The year 2018 has been a good year for sports enthusiasts. The country which religiously follows Cricket across the states, surprisingly, witnessed a change in public liking. We are now more open to enjoying different kinds of sports. The year was filled with many sporting glories round the globe, it was also filled with many controversies that rocked the sporting world. From Virat Kohli to Serena Williams to Cristiano Ronaldo to Lionel Messi and others, these players not only made headlines for their on-field exploits but also for controversies.
Here's a look at some of the controversies.
#1 Ronaldo’s Rape allegations
Amidst the #MeToo movement, the Cristiano Ronaldo rape allegation shocked the sporting world when 34-year-old American model Kathryn Mayorga, accused the footballer of raping her. She alleged that in a penthouse suite at the Palms Casino Resort in June 2009 shortly after they met in a nightclub, the Portuguese star forced himself on her. The Juventus star denied the allegations made against him by the model and claimed that his conscience is clear.
# 2 Messi and Ronaldo’s tax frauds
Modern-day Football legends and rivals apart from massive fan following also shared a controversy which shocked many. The two were found guilty of tax evasion by the Spanish government. According to the Spanish law, the two were given options to pay the evaded amount or spend two years in Spanish jail. The duo escaped the jail sentence but paid a heavy fine to stay out of it. While Ronaldo agreed to pay $21.7 million, Messi paid €8.75 million and got away with it.
#3 Sandpaper gate controversy
One of the biggest controversies that rocked cricketing world was the ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test in March where the hosts South Africa and Australians were battling it out. Australian captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were caught on camera stuffing down yellow sandpaper. Following the incident, the players were handed over bans by Cricket Australia, while Smith and Warner got banned for a year, Bancroft got a ban of nine months from International cricket. Post the incident, Darren Lehmann stepped down from his position as the Australian cricket coach.
#4 Virat Kohli’s leave India comment
While it was a good year for run machine captain Kohli on the field, his off-field comment to a fan caused a massive uproar. "I don't think you should live in India, go and live somewhere else," Kohli said lashing out at a cricket fan who said he preferred English and Australian batsmen over Indian players. The 30-year-old player was responding to messages during the launch of his mobile app. The video went viral and prompted a torrent of criticism against Kohli on social media.
#5 Sarena Williams called Chair umpire thief in the US Open Final
US Open 2018 women’s single’s final will be remembered for two reasons, firstly birth of a new Tennis star in Japan’s Naomi Osaka and secondly for Serena Williams fight with the on chair umpire. The 37-year-old Tennis star accused the umpire of sexism and treating her more harshly than men after an on-court outburst with the official during her US Open final defeat. Williams was accused by official Carlos Ramos for three code violations during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Osaka for getting coaching signals; for breaking her racket, which cost her a point; and for calling the chair umpire a thief, which cost her a whole game.
#6 Alize Cornet embroiled in sexism controversy in the US open
French tennis player Alize Cornet was in for a shock when she was handed over a code violation for changing her shirt on the court by the on chair umpire Christian Rask. The incident led to a storm of criticism on social media and the US Open organisers expressed regret for the way the French player Cornet was treated on court. Cornet took her top off after she realised that she had put it on the wrong way during a 10-minute heat rule break between the second and third set against Sweden's Johanna Larsson.