A theft in Mo Farah’s hotel room has led to a rather public spat between him and another former long-distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie. Farah claimed to have had cash, a watch, and two mobile phones snatched from the room in Ethiopia, where the London 2012 star had been training. Gebrselassie owned the hotel, and after Farah spoke out against the 46-year-old, the four-time Olympic gold medallist was accused of blackmail by his contemporary. In honour of this latest spat between sports stars, we’ve taken a look at some other memorable sporting feuds.
Maxi Lopez and Mauro Icardi
Maxi Lopez and Mauro Icardi used to be friends until they got caught in a very public love triangle. Lopez was married to model Wanda Nara but they had trouble with their marriage. It was later revealed that Icardi made moves to get with Nara at the time, and the pair are now married. Before a Serie A game, Lopez refused to shake Icardi’s hand and grabbed his crotch as a sign of disrespect to his former friend!
Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan
Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were teammates but both were going to compete for the gold medal at the 1994 Olympics. On January 6th, 1994, Kerrigan was attacked at a practice session; she was clubbed in the knee with a baton. It transpired that her attacker, Shane Stant, was actually hired by Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly. On February 1st, 1994, Gillooly accepted a plea bargain in exchange for his testimony against Harding, and she pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder the prosecution of the attackers.
Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost
Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost did not like each other at all. Both were fuelled by a desire to be the best and both drove for McLaren. However, in a title-deciding Japanese Grand Prix, Prost purposely drove Senna off the road. Senna returned the favour by doing the same to Prost in a later Japanese Grand Prix.
Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham
Back in 2003, Alex Ferguson seemed to be getting very angry at the celebrity lifestyle of David Beckham. The friction between the two came to a head in 2003 after Man United lost 2-0 to Arsenal. Ferguson was giving Beckham one of his infamous hairdryer treatments and kicked a boot in the direction of the midfielder. The boot hit Beckham above the eye and he ended up needing stitches on a cut caused by the flying boot.
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant
This rivalry seemed to stem from both players wanting to be the main man on their team. In the early 2000s, the LA Lakers were the best team in the NBA, winning three straight championships. Though they played well together on the court, Bryant and O’Neal weren’t friends in the locker room and their poor relationship is said to have been a huge factor in O’Neal moving to the Miami Heat.
John Terry and Wayne Bridge
Wayne Bridge was having relationship troubles with his partner Vanessa Perroncel. John Terry said he was acting as a peacemaker, trying to get the pair back together, but soon after, he allegedly had an affair with Perroncel. Terry was stripped of the England captaincy after the incident.
Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods
This du0 have been feuding since 1999. Various incidents have taken place, such as Garcia blaming Woods for an errant stroke as Tiger incited the crowd by pulling a club as Sergio prepared to hit his shot. Garcia made a comment about Woods and fried chicken, which some took to be a racial slur although the Spaniard strongly denied that was the case.
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier
This feud was certainly something special in the ring, but it flared up away from the canvas too. In the preamble to their 1971 contest, Ali launched his trademark verbal attacks on his opponent, calling Frazier “inarticulate, stupid, and ugly”, and an “Uncle Tom”. ‘Smoking Joe’ didn’t just brush it off though, and was still harbouring resentment over 30 years later in 1996 when he said: “I’ll open up the graveyard and bury his *** when the good Lord chooses to take him.”.
Natalie Tauziat and Amelie Mauresmo
French tennis players Natalie Tauziat and Amelie Mauresmo fell out after Tauziat made comments about Mauresmo’s sexuality in a book. Tauziat criticised Mauresmo for openly showing affection for her female partner in public and this angered Mauresmo. Ahead of the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, Mauresmo refused to play on the French team if Tauziat was also selected, so Tauziat ended up being dropped.
Darren Campbell and Dwain Chambers
In 2003, Dwain Chambers tested positive for steroids and served a two-year ban. Upon his return, he was reinstated into the Great Britain squad for the 2006 European Championships. Campbell disagreed with the decision to let him back in, but his protest was ignored. The pair were part of the four-man team who won gold in the 4 x 100m relay but Campbell refused to take part in the lap of honour as he didn’t want to be seen with Chambers.
Joe Root and David Warner
After England’s win in an ODI over Australia in June 2013, players from both teams ended up in the Walkabout bar in Birmingham. During the evening, Warner threw a punch at Root and he was suspended by Australia. It was just about the only thing Warner hit that series!
Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe
When Jimmy Connors refused to join the US Davis Cup team, Arthur Ashe called him “unpatriotic”, which led to the former taking legal action the latter. From then on, the pair had a frosty, at best, relationship with Ashe saying: “Every time I passed Connors in the locker room, it took all my willpower not to punch him in the mouth.”
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
In 2007, Hamilton thought he should be McLaren’s senior driver ahead of Alonso, which caused tension. Later that season, Hamilton ignored team orders to let Alonso pass him during a qualifying session in Hungary and Alonso retaliated by blocking Hamilton in the pits.
D'Angelo Russell and Nick Young
NBA star D’Angelo Russell found himself in the spotlight after a video he secretly recorded of his LA Lakers teammate Nick Young, speaking about his alleged affairs, became public. Young was in a relationship with music star Iggy Azalea but spoke about his affairs with other women as Russell secretly filmed the whole conversation and leaked it online.
Linford Christie and Seb Coe
Back in the 1980s, Christie and Coe fell out when they were team-mates for Great Britain after Coe accused Christie of being a disruptive influence on the team.
Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer
In April 2005, Newcastle lost 3-0 to Aston Villa in a game best remembered for teammates Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer having an infamous brawl on the field, which led to them both being sent off. Newcastle fined Bowyer £250,000 and the FA also fined him £30,000.
Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy
At the 2002 World Cup, Keane criticised McCarthy for his set up and walked out on the team saying: “I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager and I don’t rate you as a person. You can stick the World Cup up your b*******.”
Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova
Russian duo Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova may be compatriots but they aren’t exactly friends. In fact, speaking about Sharapova, Kuznetsova once said: “All you read is about how elegant and graceful she is. Quite frankly, I’ve had enough of that. If someone wants to make a fashion statement, they should go on stage, and not on a tennis court.”
Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole
Despite winning the treble together in 1990, Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole did not like each other. In a game against Bolton Wanderers in 1998, the pair had words after Sheringham said Cole was at fault for a Bolton goal. The pair’s relationship broke down there and then, and they reportedly didn’t speak to each other from that point on and still don’t like each other to this day.
Ian Chappell and Ian Botham
This feud has been going on for over 30 years. It started in Melbourne in 1977 when the pair fell out at a bar. Both have differing stories about what happened, Botham says Chappell was slagging of English people while Chappell claims Beefy was criticising Australians. Either way, the pair had a physical altercation and they still don’t speak to each other to this day.
Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Hendry
Ronnie O’Sullivan has never been a fan of Stephen Hendry, criticising his slow play and ‘The Rocket’ once walked out of a UK Championship quarter-final match against the Scotsman as he was bored by the time he was taking to play a shot!