Sala's body flown back to Argentina for funeral

The footballer's body has arrived back in Argentina ahead of a funeral on Saturday.



Ferrari hope new SF90 F1 car will end 10-year title drought

Ferrari's new F1 car is a "development of last year's, not a revolution" says team principal Mattia Binotto at its unveiling before the 2019 season.



Valencia and Denis Cheryshev deal Celtic harrowing Europa League defeat

Valencia’s passage to the last 16 of the Europa League already seems secure. On a bruising night for Brendan Rodgers and Celtic, the Spanish side cantered towards a victory which should render next week at the Mestalla a formality.That Valencia have superior resource to Celtic is hardly breaking news. Nonetheless, a team normally so ebullient at home were curiously flat and error-ridden. Long before full time it had become a question of how many Valencia were of a mind to score. They settled for two, which barring an unforeseen collapse will prove sufficient. Continue reading...



'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?



Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.



Colin Kaepernick reaches settlement with NFL over kneeling protest fallout

Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid settle collusion grievance with NFLParties have resolved grievances subject to confidentiality pactThe NFL and attorneys for Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid jointly announced on Friday afternoon they have settled a complaint of collusion by the players, who claimed the league’s owners blackballed them because they had protested by kneeling during the pre-game playing of the national anthem. Related: Did the NFL manage to silence Colin Kaepernick's protest at the Super Bowl? Continue reading...



Olivier Giroud’s backheel helps Chelsea see out first-leg win in Malmö

European competition has offered Maurizio Sarri some respite. Chelsea may not have dazzled in southern Sweden, and the Italian was infuriated by the late concession that has left the tie more delicately balanced than he would have hoped. But, in the context of the wounds inflicted recently on his team at Arsenal, Bournemouth and Manchester City, any victory away from home, however workmanlike, is to be cherished.Malmö’s late reward, taken neatly on the gallop by Anders Christiansen as he burst away from Mateo Kovacic and on to Markus Rosenberg’s pass, will pep Swedish belief in next week’s return leg. Sarri was still cursing that collective sloppiness when, in stoppage time, Ross Barkley was caught in possession and the home fans briefly, tantalisingly, even sensed they might pull level. That opportunity was snuffed out by a mess of yellow-shirted bodies, though the head coach, a man on edge, made his exasperation very clear. Continue reading...



In defence of Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole has won more FA Cups than any player in history. Isn’t it time we appreciated his achievements?By Sean Cole for WSC, of the Guardian Sport NetworkAshley Cole played for Derby County in the Championship last weekend, his first appearance in English football for almost five years. The 38-year-old, who has felt curiously rootless and unloved throughout his career, says this will be his final stop before retirement. Of the much-vaunted, and subsequently derided, golden generation, Cole was arguably the only one to live up to his billing. For several years at Arsenal and Chelsea he made a compelling case for being the world’s best left-back. While Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney were all overhyped at times, Cole was under-appreciated.There are several reasons why this might be the case, but there are clear parallels between him and Raheem Sterling. Both are outstanding black footballers, raised in London, who were branded greedy and irresponsible from a young age. Neither would claim to be entirely blameless, but the negative attention they have received from sections of the press has been wildly disproportionate. Continue reading...



The Spin | Sheer pace is sheer bliss though fast bowlers often blow hot and cold

Mark Wood’s Sunday spell in St Lucia was a refreshing reminder of how pace bowling turns a slow game into a fast oneThere are certain words that are crying out to have “sheer” in front of them. Sheer bliss. Sheer lunacy. Sheer pace.In cricket, sheer pace is sheer bliss, as long as it’s on your side. In St Lucia on Sunday evening England, who had been blown away in the first two Tests by a resurgent West Indies attack, finally produced a riposte. Mark Wood came on after 20 overs, when the game is inclined to nod off, and suddenly every delivery carried an electric charge. Bowling to Shai Hope, Wood beat the bat outside off stump with his first ball, and his second, and his third. The fourth was a bouncer, which Hope wisely ducked. The little box on the screen that clocks the bowler’s speed showed 145kph, or 90mph. A stiff breeze was helping, but then Wood, so often kept off the field by a dodgy ankle, deserved a fair wind. Continue reading...



Declan Rice's switch shows why dual nationalities should be respected | Eni Aluko

Many people believe it is about picking a country and sticking with it but when your heritage is dual it is trickyIt was intriguing to see the mixed reaction to Declan Rice’s decision to commit his international future to England over the Republic of Ireland. I don’t think people fully appreciate how difficult it can be to have two nationalities in football and the kind of stigma that can come with it – especially for someone who is only 20. Rice broached the issue of respect for his dual heritage so eloquently and honestly in his public statement, which I am sure will bring him respect for his decision in return.There will be a lot of Irish fans who were disappointed and offended by his decision but for me it is not necessarily a question of choosing an allegiance. There is an either/or culture in football that is polarising. Many believe it is about picking a side and sticking with it but when your heritage is essentially both it is difficult. For example, I’m both British and Nigerian. In the same way as someone such as Adam Lallana has family roots in Spain. If you dig a little deeper there are so many English players with Welsh or Scottish heritage. We’re not just one-dimensional. Raheem Sterling is another example. He is proud of his Jamaican roots but plays for England and is proud of that too. Continue reading...



Matti Nykänen, the Flying Finn who fell so far, so fast | Andy Bull

The ski-jumper, who won five Olympic medals, had an otherworldly talent but not the sense, or support, he needed to cope with the fame it won himMatti Nykänen used to fly so far, so fast that it felt as if he would never come down. When the Finn broke the world ski jump record for the fifth, and final, time at Planica in 1985 he was moving so quickly that the cameraman struggled to track him through the air.Watching the footage you wonder if he might disappear into the yonder off the far side of the screen. In those days, the mid-1980s, Nykänen was the best ski jumper in the world and almost unbeatable. The records were the least of it. He won five world titles, five Olympic medals, including three golds in one Games, and four World Cups. Continue reading...



Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

After Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title on Sunday, BBC Sport is asking you just who is the greatest F1 driver ever?



Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi told to stay patient despite lack of game-time

• Gianfranco Zola says: ‘He’s always on the edge of the team’• Chelsea and Malmö charged by Uefa after fans throw objectsGianfranco Zola has defended Chelsea’s infrequent use of Callum Hudson-Odoi since the forward’s failure to push through a move to Bayern Munich last month and suggested few teenagers at Europe’s elite clubs would have enjoyed as much game-time. Related: FA Cup fifth round: match previews for the weekend’s games Continue reading...



Colin Kaepernick: Former NFL quarterback settles 'collusion' case

Colin Kaepernick and former team-mate Eric Reid reach settlements with the NFL over 'collusion' cases against team owners.



Étienne Capoue’s strike for Watford leaves QPR to rue missed chances

Queens Park Rangers had to wait for this moment. Their previous appearance in the FA Cup fifth round had come at Wimbledon in 1997 and it is doubtful whether any club has since endured a more dismal record in the competition. The London club had won only four ties – each of them in the third round – before this season.Rangers promised to fight and they made light of a run of five consecutive Championship defeats that has sucked them down to 18th in the table to give their Premier League opponents a scare. Continue reading...



Sportswashing and the tangled web of Europe's biggest clubs

Governments wield power over many Champions League clubs and the ties that bind owners, sponsors and Uefa are strikingThe game is about glory, a wise man once said. For many years it has been about money, too. Right now an updated version of Danny Blanchflower’s famous quote would point out something else: that the game is also about politics and placement, about soft power, about presenting a face to the world.As the Champions League knockout stage kicks in, this element of Big Football is primed once again to take the main stage, the executive arm of a sport that has never looked so tangled. Continue reading...



Flamengo pay tribute to 10 teenage players who died in training ground fire

Flamengo players and fans are joined by Fluminense to pay tribute to the 10 teenage players who died in a training ground fire.



Sergio Ramos: Real Madrid defender 'had no choice' over controversial yellow card

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos says he "had no choice" but to make the foul that earned him a yellow card against Ajax.



Was Infantino just too busy to get involved in freeing Hakeem al-Araibi? | Marina Hyde

Fifa has a new human rights policy, yet its president appears to have been too caught up with other things to help out a footballer jailed under false pretencesTo the Middle East, where Fifa’s brilliant plan to bring peace via the medium of football continues apace. Last month, Qatar’s extraordinary win in the Asian Cup was noisily welcomed by Fifa, presumably as retrospective justification for its decision to award the tiny Gulf state the 2022 World Cup. And in some of the regional countries currently blockading Qatar, the headlines on news coverage of the final show just how close the whole peace-dream is to becoming a reality. Which is to say, not very close, if they still can’t mention the match winner in a match report. As the UAE’s Gulf News had it: “Japan come up short in Asian Cup final.” That said, it did have two articles about the final. The headline on the other was: “The Samurai’s extra confidence caused their loss.” Related: Privileged sport officials willing to sacrifice Hakeem al-Araibi's life should be expunged | Craig Foster Continue reading...