Sunderland duo held over damage near rival stadium

Sunderland players Nicklas Bendtner and Lee Cattermole have been

arrested by police on suspicion of damaging cars near the stadium

of Premier League rival Newcastle.

Denmark striker Bendtner, who is on-loan from Arsenal, and

Cattermole were arrested Thursday by Northumbria Police on

suspicion of criminal damage on the evening of Dec. 6. They were

released on bail.

The incident took place about 800 meters from St. James’ Park in


With Sunderland’s Stadium of Light only 22 kilometers (14 miles)

from St. James’ Park, the rivalry between the northeast England

club is fierce.

The secretary general of the Danish football federation, Jim

Stjerne Hansen, called the incident ”unfortunate” but declined to

comment further.

While midfielder Cattermole is renowned for his aggression in a

career littered with red cards on the field, Bendtner – who has

played 45 games for Denmark and scored 17 times – has begun earning

himself a bad reputation off it.

Bendtner was widely reported to have asked staff and other

diners in a Copenhagen pizzeria to give him free food after his

credit card was declined last week. When the ploy failed, he

bragged of his wealth.

Last month, the Danish football federation admitted there had

been an incident at the Denmark team’s hotel after a 2-0 win over

Sweden. According to unconfirmed media reports, a guest asked

Daniel Agger to keep the noise down in the hotel corridor. Bendtner

went to the guest’s room, kicked him and ran away.

The 23-year-old Bendtner has been criticized in Denmark over his

drinking but in October he told Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet that

he had changed with his move out of London.

”Have there been too many nights out? Maybe there have been a

little too many,” Bendtner said. ”I have had my shares of nights

out and they belong to the youth. I actually don’t enjoy the nights

out anymore.”

Both players are in contention to start Sunderland’s Premier

League match at Tottenham on Sunday. Cattermole is available after

a one-match suspension for a fifth red card of the season and

Bendtner has returned to training after a groin injury.