HAD the divorce battle been a football match, it could have been seen as a late own goal, followed by the need for dramatic extra-time.
Cesc Fabregas, the former Arsenal midfielder, was yesterday at the centre of a bitter British Court of Appeal hearing after his girlfriend's former husband accused her of misleading a judge as to how much financial support the footballer was giving her.
Daniella Semaan (38) was awarded a £1.4m (€1.6m) divorce settlement by a judge last month after she left her husband, Elie Taktouk, for the 25-year-old Spaniard.
Outlining her financial needs during the divorce hearing, she claimed that Fabregas, who now plays for Barcelona, gave her little financial support beyond paying for her flights.
As a result, Mr Justice Coleridge ruled that Mr Taktouk, a property tycoon, had to sell his £7m (€8.2m) former marital home in London so that his ex-wife could be given almost one-third of the proceedings.
Within three weeks of putting the grade II-listed flat in Belgravia on the market, however, Mr Taktouk received a £5.4m (€6.3m) bid for it from a company based in Barcelona, which he realised belonged to Fabregas.
Seeing red, the jilted husband accused Ms Semaan, who gave birth to the footballer's daughter two weeks ago, of trying to have her cake and eat it.
He took the row to the Court of Appeal, arguing that his former wife had lied about the extent of Fabregas's financial support to manipulate the outcome of the case.
However, the judge dismissed the application on the grounds that the long-term support of Fabregas for Ms Semaan could not be guaranteed.
Mr Taktouk's application to block the sale of the flat will be heard within the next few weeks. (© Daily Telegraph, London)