Diouf arrested after club brawl as 'bad boy' image resurfaces
Ex-Bolton player on bail after bloody incident, while QPR's Anton Ferdinand also interviewed
IT'S BEEN a while since English football's most notorious bad boy made headlines, but El Hadji Diouf, the former Liverpool player who now plies his trade at Doncaster, is back in the news after being arrested by Manchester police following a nightclub brawl.
The striker, who has also played for Bolton and Blackburn, was held on suspicion of violent conduct in the early hours of Sunday morning before being released on bail. Diouf wasn't the only footballer involved: QPR's Anton Ferdinand, brother of England and Manchester United star Rio, was interviewed by police about the incident.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed that a fight had taken place outside Circle Club, a popular hangout for local footballers and Big Brother contestants which that night had been hosting the 'stars' of TV show Geordie Shore. In a statement the GMP said that a 33-year-old was in a "serious but stable condition" after sustaining injuries to the side of his head and neck. A total of six men were arrested over the incident.
Witnesses told the Manchester Evening News that tensions between two groups had been running high in the nightclub before trouble spilled outside. Today the area was cordoned off, with pools of blood visible on the pavement. Police are investigating whether a bottle was used in the fight.
Diouf, whose club Doncaster had been relegated from the Championship on Saturday, has a history of clashing with the authorities. In 2009, Merseyside Police interviewed Diouf after he allegedly said "f*** off white boy" to an Everton ball boy, while back in 2004, he was investigated after being accused of spitting at a Middlesbrough fan.
The Senegalese international has failed to shake off the 'bad boy' image throughout his career. At times it has affected his transfer prospects. Last year West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted Diouf's reputation influenced his decision not to sign the player, saying he needed to listen to fans who had an "issue" with the striker. Doncaster Football Club is yet to comment on this latest twist in Diouf's career.