50 mins: Bergwijn cuts in from the right before blasting a shot that screams way high of goal.
48 mins: A very positive start to the half from Spurs, who have had almost all of the possession but haven’t really tested the Chelsea defence.Continue reading...
There can be no disguising the scale of British failure at this bizarre French Open. When Heather Watson joined her five compatriots as Parisian tourists before the start of the second round, her mood matched the grimness of the weeping skies and the wreckage of history that has gone before. The forecast is not great.
Watson, who battled ongoing dizzy spells earlier in the year to move from outside the top 100 to 56 in the world, had beaten Fiona Ferro twice without dropping a set before they met again on Court No 14 on Tuesday but the experienced clay-courter, ranked third among the 11 French players at Roland Garros, rose to the moment and tamed Watson to win 7-6 (4), 6-4.Continue reading...
The London Marathon race director, Hugh Brasher, has said he is “doing the opposite of a rain dance” before the rescheduled event on Sunday because he believes world records could fall on the lightning fast course if conditions permit.
Brasher’s comments came after he announced that the fourth-fastest woman in the race, the emerging Ethiopian star Degitu Azimeraw, had been forced to withdraw after failing a Covid-19 test, along with the Ethiopian coach Haji Adilo.Continue reading...
Borussia Dortmund have told Manchester United there is no point in bidding less than €120m (£109.6m) for Jadon Sancho after discussions between the clubs on Tuesday. United were preparing a €90m offer for the England international but were told that would not be sufficient and that Dortmund do not want to sell.
United are desperate to strengthen Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s squad before Monday’s transfer deadline and Sancho has been the No 1 target throughout the summer. There were hopes that Dortmund’s stance would soften closer to the end of the window but that has not proved the case.Continue reading...
The new Premiership season will start on 20 November when Exeter visit Harlequins but England players are unlikely to feature in more than three of the first 14 rounds because of the autumn internationals and Six Nations.
That prospect does not concern Bristol’s director of rugby, Pat Lam, who wants more of his players to join Kyle Sinckler in the England squad, but it will mean a test of resources at a time when a lack of income is testing budgets.Continue reading...
The Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcântara has tested positive for Covid-19. The 29-year-old, who missed Monday’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal, has exhibited minor symptoms of the virus but is in good health and is getting better, the club said.Continue reading...
Premier League referees are to take a lenient approach to applying the new handball law after an outcry from across the game.
This season there have been five penalties awarded for handball in three matchdays, compared with 19 across the whole of the last top flight season. The change has been blamed on a new interpretation of handball which punishes a defender if the ball strikes their arm in an ‘unnatural’ position.Continue reading...
Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick, will take part in his first Formula One race weekend at the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany next week. The 21-year-old will drive in the first practice session for Alfa Romeo and Britain’s Callum Ilott will also make his F1 debut during practice for Haas. Both drivers are members of the Ferrari academy.
The test at the Nürburgring carries significance. Alfa Romeo are to all intents and purposes Ferrari’s junior squad and Haas are a customer team very closely attached to the Scuderia.Continue reading...
Rugby Players’ Association has warned the pandemic threatens to crumble rugby union’s professional structure in months
The Oxford dictionary definition of a crisis is a time of danger. Alternatively just listen to the words of Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Rugby Players’ Association, as he seeks to protect his members’ livelihoods. “Can clubs survive until Christmas or into next year? Can some unions survive? It’s a very stark situation. The foundations of sport have been completely rocked and we’re now in a position where we’re starting to understand the real impact.”
Hopley is not exaggerating for effect. The players he represents are trapped in a nightmare that rugby union can ill afford. The Covid-19 situation is affecting everyone in the country to some degree but give it another three months and, without the return of crowds or matchday income, we will be discussing much of professional rugby in the past tense. Not just the odd struggling Premiership club but almost all of it, save for a lucky few with a billionaire writing endless blank cheques.Continue reading...
Amnesty International has voiced deep concern after the Ladies European Tour announced it will stage two events in Saudi Arabia in November. The LET insisted that it was a “landmark moment for women’s sport in the kingdom” when confirming the tournaments on Monday.
The Saudi Ladies International and Saudi Ladies Team International will deliver a combined $1.5m in prize money and mark the first professional tournaments for women in the country. They are, however, highly controversial given Saudi’s high-profile human rights violations.Continue reading...
In the era of Richards, Botham, Fletcher and Gooch, football had yet to swamp cricket and humour pervaded the rivalry
The two best teams in county cricket battled for the Bob Willis Trophy at Lord’s. Despite the absence of spectators it was an earnest, engaging contest and a curious throwback to four decades ago when Essex and Somerset were also two of the best and most entertaining sides in the country.
This is not so surprising if you recall some of the personnel: the trinity of Viv Richards, Ian Botham and Joel Garner at Somerset and Keith Fletcher, Graham Gooch and John Lever at Essex were instantly recognised on TV screens against a backdrop of packed stands at Chelmsford or Taunton. Cricket had yet to be swamped by what is now quaintly described as association football; Botham was probably the most recognisable of all English sportsmen; Jim Laker was still lugubriously droppin’ his gs to a large audience on BBC TV.Continue reading...
Tennessee suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL said three Titans players and five other personnel tested positive for the coronavirus. The news means the NFL has its first Covid-19 outbreak since the start of the season.
The outbreak threatened to jeopardize the Titans’ game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers.Continue reading...
Patrick Mahomes put on a scintillating show while outperforming Lamar Jackson, and the Kansas City Chiefs deftly played the role of defending Super Bowl champions in a 34-20 thumping of the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.
Mahomes juked, danced, and jumped in and out of the pocket. Sometimes he just dropped back and fired pinpoint throws downfield. The common thread was that just about everything he did worked against an overmatched Baltimore defense that had allowed only two touchdowns in its first two games.Continue reading...
Very soft ground at Longchamp is thought to be bad news for the crack Irish filly Love, who has lost her spot atop the betting
Enable is the new favourite for Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, when she will try to make history by becoming the first to win the famous race three times. A wholesale shake-up of the betting market took place on Monday as punters cottoned on to the likelihood of a soggy racing surface at Longchamp, which is not expected to suit the erstwhile favourite, Love.
While a sound surface prevailed at Longchamp for trials day just a fortnight ago, subsequent rain, including 19mm from Sunday into Monday, has led to going described officially as very soft and further heavy rain is forecast for Friday. The latest penetrometer reading for the Paris track is 4.0, close to the 4.1 on which last year’s Arc was staged.Continue reading...
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the champions of bubble hockey. Brayden Point scored his playoff-best 14th goal and the Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Monday night to win the Stanley Cup and finish off the most unusual NHL postseason in history, staged nearly entirely in quarantine because of the pandemic. The clock hitting zeros in an empty arena nonetheless set off a joyful celebration for a team that endured years of playoff heartbreak and two months in isolation.
Goals from Point and Blake Coleman and a 22-save shutout by Andrei Vasilevskiy in Game 6 were enough to power the Lightning to their second championship after winning it in 2004. That also came with the league on the verge of a labor stoppage, a lockout that wiped out an entire season, and similar uncertainty hangs in the air now because of the coronavirus.Continue reading...
England recovered from a shaky start against West Indies to post 166 for six – their highest total of the series so far – and finish with a fourth consecutive win, this time by 44 runs.
The home side had reached 54 for three at the halfway stage but Amy Jones spearheaded a rampant recovery hitting a 30-ball half-century that included two lofted sixes and a perfectly executed ramp against Deandra Dottin.Continue reading...
They brought out the fireworks, if not the adoring fans, for Chris Robshaw’s final match at the Stoop, but Harlequins could not quite honour the occasion with the win.
A dramatic turnaround in the last 10 minutes clinched a bonus-point win for Wasps to keep up their hunt for a play-off place. It is not quite secured for them yet, with none other than champions-elect Exeter to visit them on Sunday in the regular season’s denouement.Continue reading...
Dalian Pro striker on working with Rafa Benítez and being confined to a Chinese hotel for two months with barely a day off
Salomón Rondón remembers his hairs standing on end when, wearing Newcastle’s No 9 shirt for the first time, he ran on to the St James’ Park pitch. He only had half an hour as a substitute to try and turn things around against Spurs on the opening day of the 2018-19 season, but everything just seemed right. “I felt at this moment that this is my place and I have to be here for a long time,” he says. “I knew I was only on a year’s loan but I just thought: ‘I have to do my best to stay here.’”
Most would agree that he did, winning the player of the year award and being directly involved in almost half the side’s league goals. So the fact he is speaking via a video call from a hotel in Dalian, where he has essentially been detained for more than two months, suggests life has taken a few turns. One of them is Covid-19, of course, and it required that the first stage of the Chinese Super League campaign was contested between sides holed up in the same lodgings. Rondón’s employers, Dalian Professional, have been living alongside their seven rivals in Group A since mid-July, permitted to leave only for matches and training.Continue reading...
From RA’s perspective the new interim pay deal was a smart play but it is only a short-term fix
Rugby Australia has moved to ring-fence key Wallabies in its latest interim pay deal with the players, but it is hardly an equitable arrangement for the vast majority of Australia’s professional players, which may create friction in the ranks.
After taking pay cuts earlier in the year to help the game survive the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Wallabies have returned to full pay in a new deal negotiated by RA and the Rugby Union Players Association.Continue reading...
The Irish Olympic swimmer turned surgeon has played a central role in a 28-year fight to bring his former coach to justice
“You know the old story of Pandora’s box?” Gary O’Toole asks quietly on another evening of lockdown in Dublin. The former Irish Olympic swimmer is now an orthopaedic surgeon but he has done more than anyone to expose the sustained child sex abuse some of his friends endured when they swam alongside him in the 1970s and 80s.
O’Toole is a key witness in the early episodes of a gripping new BBC podcast called Where is George Gibney? It is presented and produced by Mark Horgan – the brother of the former rugby international Shane, and their sister, Sharon, the actor and writer. O’Toole now compares Mark, the youngest Horgan, who also works for the renowned Second Captains podcast in Dublin, to Pandora.Continue reading...
Change is meant to remove ambiguity so referees need not decide whether a player touched the ball deliberately
In these troubled times, scraps of normality glint like a jewel in the dirt. Three cheers, then, for a weekend when the football discourse was dominated not by the imminent collapse of the league pyramid or the unsuccessful containment of a global pandemic but, sweet bliss, by people becoming furious about refereeing.
Like wandering aimlessly through a crowd, or paying for something with coins, the heated response to this season’s new interpretation of the handball rule has the feel of a charming throwback. To hear Roy Hodgson fuming against the law – “I don’t want to profit from it or lose from it” – or to see Steve Bruce decry it as “a nonsense, a nonsense of a rule” felt like slumping back into a battered pub sofa, only without having to look over your shoulder to check how many people are sitting at the next table. Being incensed about something that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things is a luxury and in current times can even feel cathartic. Thank you Fifa, we owe you one.Continue reading...
Leicester are close to signing Wesley Fofana from Saint-Étienne after agreeing a deal worth up to €40m (£36.5m) for the central defender.
The 19-year-old has also been targeted by West Ham but Leicester had the wherewithal to make an acceptable offer that includes add-ons, and personal terms have been agreed.Continue reading...
Birmingham’s manager, Carla Ward, has branded as “ridiculous” the decision to give her team only two clear days between their FA Cup quarter-final and semi-final.
The club, the outsiders to lift the trophy on 1 November, are preparing to face Everton on Wednesday, having played through extra-time and penalties against Brighton on Sunday.Continue reading...
Liverpool are not so much sloppy as playing the popular high-risk game that late-period Alex Ferguson eschewed
Football has changed. Most disagreements between managers and pundits are tedious affairs, rooted in complex and broadly impenetrable codes of respect and of concern only to professional axe-grinders. But the slightly spiky exchange between Roy Keane and Jürgen Klopp after Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal on Monday was fascinating, less for the soap opera element of a bullish Klopp interrogating an awkwardly smirking Keane, or for Keane’s dry “touchy … imagine if they’d lost” rejoinder, but for what it revealed about how the two men view the game, and what that says about its evolution.
️ "Did Mr Keane say it was a sloppy performance? Maybe he is speaking about another game..."
Jurgen Klopp v Roy Keane pic.twitter.com/MIw47L6N0o
Lazio have agreed a deal with Manchester United to sign Andreas Pereira on loan for the 2020-21 season with an option to buy the midfielder for €27m (£24.5m) next summer.Continue reading...
Even in the immediate aftermath of Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League, Scott Parker seemed strangely forlorn. As if he realised that, in masterminding unlikely victory over a strangely subdued Brentford, he might have made a terrible mistake. Summoned for a pitchside interview, he was close to tears as he spoke of his immense pride in his team who “had achieved what they’ve achieved” despite the “gaping wounds” which had been caused by Fulham’s relegation the previous season. Gaping wounds he insisted were “still there” and had “yet to heal”. Parker went on to talk about how difficult it was to enjoy “the moments” as a manager, saying the reality is you can’t really. “We live in a profession where you win a game, you lose the next one and you’re deemed as a failure.” The young manager’s raw, searing honesty was enough to bring a tear to a glass eye … even before some wag set his interview to a soundtrack of The Streets.Continue reading...
Why would English football’s elite worry about propping up a system they have spent years actively seeking to obliterate?
One by one, they lined up to condemn the madness. “It’s certainly destroying my enjoyment of the game of football,” said Roy Hodgson. “You’re ruining football for everybody,” fumed Jamie Carragher. “The game’s gone,” tweeted Andros Townsend. “Maybe we can all get together and stop it,” urged Steve Bruce.
Meanwhile, on Monday a group of football fans, former players, administrators and politicians sent an open letter to the government warning that many EFL and National League clubs were “unable to meet their payroll obligations for next month”, and that without government assistance English football was facing “the collapse of the league structure that we have known for over one hundred years”.Continue reading...
West Ham are interested in the Slavia Prague right-back Vladimir Coufal after confirming that Ryan Fredericks will be out until after the international break with a hamstring injury.
The club are also looking at the Napoli central defender Nikola Maksimovic after failing to land other targets, including Burnley’s James Tarkowski and St-Étienne’s Wesley Fofana.Continue reading...
It was hard not to feel sorry for Bobby Decordova-Reid as he saw the claret and blue shirts swarming towards him. The Fulham winger knew his hopes of sparking a counterattack were fading. Decordova-Reid had no support from his teammates and he could do nothing more than boom an up-and-under towards Emi Martínez, Aston Villa’s underworked goalkeeper.Continue reading...
Manchester United have made an initial bid for Porto’s Alex Telles, with the club valuing the left-back at around £12m as he can be signed without a fee on a pre-contract in January.
Telles’s current terms expire in summer so despite Porto wanting a fee in the region of £18m for the Brazilian, United believe a deal can be done close to their desired price and have lodged a first official offer before the transfer window closes on 5 October.Continue reading...
VAR and the handball rule have been thrown into the spotlight after a weekend of controversial decisions. Firstly, a handball against Crystal Palace's Joel Ward was labelled 'nonsense' by manager Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. He added: 'Every week games are being decided on so-called penalty decisions.' Twenty-four hours later there was a similar story at Tottenham after Newcastle were awarded a late penalty. Despite gaining an advantage, Steve Bruce said that 'it ruins the spectacle of the Premier League' after Eric Dier was adjudged to have handled in the area despite having his back to the ballContinue reading...
Lewis Hamilton was denied the chance to equal Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race victories after his Mercedes teammate Valterri Bottas won the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. 'I consider myself a bit lucky ... it's a beautiful feeling,' Bottas said after seeing Hamilton hit with a 10-second penalty for two illegal practice starts before the race.Continue reading...
Chelsea manger Frank Lampard has said that it is important for the Premier League to support EFL clubs financially, as many lower-tier teams continue to struggle through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Premier League and EFL are in talks regarding a support package after Rick Parry, chairman of the EFL, warned that Championship, League One and League Two clubs will lose a combined £200m if the 2020/21 season takes place entirely behind closed doors.Continue reading...
Luis Suárez bid a teary farewell to Barcelona on 24 September, before his move to La Liga title rivals Atlético Madrid.
Suárez joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014 after making global headlines for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup, which meant he was banned for the first four months – but he soon formed a deadly partnership with Lionel Messi and Neymar, winning a treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in his first season.
He leaves after lifting 13 trophies and hitting 198 goals to become the club's third all-time top scorer.Continue reading...
An Estonian Premier League match was halted after 13 seconds while the away side substituted an uninjured player. Lauri Suup, 16, was brought off the field by Nomme Kalju FC shortly after the referee started the match. The rules in Estonia state each side must start with at least two homegrown players, which may explain the early removal of Suup. Many of Kalju's players are currently unavailable because they are self-isolating having tested positive for Covid-19.Continue reading...
A Brazilian women's national team practice match was halted after a parrot landed on the head of one of the players. Defender Bruna Benties had a macaw standing on her head before an assistant coach was brought in to try and get the bird off her head with a football
“Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” That old Gary Lineker quote needs an upgrade. Premier League football is a complicated game: 22 men chase a ball around for 100 minutes and at the end, everyone wonders what the hell just happened. Your friendly neighbourhood Fiver (not to be confused with our evil doppelganger, FiVAR, which bores everyone to tears and is widely blamed for completely ruining foot … wait, hang on) is still reeling from a weekend of football that put the ‘ugh’ in laughable.Continue reading...
Today’s fluff will run and run
Another ineffective performance from Paul Pogba in Manchester United’s midfield, another day of speculation linking the Old Trafford outfit with a midfield enforcer worthy of the name. The French midfielder looked a disinterested passenger during the 65 minutes he spent playing in a deep-lying role against Brighton before getting hauled off on Saturday, prompting The Mirror to speculate United could make a move for one of his World Cup-winning French teammates.
United are reported to have set their sights on N’Golo Kanté, but will ask the Chelsea pocket dynamo to take a substantial cut in his £300,000-per-week wages to move to Old Trafford. Italian side Inter are also reported to be interested in Kanté and will offer one of Milan Skriniar or Marcelo Brozovic in part exchange. Apparently surplus to requirements at United, Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira could be off to Lazio before the transfer window shuts next Monday night.Continue reading...
Who went long? Who can’t lose? Who didn’t play ball?
Kalju FC played Levadia in the Estonian Premier League this week. What happened 13 seconds into the match?
The referee pulled his hamstring and the game had to be called off
The Kalju goalkeeper walked off the field, later claiming he heard an opponent coughing
The Kalju manager substituted one of his players – even though he had not touched the ball yet
One of the goalposts blew over in the wind and the game was abandoned
In last week’s quiz we predicted that the players at the US Open might struggle at Winged Foot golf club. How many players at the tournament finished under par?
Tottenham will play Chelsea in the fourth round of the League Cup. How many games have Spurs played to reach the last-16?
Why was a non-league game between Carlton Athletic and Ilkley Town interrupted for 20 minutes?
Ilkley players left early as they are now in lockdown
The players and officials agreed to a long half-time break so they could observe the eclipse of the moon
Government rules changed during the match and the referee did not know whether they should continue
An alpaca ran on to the pitch
Bayern Munich won their latest trophy on Thursday night, beating Sevilla in the Super Cup in Budapest. When did Bayern last lose a game of football?
The French Open begins at Roland Garros on Sunday. Rafa Nadal is the favourite to win the men’s singles tournament. If he is successful, how many grand slams will Nadal have won?
Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic have dominated men’s tennis for a generation. When was the last time a man born outside Europe won a grand slam?
Sheffield United are playing Leeds United this weekend. When was the last time the two clubs met in the Premier League?
They have never met in the Premier League.
Big wave surfer Doug Falter lost his board in a wipeout in Hawaii two years ago. Where did it turn up this week?
In the same beach he lost it
In the Philippines
In the Bermuda Triangle
Why did the Brazil women’s football team have to take a few minutes break during a match this week?
They stopped playing as they realised the assistant referee was playing games on his phone
Brazil had four players sent off, so the referee decided to give them a “time out” to calm down
A parrot landed on the head of one of the players
A small plane made a crash landing on the pitch
1 and above.
Hard lines. Have a great weekend
2 and above.
Hard lines. Have a great weekend
3 and above.
Hard lines. Have a great weekend
4 and above.
Hard lines. Have a great weekend
5 and above.
A fine score. Have a great weekend
6 and above.
A fine score. Have a great weekend
7 and above.
A very fine score indeed. Have a great weekend
8 and above.
A very fine score indeed. Have a great weekend
9 and above.
A very fine score indeed. Have a great weekend
0 and above.
Hard lines Have a great weekend
10 and above.
A superb score. Have a great weekendContinue reading...
Wounded champions will look to defy odds again at Racing 92 and are a team at its most dangerous when backed into a corner
A dejected Leinster supporter was to the point a few hours after his side’s Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to the holders. “I don’t like Saracens, the way they play or the manner in which they conduct themselves,” he said. “But hats off to them: much as I do not like to admit it, that was one of the best performances I have ever seen in any sport.”
Saracens may have won the Champions Cup in three of the last four seasons, beating Saturday’s semi-final opponents Racing 92 in Lyon four years ago to take home the trophy for the first time, but they were rank outsiders in Dublin having seen 10 players either leave or go out on loan during lockdown and lost Owen Farrell to suspension.Continue reading...
Max Rushden is joined by Philippe Auclair, Anne-Marie Batson, Simon Burnton and Sean Ingle to discuss the implications of not allowing fans into grounds for the next six months. There’s the quickest substitution ever, a look at Manchester United’s defence and a weekend preview
Max and the pod discuss the latest coronavirus restrictions in the English game. Is it right to keep fans out? Will clubs get financial support from the government? And what does this mean lower down the football pyramid.Continue reading...
This week’s highlights also include interloping cows, heartening sportsmanship and a 159ft putt from Michael Phelps
1) Aylesbury United’s Ollie Hogg re-popularised an old classic on Monday night: the skied penalty. Here, see for yourself. It’s a beauty, clearing the stand behind the goal and sailing off into the night. Keisuke Honda did much the same in an Asian Cup game against UAE in 2015, only he didn’t have the excuse of a dodgy pitch to fall back on. The usually ice-cool Eden Hazard has sent a penalty into orbit before, too. So has Sergio Ramos. What? No sympathy? And who could forget David Beckham’s glorious shank at Euro 2004? “He’s skied it, and Turkey have got a lot to say about it.” At least his wasn’t in a World Cup final. Jonathan Soriano’s calamitous thump and miss for Salzburg in 2012 takes some beating. But Neymar is always up to a challenge. How can we forget that miss against Colombia in 2012?
A feast of penalties tonight in the FA Cup tie I was at.
Four penalties in the 90 mins, one scored by each side & a further two missed by Aylesbury United.
FT: Aylesbury United 2
Moneyfields then won the shoot out 4-3 (after 7 pens each). pic.twitter.com/Gj1noF25zG
Prizes go to Michael Holding for showing why Black Lives Matter and the BBC for bringing cricket back to the masses
At first, after the unbeatable thrills of 2019, the men’s international cricket season of 2020 looked like being an anticlimax. Then, as one nation after another locked down, it looked like not happening at all. Next, it looked like happening after a fashion but being too weird to cast a spell. And finally, it happened, without a hitch, and with many a magic moment. Now was our Easter of discontent made glorious summer.
After four months of nothing at all, we had 10 weeks of escapism without leaving the sofa. Now, at the end of term, it’s time for prize-giving.Continue reading...
Belloumi, a great denied a move to Europe by age and violence, stunned an overconfident West Germany at the World Cup
This year the Premier League posted a video compilation of the fastest goals from kick-off. They were all scored within seconds of the game starting, ignoring the mid-match instant post-kick-off goal, but give a taste of the genre as a whole, populated as it almost entirely is by defensive blunders and hopeful hoofs, goals that almost all rely on a convenient ricochet or two at some point in the buildup.
In 1982, against West Germany, Algeria scored a goal similar in its speed following a restart, but here there are no hoofs or ricochets, just 23 seconds of teamwork and precision. They produced this in the most exacting circumstances: immediately after conceding an equaliser against massively favoured European giants, in their country’s first World Cup finals fixture. “We were,” the goalscorer, Lakhdar Belloumi, later said, “the Brazilians of Africa.” And for at least half a minute in Gijón, the world saw it.Continue reading...
The former Leeds and Sheffield United keeper’s remarkably frank autobiography details fist fights, infidelity and a drugs-related ban
‘That was an absolute bullshit story,” says Paddy Kenny as he recalls reports from 2006 that claimed he had his eyebrow bitten off by a friend in a fight outside a Halifax curry house.
Readers were given the impression that blood had been spilled because the friend had just confessed to starting an affair with Kenny’s then-wife while the keeper was on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. “It was nothing to do with that,” he says. “It was just a fight over who was to pay for the curry.”Continue reading...
British rider warns lack of coverage is making women’s cycling ‘invisible’ as she heads into the road world championships
As she prepares to return to the road world championships and a possible leader’s role alongside Lizzie Deignan, Great Britain’s Lizzie Banks has made the strongest of demands to cycling’s world governing body. The 29-year-old has told the Union Cycliste International to “put their money where their mouth is” and support races such as the recent women’s Tour of Italy, the Giro Rosa, which she described as “invisible” owing to its lack of live television coverage.
Banks won a stage in the Giro for the second successive year – a courageous breakaway victory on the longest stage of the race at the town of Tivoli on day four – and goes into Saturday’s world championship road race in Imola at the head of a strong Great Britain women’s team who include Deignan, Hannah Barnes and Anna Henderson. The hilly course promises dramatic racing while the calls for the UCI to push harder for equality grow ever stronger.Continue reading...
As their La Liga season starts on Sunday, the Camp Nou club are still in turmoil. Can playing matches lift the mood?
‘It’s been a mad month; lots of things you would never have imagined happened,” Luis Suárez said and it wasn’t over yet – at least not for the men he was leaving behind. On Thursday afternoon, the Uruguayan sat at the Camp Nou, holding back the tears as he announced his departure after six years and 198 goals. On Friday morning, two days before the start of their season, Lionel Messi turned up for training alone, the absence of his best friend hitting home and the Argentinian hitting out.
“I was already getting the idea into my head, but today I walked into the dressing room and the penny dropped,” Barcelona’s captain wrote. “How hard it’s going to be to not share every day with you. It’s going to be strange to see you in a different shirt and even more so to play against you. You deserved to depart as what you are: one of the most important players in the club’s history. Not for them to kick you out like they did. But truth is, nothing surprises me any more.”Continue reading...
The Australian, who has died at 59, averaged over 46 in Tests and revolutionised one-day cricket, as well as being a no-nonsense coach and pundit
Dean Jones, who died suddenly in Mumbai where he had been doing media work on the IPL, was never one of those Australians who seemed to be riddled with self-doubt. Maybe this is why in recent years he spent so much time on the modern T20 circuit as a pundit, not noted for his discretion, and also as an old-fashioned, no-nonsense coach, most recently for Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League.
However Jones will, rightly, be remembered more for his prowess as a cricketer in the 1980s and 1990s. He was in the vanguard of Australia’s revival. Back in 1984 the side were in the doldrums; Kim Hughes’s tormented period in charge was about to come to an abrupt end and the team needed fresh talent, energy and self-belief, qualities that Jones soon provided in abundance. He always gave the impression he had few doubts about his capacity to succeed at the highest level.Continue reading...