• Tottenham's Dier gets four-game ban for confronting fan
    LONDON, July 8 (Reuters): Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier has been banned for four games and fined by the FA over a confrontation with a fan after the London side's defeat on penalties by Norwich City in the FA Cup fifth round in March.   Following the penalty shootout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, video footage showed England international Dier climbing over seats and confronting a home supporter before he was restrained by security guards and other fans.
  • Struggling Villa deserve to be higher in league, says Smith
    (Reuters): Aston Villa's points tally is not a fair reflection of recent performances but they will take heart from a gritty display in the defeat at Liverpool last weekend as they battle to avoid relegation, manager Dean Smith said on Wednesday.   Villa, who are third-bottom with 27 points, four adrift of the safety zone, have failed to win a Premier League game since January and have just two points from their last nine matches.   "Our form in term
  • Stuart Broad dropped as England bat vs West Indies
    SOUTHAMPTON, England, July 8 (Reuters): Seamer Stuart Broad was left out of a home test match for the first time since 2012 on Wednesday as England opted for pace against the West Indies in the first international cricket match to be played since the COVID-19 outbreak.   The first of a three-test series, cricket's first action after almost four months, was, almost predictably, delayed by rain and is now scheduled to start at 1300GMT.   England are captain
  • Milan coach Pioli making it harder to justify his removal
    (Reuters): AC Milan are widely reported to have reached a deal for German coach Ralf Rangnick to take over next season but their impressive form under Stefano Pioli is making it increasingly difficult to justify removing the incumbent.   Milan have beaten Serie A's leading pair Juventus and Lazio in the last four days and Pioli -- whose contract runs until the end of next season -- has got his young side playing the high-tempo game often associated with Rangnick him
  • Former England keeper James eyes coaching role in England
    LONDON, July 8 (Reuters): Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper David James says lockdown has given him plenty of time to indulge in his passion for art and also plot a move into management.   The 49-year-old, capped 53 times, cut his managerial teeth with Kerala Blasters in south India, but now believes it is time to look closer to home.   James, whose father is Jamaican, is impressed by the Premier League's support of the Black Lives Matter movement a
  • Manchester United boss Solskjaer wary of Grealish threat
    (Reuters):- Manchester United must be wary of the threat posed by Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish in Thursday's Premier League clash at Villa Park, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Wednesday.   Grealish, 24, scored a sensational goal in the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in December and British media have strongly linked the English midfielder with a move to Old Trafford.   "I think the last game they caused us some problems, Grealish off the left and Anw
  • Djokovic accuses critics of 'witch-hunt', undecided on U.S. Open
    BELGRADE, July 8 (Reuters): Novak Djokovic has accused critics of subjecting him to a "witch-hunt" after his regional Adria Tour tennis event ended in a novel coronavirus fiasco and said he was still uncertain whether he would play at the Aug. 31-Sept 13 U.S. Open.   Images and videos of the players hugging at the net, playing basketball together and partying at the tournament were posted on social media.   World number one Djokovic, fellow Serb Vik
  • Dancing robots replace fans at Japanese baseball game
    TOKYO, July 8 (Reuters): With their stadium devoid of fans due to coronavirus restrictions, Japanese baseball team Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have come up with an imaginative replacement: dancing robots.   Before their most recent Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) game against Rakuten Eagles on Tuesday, over 20 robots danced to the team's fight song on a podium in the otherwise empty stand.   Two different robots, including SoftBank's humaniod robot '
  • Soderling says free of anxiety after nine-year struggle
    (Reuters): Former world tennis number four Robin Soderling says he has come through a nine-year battle with anxiety and panic attacks and has called for athletes' mental health to be given more focus.   Soderling, twice a runner-up at the French Open, was struck down by glandular fever after winning the Swedish Open in Bastad in July 2011 and did not play again, retiring four years later.   The Swede said he was also battling mental health issues since 20
  • Watford's Pearson says Welbeck's hard work paying off
    (Reuters): Watford striker Danny Welbeck will view his goal in Tuesday's 2-1 Premier League victory over Norwich City as a step in the right direction after an injury-plagued start to life at the club, manager Nigel Pearson has said.   Welbeck registered his first league goal for Watford since joining them at the start of the campaign, with a spectacular bicycle kick winner in the second half.   Having struggled with injury during his five-year spell at f
  • Australian snowboarder Pullin drowns while spear fishing
    MELBOURNE, July 8 (Reuters): Australia's double world champion snowboarder Alex Pullin drowned while spear fishing off a Gold Coast beach on Wednesday, plunging the country's winter sports community into mourning.   Pullin, Australia's flagbearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, was found by a snorkeller on an artificial reef just before 11 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) in waters off Palm Beach, state broadcaster ABC reported.   Lifeguards and p
  • Sourav Ganguly to pit wits against Indian fans in fantasy competition
    (Reuters): BCCI president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly will don the selector's hat when he picks his best 11 players from the England and West Indies squads for a fantasy cricket competition ahead of the first test in Southampton on Wednesday.   International cricket, which ground to a halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will return when England host West Indies in three test matches beginning with the clash at the Ageas Bowl.   Ganguly
  • Chelsea close in on Champions League spot with 3-2 win at Palace
    LONDON, July 8 (Reuters): Chelsea kept up their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League and Champions League football next season with a 3-2 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham.   The visitors took a two-goal lead inside half an hour through Giroud and Pulisic but Palace responded with a Wilfried Zaha goal before the break. Abraham made it 3-1 after 71 minutes only for Chris
  • Golf: Ryder Cup to be postponed to 2021: ESPN
    (Reuters): This year's Ryder Cup will be postponed to 2021 and next year's Presidents Cup will also be moved back by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN reported on Tuesday.   The biennial Ryder Cup, which pits a U.S. team against Europe, was scheduled to take place from Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin but will instead be played in the same time frame next year.   The 2022 event to be held in Rome would also be pushed back by a
  • Europe's top-flight clubs face four billion euros in lost revenue due to COVID-19
    BERN, July 7 (Reuters): The novel coronavirus pandemic is likely to cost Europe's top-flight football clubs around 4 billion euros ($4.52 billion) in lost revenue, a study published by the association which represents them said on Tuesday.   The analysis by the European Club Association (ECA) also warned that the biggest losses would be felt next season, even if it is played in full.   "The financial impact of COVID-19 on European clubs, as far as we
  • Alonso set for F1 return with Renault in 2021: report
    (Reuters): Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is set to return to Formula One with Renault in 2021, the BBC reported on Tuesday.   Alonso, who left Formula One at the end of 2018 after a final season with McLaren, won his championship titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006.   The Spaniard, 38, has made no secret of his desire to return to the Formula One grid, with the French manufacturer having a vacancy.   Alonso could join Frenchman Esteban O
  • Aluko wants 30% BAME representation at top levels of UK Sport
    (Reuters): Former England soccer international Eniola Aluko has called for an increase in Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) racial diversity at the top level of UK Sport to 30%.   The lack of ethnic minority representation in national sports governing bodies has come to light through the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks.   A report by The Telegraph ne
  • Counties agree to play red-ball and white-ball format in truncated season
    (Reuters): England's 18 counties have agreed to play red-ball and white-ball cricket during this summer's shortened domestic season, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Tuesday.   A majority vote was reached at a meeting of the First Class County (FCC) chairs after the ECB Board last month gave the go-ahead to start the domestic season on Aug. 1.   The men's County Championship was initially scheduled to begin on April 12, but was de
  • Young Gaza amputees play soccer again after coronavirus curbs eased
    GAZA, july 7 (Reuters): Young Palestinian soccer players, all amputees and many on crutches, were back on the field in Gaza on Tuesday for the first time since coronavirus restrictions were eased in the territory.   Their coach said some of the 26 athletes lost limbs to Israeli fire in Gaza, where Hamas, the ruling Islamist militant group, and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.   "We are now back on the field. We are training and keen to play in t
  • Root tells stand-in skipper Stokes 'Do it your way'
    (Reuters): Stand-in England captain Ben Stokes says regular skipper Joe Root has given him a simple piece of advice ahead of Wednesday's first test with West Indies -- do it your way.   With Root missing for the birth of his second child, Stokes will get to pit himself against West Indies counterpart Jason Holder.   "The best message I've received was when I got my photos done yesterday, with the blazer. Rooty just left a message on the hanger wh