6/24/10

The locker room intruder charged with trespass

The England fan who walked into the England national team’s locker room and confronted David Beckham after a tie with Algeria has been released on bail and ordered to appear in a Cape Town court on Monday.  Pavlos Joseph -the fan- was barred from attending other World Cup matches until a full ruling has been delivered in his case.

Joseph left court and held a brown sweater over his face as he was surrounded by cameramen and photographers.  South African police had arrested Joseph on Sunday morning at his hotel.

Joseph, who lives in south London, had earlier given an interview to The Sunday Mirror saying that he was the intruder and that he’d accidentally walked into the locker room.  He also said he was directed to the locker room after the 0-0 draw at Green Point Stadium when he asked a security guard where he could find a toilet.

Then he reportedly walked unchallenged into the dressing room and immediately found himself in front of Beckham.  “I thought, ‘what the heck. I’m in the England dressing room. Why not say something?’” the paper quoted him. “I looked David straight in the eye and said, ‘David, we’ve spent a lot of money getting here. This is a disgrace. What are you going to do about it?’

He said neither Beckham, who is injured but traveling with the squad as a team ambassador, nor any of the players responded.

Police said Sunday the intruder was identified and traced after watching a video footage from the stadium.  However, the newspaper quoted Joseph as saying FIFA already knew his identity because he’d exchanged business cards with the official as he was leaving.

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