17-12-2018 BHA forced to row back on chief executive’s comments on whip use

• Nick Rust commented on discussions not yet taken place• The New One retires as Brain Power wins the dayRacing’s ruling body found itself in the embarrassing position of having to row back on comments made this week by its own chief executive, Nick Rust, on the highly emotive subject of whip use. Rust told a BBC journalist that “a new structure for penalties and deterrents for overuse of the whip” would be announced next month, when in fact initial discussions on any such change have not even begun.Mere hours after Rust’s comments were published on Friday night, the BHA confirmed it had not yet broached the subject. “We are in a position to consider how to progress this issue,” it said in a statement, adding that its review of fatalities at Cheltenham had to be completed before the whip review could start. Privately officials concede that Rust had spoken wildly out of turn and it is understood he made a contrite phone call to Paul Struthers, his opposite number at the Professional Jockeys Association, in an attempt to smooth things over. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Gareth Farrelly: ‘It was a toxic, bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa’

Midfielder turned lawyer claims coach Kevin MacDonald left a ‘dark shadow’ over players at Villa and says it drove him to suicidal thoughts“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity … It was like a dark shadow came over.”Gareth Farrelly, now 43 and a qualified lawyer, with a Premier League and international career behind him, is recalling the bullying he says he endured as a young player at Aston Villa in the 1990s from the coach Kevin MacDonald. It was a “relentlessly negative” regime under him. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Taekwondo: Lauren Williams & Bianca Walkden both win grand slam gold for Team GB

Bianca Walkden and Lauren Williams both win gold for Great Britain at the World Taekwondo Grand Slam finals in China.

17-12-2018 'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

17-12-2018 Liverpool 3-1 Man Utd: Shaqiri goals put Klopp's men top

Substitute Xherdan Shaqiri scores two late goals as Liverpool beat Manchester United to return to the top of the Premier League.

17-12-2018 Mollie and Rosie Kmita: the twins 'breaking the mould' for women in football – video

Twitter UK has launched a new #WomenInFootball campaign with sisters Rosie and Mollie Kmita telling the story of how they ‘broke the mould’ to earn respect in their sport. Rosie, a professional footballer at West Ham, and Mollie who plays for Gillingham, believe ‘women’s football is going in the right direction’ and hope to inspire the next generation of female players. You can watch all four films in the series here.The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018 Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

17-12-2018 Rangers 1-0 Hamilton Academical: Steven Gerrard's side move top of Premiership

Steven Gerrard's Rangers return to the top of the Premiership after a slim home win over Hamilton Academical.

17-12-2018 Chelsea fans took flag with Nazi symbol to Budapest for Vidi game

• Chelsea Headhunters seen with SS death’s head on flag• Club confident it was not taken into Europa League gameThe conduct of elements of Chelsea’s support has come under further scrutiny after images posted on social media showed travelling fans in Budapest last week holding a Chelsea Headhunters flag featuring a Nazi symbol.The photographs reveal a group holding a banner, on which is displayed SS death’s head insignia, outside a bar before Thursday’s Europa League tie against Vidi. The club would go on to condemn a small section of their support at the Groupama Arena that night for antisemitic chanting. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 What ‘masculinity’ means when you’re gay, bi or trans …

We’re in the middle of a ‘genderquake’ where the qualities traditionally associated with men are changing daily. So how do three LGBT guys define manliness in 2018? By Joe StoneWhat does it mean to be a man? Right now, masculinity is under the microscope like never before. But one group that is used to navigating the tricky terrain of gender norms is the LGBT community. In a recent survey by Attitude, Britain’s best-selling gay magazine, 69% of readers admitted they’d been made to feel “less of a man” because they are gay, bisexual or queer. More troubling still, 41% said that at some point they themselves thought that they were less of a man too. Continue reading...

17-12-2018 Eden Hazard ensures Chelsea stay in touch at top with win at Brighton

Eden Hazard departed this contest with a grimace seven minutes from time, his right ankle still smarting from the damage inflicted moments earlier by Dale Stephens’ unpunished challenge. The Belgian has grown used to taping on the ice packs in the dugout, and would rip the joint free once the final whistle had blown, but at least he could be warmed by the knowledge he had inflicted wounds of his own on the opposition.This had been Hazard at his mesmeric best, one of those displays where defenders seem hypnotised by his skill and shrink at his every involvement, the ball seemingly glued to his instep as he scuttles at pace through massed ranks of markers. The first tackle tends to leave him hobbling these days but, like a footballing Gordon Greenidge, he is at his most dangerous when the limp is established and the adrenaline is flowing. For an hour Brighton & Hove Albion had no answer. It was to their credit that they rallied late-on to make the closing stages so uncomfortable for Chelsea after what had initially threatened to be a saunter. Continue reading...