Five infamous moments when sports stars resorted to violence

S-022INPHO_Ronan O'Gara0005.jpg
S-022INPHO_Ronan O'Gara0005.jpg

Luis Suarez’s biting antics at the World Cup in Brazil is the latest in a line of sporting violence.

The Uruguay and Liverpool striker appeared to chow down on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and now must face the music.

So we decided to take a look at some of the most infamous incidents of when sports stars see red. 

Roy Keane (Football)

Keane is well known to Irish football fans for his never-say-die attitude and fiery temper but few would dare to justify one of his lowest moments in the game.

His feud with Norway’s Alf-Inge Håland resulted in an horrific tackle that would eventually lead to the latter’s retirement.

It began in September 1997, when Manchester United were losing 1–0 to Håland's Leeds United at Elland Road.

Corkman Keane injured his anterior cruciate ligament and as he lay on the ground, Håland shouted at him that he was feigning injury to avoid punishment for a tackle.

Keane was booked as he was stretchered off the field and was out of action for nearly a year afterwards.

Then, in April 2001, Keane took his revenge in a sickening foul on Håland, for which he was sent off (above)

Initially, Keane was fined £5,000 and received a three-match ban. However, his biography admitted that it was an act of vengeance over Håland for the criticism he received three and a half years previously (although Keane claimed this was inaccurate paraphrasing from his ghost-writer).

Keane was subsequently hauled in front of an FA inquiry and received an additional five-game ban and a £150,000 fine.

Mike Tyson (Boxing)

Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was one of the most iconic sports stars in the world when, at the age of 25, he was jailed for rape in 1992.

Upon his release three years later he returned to the ring with devastating effect, claiming two belts in a short space of time.

After a shock loss to Evander Holyfield, their bout in Las Vegas (above) was one of the most anticipated rematches in heavyweight boxing history.

The ‘Real Deal’ Holyfield was the defending world champion after he had shocked ‘Iron’ Mike seven months earlier in an 11th-round knockout.

The next fight was stopped at the end of the third round, with Tyson disqualified for biting Holyfield on both ears. The first time Tyson bit him, the match was temporarily stopped.

The referee Mills Lane deducted two points from Tyson and the fight resumed. However, after the match resumed, Tyson did it again.

One bite was severe enough to remove a piece of Holyfield's right ear, which was found on the ring floor after the fight.

Duncan McRae (Rugby Union)

Irish out-half Ronan O’Gara had been playing international rugby for little over a year when he toured with the British and Irish Lions to Australia in 2001.

The Lions faced the New South Wales Waratahs before their Test series against Australia, with the home side looking to ‘soften up’ the Lions before the bigger games to follow.

Waratahs full-back McRae was caught on television pinning down the O’Gara (above) and viciously punching him in the face repeatedly during the Lions 41-24 victory.

McRae was sent off during the match and was handed a seven-week ban by the International Rugby Board.

Zinedine Zidane (Football)

Tempers were fraught going into the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final between Italy and France in Germany.

However, the contest was still in the melting pot when Zidane was sent off for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest (above) in the second period of extra-time in the final in Berlin.

The Frenchman claimed he had been provoked by the Italian. Italy won the match 5-3 on penalties to become World champions for a fourth time. 

Paul Galvin (GAA)

The Finigue clubman, who is no stranger to controversy, clashed with Cork’s Eoin Cadogan and fish-hook his opponent in 2010.

Galvin decided not to appeal the eight-week ban given to him after Sunday's Munster Senior Football Championship semi-final replay win over Cork.

The GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee proposed the suspension after reviewing video evidence of the Kerry footballer putting his finger into Eoin Cadogan's mouth.