Former Fulham right-back John Paintsil has come out to explain the reason why he held ex-Nigeria international Yakubu Aiyegbeni by his crotch in a Premier League game with Everton.
The incident happened during a corner kick routine in which Paintsil was to mark Yakubu. In a bid to distract the Toffees forward before the ball was played, Paintsil took it upon himself to grab Yakubu in his private area.
The prolific striker was not pleased with it and confronted him. However, the incident was missed by the referee and the game continued without any fuss.
“He was thick and heavier than me and I was supposed to mark him and, in the game, the more you stay long the more you gain experience,” Paintsil told Citisports.
“So, for you not to go one on one contact, you have to distract him, do something to take his mind off from the game
“Besides that, Yakubu is my very good friend.”
Paintsil played for Fulham between 2008 and 2011 while Yakubu was on the books of Everton from 2007 to 2011 scoring 33 goals and providing 12 assists in 107 competitive outings.
Paintsil has had clashes with other Premier League players during his time at Fulham, threatening them verbally on some occasions. This was particular about Peter Crouch who previously admitted Paintsil threatened to break his leg which might have ended his career.
“[Paintsil] said he was going to end my career, he said he’d break my legs,” Crouch – who was playing for Tottenham Hotspur at that time told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“He was playing the right side of centre-half so I conveniently moved to the left side. He didn’t care about formations and tactics, he left a massive hole at one side of the pitch and was following me around. I was thinking ‘Oh my God, he’s going to kill me. He was trying to throw these elbows in.”
Paintsil still talking on Citisports affirmed he did tell Crouch he would break his legs, but rather gave him a soft tackle.
“He was lucky. I remember the incident well. I told him I was going to break his leg and I gave him one [tackle]. That was a little tackle though but yeah,” the 39-year-old said.
John Painstil testing Yakubu Aiyegbeni to see if he has balls. Literally ???? pic.twitter.com/FmiENCExKY— Fentuo Tahiru Fentuo (@Fentuo_) April 19, 2020
In another incident, Paintsil explains why he held former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard by the chest. He says it was in retaliation to the English man’s foul on him and again he was not given a booking for violent conduct.
“Gerrard, who was on my heels, kicked me from behind, causing me to lose my balance and fall, so the referee whistled against him,” he stated.
“As soon as I got up, Gerrard rushed on me, held my ribs with both hands, and started pinching me.
“In reaction, I also held the ribs of Gerrard and pinched him so hard that he almost screamed, but the referee, who never saw the action, eventually separated us.
“He [the referee] never noticed the pinching because he only gazed at our foreheads to see if any of us would head-butt for him to flash his card.”