing the Senegalese player and an ensuing fracas.

Ba spoke out today and insisted that he had no desire to become involved in any altercation and calmly backed off from the "crazy" fan, who he said smashed tables and caused the chaos.

Ba has enjoyed a good spell at the London club with seven goals in 12 league appearances after making the jump from German side 1899 Hoffenheim in the January transfer window. His future with the club is uncertain after its recent relegation to the League Championship.

Here are some other stories from around the soccer world:

AFRICAN CONFEDERATION BACKS BLATTER

The African Football Confederation's executive committee voted by secret ballot to endorse FIFA president Sepp Blatter in the upcoming election for his seat.

According to the Associated Press, the CAF has advised its member nations to back Blatter over challenger Mohammed Bin Hammam in next month's election. The report also states that Blatter already has support from the executive committees from confederations Europe, South America and Oceania.

STEKELENBURG ADDRESSES MAN U SPECULATION

Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has been the subject of heavy transfer speculation since his strong showing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and another title-winning season with the Eredivisie club. 

The Dutchman is considering a "fantastic" offer from Ajax to stay on as the club's keeper and captain, but he admits that it would be "insane" for anyone to not want to play for English champion Manchester United.

The Red Devils, fresh off capturing its record 19th Premier League title, are looking to replace long-time goalkeeper and fellow Dutch international Edwin van der Saar, who is set to retire at the season's end.

Despite considering a contract offer from Ajax, Stekelenburg is in no rush to finalize his future at the club, fueling the argument that he is on his way out of the Amsterdam Arena.  

VAN DER VAART COMMITS TO SPURS

Tottenham may not be headed for a return to the UEFA Champions League next season, but that doesn't appear to be swaying Rafael Van der Vaart's mind about where he wishes to play.

Van der Vaart has pledged his future to Tottenham, telling the London Evening Standard that he sees himself at Tottenham "for the next few years" despite outside interest in his services.

The Dutch midfielder was one of the top signings of the season, contributing 13 goals and nine assists in helping the club to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Spurs will cement a place in the UEFA Europa League next season with a victory over Birmingham City in this weekend's season finale.

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What do you make of the West Ham altercation? Think Bin Hammam has any chance at unseating Blatter? Do you think Stekelenburg would be a worthy successor to Van der Sar? Think Van der Vaart should stay at Tottenham?

Share your thoughts below.

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