SPORTS DAY: Zidane reckons Ronaldo will be fit for Reds
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Zidane confident Ronaldo will recover for final
Coach Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Zidane also said on Tuesday that Mohamed Salah deserves great credit for Liverpool’s surprise run in Europe, but insisted the match in Kiev will not be a contest of the Egyptian against Ronaldo. Zidane is confident his star player will recover, along with Isco and Dani Carvajal.
Russian FA fined for racist chants
Russia’s football association has been fined €25,000 following racist chants by supporters during a friendly between the World Cup hosts and France in March, Fifa said on Tuesday. Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele were allegedly targeted by racist chanting during the match in Saint Petersburg, a 3-1 victory for France.
North America World Cup bid vows record profit
Leaders of North America’s bid for the 2026 World Cup urged Fifa voters to ignore the “politics of the moment” on Tuesday as they promised to deliver a record-breaking multibillion-dollar profit for the global football showpiece. US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro said the 48-team tournament would hand world governing body Fifa a record $11-billion (9.25 billion euros) profit.
Equal gender pay for Kiwis
New Zealand’s football body announced a new deal on Tuesday that gives the national women’s team the same pay and conditions as the men’s side, becoming one of the world’s first countries to do so. Providing equality between the male All Whites and female Football Ferns was “a landmark moment for football in this country”, New Zealand Football said.
Mark promises ‘naked cartwheels’ if he retains titleNewly crowned world snooker champion Mark Williams has vowed to perform naked cartwheels if he repeats his stunning triumph next year — after stripping off in celebration of his nailbiting victory. Williams, 43, withstood a stirring fightback from John Higgins to land his third Crucible title on Monday, 15 years after his second. The 18-16 success made him the oldest winner of the tournament since 45-year-old Ray Reardon in 1978 and Williams fulfilled a promise to hold his press conference naked — although he wore a towel to protect his modesty.
Games could paralyse Tokyo’s famed subway
Tokyo’s subway system is famed for its cleanliness and efficiency but also its carriage-busting crowds, and a crush of visitors for the 2020 Olympics could paralyse it, a new study has warned. Professor Azuma Taguchi of Tokyo’s Chuo University used a mathematical model to predict the flow of passengers on a hypothetical day during the Summer Olympics, when some 1.3 million spectators might join eight million regular commuters in the greater Tokyo area. “Fatal congestion” could occur in stations nearest to the Games venues while major transfer stations and key lines could be paralysed by overcrowding.
Eight guilty in Australia’s ‘biggest’ doping scandal
Five Australian trainers and three stablehands face long bans after they were found guilty of doping horses on Tuesday in a case branded “probably the biggest scandal” to ever hit the nation’s thoroughbred racing industry. The eight, from the now-defunct Aquanita Racing stable, faced 271 charges and were part of a “long-running systematic conspiracy ... to obtain an unfair advantage in well over a hundred races over seven years”, Victoria state’s Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board said in its judgment.
Gatland names Wales squad
Wales coach Warren Gatland has named Cory Hill and Ellis Jenkins as co-captains of the 31-man squad for the tour to the US and Argentina next month, the Welsh Rugby Union said on Tuesday. Wales will take on South Africa in Washington DC on June 2 before they travel to Argentina for two Tests against the Pumas on June 9 and June 16.