Julian Assange ‘cross trained’ with former Manchester United footballer Eric Cantona sweating on Assange’s treadmill. The whistleblower’s rendezvous left journalists guessing what the deal is behind the two as the video of them training emerged online.
Film director Romain Gavras shared a short clip and a picture of the WikiLeaks founder and Cantona working out, obviously in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been living since 2012 and which he has no right to leave.
— romain gavras (@ROMAIN_GAVRAS) July 12, 2014
The linked picture showed Assange with a towel over his shoulders and a fitness-tracker standing next to Cantona puffing on the running machine. The Guardian reported that the treadmill was given to Assange by Ken Loach, who worked with Cantona for his 2009 film ‘Looking for Eric’.
— romain gavras (@ROMAIN_GAVRAS) July 11, 2014
WikiLeaks shared the same picture of the workout, saying the two men were “cross training for #counterintelligenceworldcup."
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 11, 2014
“They discussed a future collaboration, talked football and Julian tested Cantona’s fitness,” Assange’s spokesman said later. “The collaboration will be revealed in due course.”
The Guardian, meanwhile, suggested that the odd couple is “in the early stages of cooking up a film idea.”
The Independent assumed that Gavras’ presence could mean that “this is a film project” for which “Cantona needs to shape up.”
The Daily Mail recalled that both Assange and Cantona showed “interest in martial arts.”
WikiLeaks started using the hashtag #counterintelligenceworldcup last week to highlight the ongoing Germany-US spying scandal.
On Wednesday a court in Sweden is again hearing the Assange ‘rape case’. The whistleblower is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of the rape and sexual assault of two women. Swedish authorities issued a warrant for Assange’s extradition back in 2012, forcing the WikiLeaks founder to seek asylum in Ecuador’s London Embassy. He has been there since then. Should he leave, Assange will be arrested and extradited to Sweden and from there, possibly, to the US, where he is wanted on charges of espionage due to his role in exposing American state secrets. In America he may face the death penalty.