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Updated: 7 min 41 sec ago

Chicago Bulls ban Bobby Portis for punch that put team-mate in hospital

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:24
  • Nikola Mirotic suffered concussion and broken bones during fight
  • Portis will miss first eight games of season after team suspension

The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for the first eight games of their season for injuring team-mate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice.

“Both players owned responsibility in the incident itself,” said John Paxson, the Bulls’ president of basketball operations. “But only one player threw a punch. And that punch connected and for us that is inexcusable. It’s not who we are. It disappoints us in terms of what happened and because of that we’ve determined that we’re going to suspend Bobby for eight games.”

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Leicester’s new manager search goes on as Allardyce and Ancelotti are ruled out

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:20
• Burnley’s Sean Dyche and David Wagner of Huddersfield under consideration
• Leicester hope to replace Craig Shakespeare before Everton visit

Leicester City’s search for a new manager in the wake of Craig Shakespeare’s dismissal looks like being far from straightforward, with Carlo Ancelotti and Sam Allardyce among the high-profile names to distance themselves from a vacancy that the Premier League club hope to fill in time for Everton’s visit on Sunday week.

Moves for some of the other candidates under consideration, including Sean Dyche at Burnley and David Wagner at Huddersfield Town, threaten to be complicated by the fact that they are currently in a job, raising questions not so much about the amount of compensation that would be due but more the willingness of clubs to grant permission for any talks.

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Jack Wilshere backs Arsenal to bounce back in Red Star Belgrade cauldron

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 15:02
• Midfielder defends team-mates after ‘unjustified’ Troy Deeney criticisms
• Debuchy set to return to depleted Arsenal defence for Europa League match

Jack Wilshere leapt to the defence of his Arsenal team-mates whose temperament was savaged by Troy Deeney in the aftermath of the defeat at Watford last weekend. “As a player if your attitude is questioned it’s horrible,” Wilshere said. “I don’t think the comments were justified.

“When we look back at what we did wrong I don’t think you can question our character. We will move on. We have a game tomorrow and another big one Sunday [at Everton] and the players can bounce back, we’ve see them do it. As players we haven’t spoken about it. I’m sure individually players are disappointed but comments are part of the modern-day game and we have to deal with that.”

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Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw joins growing autumn internationals injury list

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:50
• Scotland captain faces three months out with broken fibula
• Ireland confirm three-Test tour to Australia next year

Greig Laidlaw is the latest high-profile player from the home nations to be ruled out of the autumn internationals through injury after Clermont confirmed the Scotland captain has sustained a broken fibula and will be out for up to three months.

Laidlaw sustained the injury on Sunday in Clermont’s Champions Cup win against the Ospreys and further examination has revealed he will be out until well into 2018. The news came 24 hours after George North (knee) and Ben Te’o (ankle) became the latest victims in rugby union’s rising rate of attrition and it means the autumn internationals may begin next month without as many as 10 players named in the British & Irish Lions squad during the summer.

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Ascot likely to stick to usual track for Champions Day but keeps weather eye

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:43
• Officials expect to use usual track but forecast makes decision awkward
• At Punchestown, Petit Mouchoir makes winning start as steeplechaser

Ascot officials are expected to decide on Thursday morning that its usual Flat-racing track should be used for Champions Day on Saturday, while acknowledging a distinct possibility that the going there could end up soft by race day. The alternative would be to use the “inner” track, which is used normally as the jumps track, but that seems a remote possibility at this stage, officials having committed to making a decision by about 9am on Thursday, before trainers have to declare their final entries.

“I’ve just walked the outer course and it’s good, good-to-soft in places,” Chris Stickels, Ascot’s clerk of the course, said on Wednesday evening. “We gave ourselves the option of using the inner track but that’s really only supposed to be used if the outer is heavy or looks like being heavy.”

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Bayern Munich v Celtic: Champions League – live!

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:42

7.42pm BST

This, of course, is Jupp Heynckes’s first match in charge in Europe since Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final in 2013. Heynckes, of course, is only back at Bayern after the board decided to sack Carlo Ancelotti following the hammering at PSG a couple of weeks ago. Celtic know what that’s like, though there was no question of Brendan Rodgers losing his job after his team received a lesson from Neymar and co in their opening match.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Bayern are there for the taking, mind you. Just look at that team! They’re level on three points with Celtic, but the Germans are still massive favourites at the Allianz Arena this evening. That said, Celtic are full of positivity after the win at Anderlecht. Rodgers wants his improving team to be brave and bold. His starting 11 is positive.

4.43pm BST

Bayern Munich: Ulrich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Rudy, Thiago; Robben, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski. Subs: Starke, Sule, Rafinha, Vidal, Tolisso, Friedl, James Rodriguez.

Celtic: Gordon; Gamboa, Lustig, Boyata, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham; Roberts, Armstrong, Sinclair; Griffiths. Subs: De Vries, Bitton, Rogic, Ajer, Forrest, McGregor, Dembele.

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Benfica v Manchester United: Champions League – live!

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:42

7.42pm BST

Here come the teams. United are all in black but, on close inspection, you can still see that they, like Benfica, are wearing black armbands in honour of the victims of the fires that swept through Portugal last weekend. There will also be a minute’s silence before kickoff.

7.36pm BST

First he bigs up Benfica, then he bigs up United’s problems.

On Benfica: “They have experience, they have tradition, they know how to play big matches. they have had difficult start to the season but they have a very good team and are better by far than our previous opponents.” Then he suggests Benfica have decided to play with three central midfielders today because Liverpool had so much success with the fearsome Can, Henderson and Wijnaldum trinity. “Everybody knows that without our strong physical players [in midfield] we lack options. We are short there so we have to try to go another way so we bring Mata in and to to be more supportive for Romelu.”

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Driver Tasered following speedway road rage incident – video

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:21

Following a crash at a Crazy Figure 8 race at Anderson Speedway, Indiana, one driver steered his car directly at one of his opponents and the other had to be Tasered by a policeman. Both of them, Jeff Swinford and the 2017 champion Shawn Cullen, were later arrested over the incident and charged respectively with misdemeanor criminal recklessness and disorderly conduct

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NFL ratings down 7.5% as Kaepernick attorney bullish over 'smoking gun'

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:56
  • NFL viewership down during time of protest - but so are Nascar figures
  • Colin Kaepernick lawyer confident client will win grievance case
  • Eagles’ Chris Long to donate rest of 2017 salary to education projects

The NFL’s embattled season continues as the latest figures showed TV ratings are down 7.5% compared with the first six weeks of last season, and down 18.7% on the same period in 2015.

Last year, the NFL said the presidential election had affected its figures, a theory that appeared to be proved correct when viewership rose after Donald Trump’s victory in November. While television viewership is down across America in general as people cancel their cable subscriptions, the figures will worry the league and its owners. ESPN reported that the league’s broadcast partners may have to adjust their revenue forecasts due to the lackluster ratings.

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FA actions were 'bordering on blackmail,' says Eni Aluko – video

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:55

Eni Aluko says that the actions of Martin Glenn, were 'bordering on blackmail' after the FA chief executive withheld settlement money from her until she released a statement denying the organisation was institutionally racist. She refused to do so

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For now I have full support of the Everton board, says Ronald Koeman

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:51
• Everton manager prepares to face Lyon at home in Europa League
• Arsenal at home and Chelsea away in League Cup next for troubled Dutchman

Ronald Koeman believes he still retains the confidence of the Everton board as he tries to turn round a disappointing start to the season, but admits he needs a win at home in the Europa League against Lyon.

Everton have yet to win in Group E, and were beaten in their last home league outing, against Burnley, yet the manager was relaxed enough to make a joke about his position on hearing Craig Shakespeare’s observation that any manager is only four poor results from a crisis. “Maybe I am in the crisis already,” he said, before revealing that the majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and the chairman, Bill Kenwright, had offered encouragement when visiting the training ground last week.

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Chelsea v Roma: Champions League – live!

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:30

4.28pm BST

Evening. Chelsea might have had a so-so start to their defence of the Premier League title but they look right at home in the Champions League. They walloped Qarabag 6-0 at Stamford Bridge and they nabbed all three points away at last year’s runners-up, Atlético Madrid, thanks to a gold-standard European performance that was given added polish by Eden Hazard’s brilliance. They have Roma to contend with tonight, whose run of five wins was halted by Napoli at the weekend in the tightest of games that they lost 1-0. Chelsea, meanwhile, lost to Crystal Palace – yes Crystal Palace! – last Saturday. Not the best way to build confidence for this game.

Antonio Conte has been bemoaning how thin his Chelsea squad is too, which is a bit rich when you have around 30 players scattered around Europe on loan - but maybe that’s not his doing. Injuries to Victor Moses and N’Golo Kanté mean Conte may throw David Luiz into midfield which, and let’s be honest, should be loads of fun.

Related: Edin Dzeko: ‘I don’t run? I don’t give my best? Come on! That is a joke’

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Senegal call up Liverpool’s Sadio Mané for World Cup qualifiers despite injury

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:25
• Forward sustained hamstring injury during last international break
• Senegal coach Aliou Cissé expects Mané to be 100% fit for qualifiers

Senegal have named Sadio Mané in their squad for next month’s crucial World Cup qualifiers despite the Liverpool forward being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Mane is expected to be absent for six weeks having been injured in Senegal’s international against Cape Verde on 7 September– a timeframe that would see him available for selection by Liverpool on 18 November. Senegal coach Aliou Cissé, however, has included the 25-year-old in his plans for two qualifiers against South Africa on 10 and 14 November and claims there is “no doubt” Mané will be fit.

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Tottenham reaping rewards of Pochettino’s vision, on and off the pitch | David Hytner

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:08
Spurs manager ran through his options in the commendable draw at Real Madrid and the Argentinian is increasing his sphere of influence at the club

It numbers among the many construction projects at Tottenham Hotspur but, perhaps, it is the one to have drifted under the radar. The London club have committed £30m to the building of a 45-bedroom player hotel on a site adjacent to their Enfield training ground and the rationale is illuminating.

Mauricio Pochettino and his staff are obsessed with marginal gains, with new angles and the creation of the optimum environment, and the private player accommodation lodge, as it is officially known, is another example of the growth that they are seeking.

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McKayla Maroney says sexual abuse by team doctor started when she was 13

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:56

Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney said on Wednesday that she was sexually abused by her USA Gymnastics doctor from the age of 13 until her retirement from the sport last year.

Maroney, now 21, detailed years of abuse by longtime team doctor Lawrence G Nassar, who is already facing criminal charges for molesting other gymnasts. She wrote a lengthy post on Twitter inspired by the #MeToo movement, the hashtag campaign that’s encouraged victims of sexual harassment or assault to step forward with their stories.

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Johanna Konta ends 10-month association with coach Wim Fissette

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:16
• Britain’s No1 tennis player will not compete again this season
• Konta says split with coach was an amicable one

Johanna Konta has split from her coach, Wim Fissette, after less than a year together.

The British No1 linked up with the Belgian Fissette, who had previously worked with Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka, before the 2017 season.

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The Fiver | Having to put up with Riyad Mahrez functioning in hologram mode

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:56

In today’s Fiver: FA apologies, Leicester, LinkedIn, the Pard and fan-player chat

The FA is currently getting torched by evidence heard at the DCMS select committee into its Mark Sampson investigations. At the time of writing:

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Mourinho discusses reports regarding his Manchester United future – video

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 09:54

Speaking before his Manchester United side's Champions League match against Benfica, José Mourinho posited that the British media had taken comments he made about his future out of context. Mourinho claimed that Arsène Wenger is the last manager who'll last at a club at the top level for a long period of time, blaming the outside pressures of the job

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FA apologises to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence over Mark Sampson’s racial remarks

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 09:30

• New report by barrister finds Sampson made ill-judged attempts at humour
• FA chief executive Martin Glenn says sorry to England’s Aluko and Spence
• Katherine Newton concludes that Sampson is not a racist

The Football Association’s chief executive, Martin Glenn, has issued a full apology to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence after the reopened investigation into the Mark Sampson affair concluded that the now-deposed England Women’s manager did make discriminatory remarks to two of his players.

The third inquiry, conducted by the barrister Katharine Newton, has found that Sampson did tell Aluko to be careful her Nigerian relatives did not bring the Ebola virus to Wembley and also upset Spence, a mixed-raced player, by asking her how many times she had been arrested.

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Denmark Women’s World Cup qualifier in Sweden called off in pay dispute

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 09:01
• Last month’s friendly with Holland fell victim to players’ protest
• Danish FA and players’ association have been negotiating since last November

Denmark Women’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden has been cancelled because of a pay dispute.

The Danish team refused to play a friendly against Holland last month in protest over pay and conditions and the Danish Football Association (DBU) announced on its website on Wednesday that it had informed its Swedish counterpart that Friday’s match, scheduled to take place in Gothenburg, was off.

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