SPORTS DAY: England fans warned to cool it in Russia
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
England fans warned over flag-waving
Police chiefs have urged England fans attending the World Cup not to display the flag of St George over fears it will be seen as antagonistic to their Russian hosts. Mark Roberts of the National Police Chiefs’ Council is heading to Russia with a team of fellow officers to work with their Russian counterparts to protect up to 10,000 England fans. “I think people need to be really careful with flags. It can come across as almost imperialistic ... and can cause antagonism,” said Roberts. “We would not expect people to come across to this country, get drunk and drape flags on the Cenotaph (the memorial to Britain’s national war dead) so we need to extend the same courtesy when we go abroad.”
Alexander-Arnold named in youthful England squadLiverpool’s 19-year-old right back Trent Alexander-Arnold received a surprise call-up for England as manager Gareth Southgate put his faith in youth with his final 23-man squad for next month’s World Cup. Chelsea’s out-on-loan midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22, was also given a seat on the plane to Russia after impressing for Crystal Palace this season. Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill, whose place had been in doubt because of poor form, also makes the trip east. However, experienced goalkeeper Joe Hart and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere were both omitted.
Neymar admits: ‘Nobody is as scared as me’As Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, battles to be fit for Brazil’s World Cup campaign, he is aware of the pressure. The Paris Saint-Germain striker has not played since February, but knows that soccer-mad Brazil hopes he is fit to lead their team to glory in the World Cup. “I know that people are a little anxious, but nobody more than me, nobody is as nervous about my comeback and nobody is more scared than me,” said Neymar. The world’s most expensive player was injured on February 25 playing for PSG against Marseille in the French league.
Sporting Lisbon in shock after gang attack
A shocked Sporting Lisbon will play in Sunday’s Portuguese Cup final despite a horrific ordeal that saw a 50-strong gang of masked and hooded men brutally attack players and officials at training. Wearing T-shirts bearing the club’s emblem the mob invaded Sporting’s training ground on Tuesday and went on the rampage, terrorising players and personnel and vandalising dressing rooms.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
UFC to hold debut event in Russia
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) said on Wednesday it would hold its debut mixed martial arts event in Russia in September. “The demand from our fans to bring a live event to Russia has been overwhelming, and with the vast potential this market holds for us, we knew this was the perfect time to bring UFC Fight Night to Moscow,” said senior UFC official David Shaw. The Las Vegas-based UFC estimates a fan base in Russia of more than 22 million.
Sri Lanka reaps record profits despite shocker year
Sri Lanka’s cricket board on Wednesday announced a profit of $14-million last year, far above all previous records despite one of the worst on-field performances by the islanders in years. The board said it made a net profit in 2017 that was a staggering 33 times what it made the year before. Sources attributed the sharp rise in profits to a packed 2017 calendar which featured home series against Bangladesh, India and Zimbabwe. Earnings from the broadcasting of the Indian tour were thought to be a major contributor to the coffers, but Sri Lanka Cricket would not comment.
Romania appeal World Cup disqualification
Romania are to appeal a World Rugby ruling that saw them disqualified from next year’s World Cup. Russia were awarded a place at the 2019 World Cup in Japan after the rugby union international governing body sensationally disqualified Romania, Spain and Belgium on Tuesday. Russia had finished third in European qualifying for the World Cup but head to the tournament after Romania, who originally won the section, second-placed Spain and fourth-placed Belgium were all docked points for fielding ineligible players.
US police detain seven people with Volvo Ocean Race
Organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race have apologised after seven people connected with the international sailing race were arrested following an incident at a Newport, Rhode Island restaurant. “On Tuesday, following an incident in downtown Newport, seven people associated with the Volvo Ocean Race were detained by local police. All were released after pleading to misdemeanour in disorderly conduct,” the Newport Patch newspaper reported after receiving a statement from race officials.