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Benni McCarthy fined for being overweight

Football player Benni McCarthy got so fat it cost him R880,000

That's what his club, West Ham, fined him for failing to beat his famous bulge.

Reports in London revealed that McCarthy had been fined by the English Premier League club for missing the deadline he was set to lose weight, the Times reports.

The tubby striker, who failed to make it into Bafana's World Cup squad, arrived back in London 12kg overweight.

He was immediately shipped off to a specialist fitness clinic in Austria, where he shed the excess weight, according to a report in London's Daily Mail.

"Benni regrets what has happened, but is keen to put it behind him," the Mail quoted a friend as saying.

"He has paid the fines and now wants to repay the club by playing well and scoring goals."

McCarthy - transferred last season from Blackburn to the London club for R27-million on a weekly wage of R44,000 - has still not scored for West Ham.

But this is also due to him struggling for a place in the team because of his weight.

McCarthy has a history of weight problems. Last season, his body fat soared to 24.2% when a normal figure for sportsmen is between 5% and 12%.

West Ham chairman David Sullivan exclaimed at the time: "Benni McCarthy is nearly as fat as me".

In the past, McCarthy has blamed his ballooning weight on his build and injuries.

"With my bone structure, body structure, if I don't train hard, I pick up weight," he said. Injuries have consistently kept McCarthy off the training pitch, complicating his return to form.

The club said McCarthy was now under 85kg, the weight set by the medical staff that he had to whittle down to before he could be considered for a return to the first team.


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