Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
    View Today
    Thu, Oct 29

    Usain Bolt football foray hits snag as track icon rejects Aussie team offer

    Nov 2, 2018
    PHOTO: ap

    GOSFORD, Australia — Usain Bolt's bid to become a professional soccer player in Australia has ended with the Olympic sprinting great failing to agree on a contract with the Central Coast Mariners.

    The Mariners announced Friday that Bolt's indefinite training period with the club "has drawn to an end, effective immediately."

    Central Coast reportedly offered Bolt a contract worth 150,000 Australian dollars ($110,000) and hoped to get a third-party endorsement to increase the salary package into the millions, but management for the eight-time Olympic gold medalist rejected the offer.

    "It has been a pleasure to work with Usain as he pursued his desire to become a professional football player," Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth said in a statement. "This has been a mutually beneficial partnership that brought an increased level of excitement and attention to both the Mariners and the A-League."

    Bolt, who has never played soccer at an elite level, practiced with the Mariners squad in September and October but only played in some low-level, non-league matches. He stopped practicing with the club's top team when contract negotiations intensified immediately before the A-League season started.

    Continue reading below ↓

    "I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners' owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there," Bolt said in a statement released by the club. "I wish the club success for the season ahead."

    Continue reading below ↓
    Recommended Videos

    Bolt scored two goals in a trial game but wasn't included in the squad for the A-League season opener on Oct. 21, when Central Coast had a 1-1 draw in Brisbane. Mariners coach Mike Mulvey said after that match that he wasn't aware the club had made an offer to Bolt.

    The 32-year-old Bolt retired from competitive track and field last year and has since explored options in Germany, South Africa, Norway, and Australia to gain a professional soccer contract.

    His first game for the Mariners, an exhibition against a selection of amateur players, attracted a much larger than average crowd, and Bolt's bid to join the A-League has generated plenty of headlines. But critics questioned Bolt's ability to play at an elite level and others wrote it off a publicity stunt.

    Continue reading below ↓
    Read Next
    Sorry, no results found for
    PHOTO: ap
  • POLL

    • Quiz

      Quiz Result