‘With each kiss and every hug, I felt I had a friend’

Maradona feels the love on a visit to a Pretoria school and the IPL auction appears to be turning into a diplomatic incident. It’s the quotes of the week.

“I have phoned the sports minister of India and recorded a protest over the unjust and discriminatory treatment meted out to the Pakistani cricketers.” — Pakistan Sports Minister Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani is not impressed that none of the 11 Pakistani players up for grabs were snapped up in the latest IPL player auction.

“The system is definitely more good than bad but I do have some misgivings. If Hot Spot and Snicko are used in one series but not another, then the system is half-baked.” — Proteas coach Mickey Arthur shares his views on the Umpire Decision Review System.

“This is the worst act of contact with the eyes that I have had to deal with: it is a case of deliberate eye-gouging.” — Rugby Football Union’s disciplinary supremo Judge Jeff Blackwell after handing down a 70-week ban to Stade Francaise’s David Attoub for eye-gouging.

“We stumbled upon an overzealous judge and with an anti-French bias. [Schalk] Burger got eight weeks for the same offence, Attoub receives 70 weeks. Where’s the sense in that.” — Stade Francaise president Max Guazzini senses some discrimination in the judgement.

“He was the iconic voice of rugby who many of us grew up with and he will be sadly missed.” — England manager Martin Johnson laments the loss of legendary rugby commentator Bill McLaren, who died this week.

“In fact, the second half of this game was a total non-match, the two sides systematically refusing to play in order to maintain the score at 0-0, which was sufficient for qualification.” — Mali Football Federation president Boubacar Thiam casts doubts on the integrity of the Angolan and Algerian management at the Africa Cup of Nations after the teams progressed to the quarterfinals at Mali’s expense.

“Our partnership is bearing fruit and we look forward to a long-term relationship with the coach.” — Kaizer Chiefs team manager Bobby Motaung gives Serbian coach Vladimir Vermezovic the stamp of approval.

“We have had a few players leave the club and score against us. There is no issue. I am happy with the players we have got.” — Sir Alex Ferguson puts on a brave face after Manchester United old-boy Carlos Tevez’s brace saw Manchester City beat United 2-1 in the League Cup.

“It’s starting to change in tennis. It’s not only Nadal and Federer anymore.” — Nikolay Davydenko sounds a warning to rivals that a new era is dawning in men’s tennis.

“There is no grey area. It was just up and down in many areas, and just finished at the down level.” — No excuses from Maria Sharapova after she was dumped out in the first round of the Australian Open.

“With each kiss and every hug, I felt I had a friend.” — Argentina coach Diego Maradona feels the love on a visit to a school in Pretoria.

“We have to make things happen for ourselves. That is why we’re working with the locals who we are hope will give us what we are looking for; at least 60 to 70% of the final team will be locally based.” — Carlos Albertos Parreira gives some insight into the make-up of his final squad for the Soccer World Cup.

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