Imagine: Adebayor, Kanye West and Serena Williams in the same room


    Emmanuel Adebayor is facing a lengthy suspension after being charged with violent conduct and improper conduct by the Football Association following his reckless behaviour during Manchester City’s 4-2 victory over Arsenal last Saturday.

    Adebayor was provocative all afternoon, spending the 60 seconds before kick-off loitering among his former Arsenal colleagues. Even before he sank his studs into the head of Robin van Persie, Adebayor made unnecessary victims of Nicklas Bendtner and Cesc Fàbregas.

    The goal celebration, for which Adebayor did apologise, was spun generously by City manager Mark Hughes as the emotional end to a fraught week, ignoring the fact that most of the talking beforehand was done by the player. Adebayor was booked by referee Mark Clattenburg, then reacted with an arm-waving entreaty to the City fans. That disdain for authority should have brought red, not an instruction to calm down.

    Williams was handed a code violation for her rant at the line judge, who had the brass neck to call a foot fault against her to hand Kim Clijsters match point. Williams’s actions amounted to abuse, the kind of vile, threatening behaviour that has no place in sport. The award of a penalty by tournament referee Brian Earley confirmed Clijsters the winner. That might seem punishment enough. It is not. It is an escape.

    Williams and Adebayor will offend ad infinitum unless authorities take a stand. Uefa made a start with the diving Eduardo. Let’s see the Football Association get stuck into Adebayor and the International Tennis Federation into Williams.

    Serena Williams apologised for what she called her "inappropriate outburst" during her semi-final defeat by Kim Clijsters at the US Open.

    The American player had showed little regret after her tirade at a line judge on Saturday night, refusing to say sorry at the post-match press conference and in a prepared statement on Sunday.

    But she has now admitted her mistake. "I want to sincerely apologise to the lines woman, Kim Clijsters, the USTA and mostly tennis fans everywhere for my inappropriate outburst," Williams said in another statement, released by the US Tennis Association, shortly before Williams and her sister, Venus, won the women’s doubles final at Flushing Meadows.

    "I’m a woman of great pride, faith and integrity, and I admit when I’m wrong," she said. "I need to make it clear to all young people that I handled myself inappropriately and it’s not the way to act — win or lose, good call or bad call in any sport, in any manner. I like to lead by example. We all learn from experiences both good and bad, I will learn and grow from this, and be a better person as a result."

    Williams was fined $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct and could face further penalties — including a higher fine and a possible suspension — for what Jim Curley, the US Open tournament director, described as her "threatening manner". Curley also said that the tournament considered — and decided against — preventing Williams from participating in the doubles final.

    Barack Obama has called Kanye West a "jackass" for interrupting an MTV awards show to declare that the wrong person had won.

    The outspoken rapper was drowned out with boos at the Video Music Awards on Sunday night when he grabbed the microphone from the young country star Taylor Swift and announced that Beyonce had made a better video.

    Asked about the row during an interview with CNBC, President Obama appeared to sum up the national mood pretty well, albeit undiplomatically.

    The problem was that his remark was made during an off-the-record part of the interview which was not going to be made public. Terry Moran, an ABC reporter who was at the recording and overheard the comment, then broke the agreement by deciding to tweet it.

    "Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential," he wrote.

    Mr Moran quickly deleted the tweet but it was too late. The Nightline co-anchor has more than a million followers on Twitter, many of whom had already re-tweeted his remarks.

    The network was forced to apologise to CNBC and the White House and said that it was taking steps to avoid a repeat of the incident.

    Meanwhile, West himself apologised once again for his outburst on an appearance on Jay Leno’s new prime time talk show and said that he was going to take some time off for reflection.

    West said that he knew he had been wrong the moment he handed the microphone back to Swift, when he was bathed in boos from the audience. “It was rude, period,” West said.

    The star posted a second apology to Swift on his blog yesterday and told Leno that he wanted to apologise to her in person.

    West fell silent when Leno asked what his mother would have said about the incident, but finally admitted that she would have told him off. West was very close to his mother, Donda, who died in November 2007.

    “So many celebrities, they never take the time off,” he said. “I’ve never taken the time off to really – you know, just music after music and tour after tour. I’m just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else’s hurt."

    It was supposed to be a heartfelt tribute to the late Michael Jackson.

    Instead, the MTV video music awards on Sunday night turned into a near-brawl when the outspoken rapper Kanye West invaded the stage during a country singer’s acceptance speech, and essentially told the winner that she did not deserve it.

    The singer, Taylor Swift, 19, whose hit song You Belong with Me had just won the award for Best Female Video, stood motionless and open-mouthed as West jumped up from his front-row seat, grabbed the microphone from her, and said: “You Taylor, I’m really happy for you . . . but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”

    The camera then cut to Beyoncé Knowles in the audience at Radio City Music Hall in New York, looking mortified. The former Destiny’s Child singer had been one of Swift’s rivals in the same category for the video of her recent song, Single Ladies.

    The rest of the audience, after a brief moment of stunned silence, began to boo the rapper.

    To make matters worse for Swift, by the time West handed the microphone back to her, the show’s producers had panicked and cut off the sound, so the rest of her speech could not be heard. Then the screen cut awkwardly to a prerecorded comedy segment featuring Tracy Morgan, from the sitcom 30 Rock, and the rapper Eminem.

    West was confronted by several furious audience members when he left the stage, and was reportedly asked to leave by an MTV executive, although there was some speculation among fans over whether the stage invasion had been a stunt.

    Regardless, when Kanye’s name was mentioned again later in the show, boos and chants of “Taylor” could be heard throughout the venue.

    It was not until Beyoncé later took the show’s biggest award for Video of the Year that Swift was given a second chance to enjoy her moment of glory.

    Before calling Swift back up on stage — “I would like Taylor to come out and have her moment,” she said — Beyoncé told the audience how important it had been for her to win her first MTV award. The two singers then hugged and Swift completed her thank-yous. West, who had been seen drinking before the show, apologised on his website. “I’m sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom. I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!” he wrote.

    MTV’s annual awards show had started with a sombre tribute to Michael Jackson by Madonna, who confessed that she had drifted away from her former friend after the repeated child abuse allegations made against him. Later, Janet Jackson, the sister of the late singer, mimicked some of her brother’s most famous dance moves as a video of his hit song Scream played on a screen behind her.