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SPORTS DAY: Hazard lights up Belgium’s path to the final


SPORTS DAY: Hazard lights up Belgium’s path to the final

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports reporter

Hazard’s Belgium block France path
Eden Hazard and a brilliant Belgian generation stand between France and a place in the World Cup final as the countries bring their historic rivalry to Tuesday’s first semifinal in Saint Petersburg.Not since 1986 have Belgium made it this far at the World Cup, losing to a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina in Mexico and then going down 4-2 to France in the third-place playoff, the last competitive meeting of the nations. In the years since, France have won one World Cup and one European Championship, and lost the 2006 World Cup final. Now, with Kylian Mbappe their new standard-bearer, they are dreaming of getting there again.Wear your waistcoat, demands The SunGareth Southgate’s wearing of a waistcoat throughout England’s run to the World Cup semifinal for the first time in 28 years has inspired a call from The Sun newspaper for fans to wear one on Wednesday as well. #WAISTCOAT WEDNESDAY is the hashtag The Sun deploys in its headline and calls on fans to Dress like Boss for Semi. “The Sun today urges Three Lions fans everywhere to smarten up and follow our fashion leader into battle in Moscow,” is its tub-thumping message.
Wimbledon won’t budge on World Cup clash
Wimbledon chiefs insisted again on Monday that the men’s final will start at its traditional time despite it clashing with a potential England World Cup triumph. The All England Club has come under increasing pressure to rethink its 2pm start time for Sunday’s men’s singles final with the football showpiece in Moscow kicking off at 4pm UK time.
Spanish name new coachThe Spanish Football Federation has appointed Luis Enrique as Spain’s new national team coach on a two-year deal, the president of the federation Luis Rubiales said during a news conference on Monday.
Jordaan in line for Fifa job
Danny Jordaan has been asked to avail himself for a top position in Fifa that could see the SA Football Association (Safa) president follow in the footsteps of German legend Franz Beckenbauer and French counterpart Michel Platini. Beckenbauer and Platini ascended to seats on the then Fifa executive committee — now the Fifa council — after leading their countries’ winning World Cup bids, for France 1998 and Germany 2006. Jordaan spearheaded South Africa’s 2006 and 2010 World Cup bids. The position became available after  Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi was caught accepting a $65,000 bribe in a sting operation. The elections will be held in Cairo on September 30.
Federer downs MannarinoChampion Roger Federer’s pursuit of a record ninth Wimbledon title gathered momentum on Monday as he reached the quarterfinals with a 6-0 7-5 6-4 win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. Federer was in blinding form during the first set, which blazed by in 16 minutes. And Dominika Cibulkova launched a scathing attack on officials after a line call controversy marred her 6-4 6-1 rout of Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei. Cibulkova was furious when Hsieh successfully persuaded the umpire to replay a point that was initially called in the Slovakian’s favour and would have given her three set points in the opening set.
Wales appoint Gatland successor
Wayne Pivac, head coach of Welsh rugby union side Scarlets, will take over from Wales coach Warren Gatland after he steps down following the 2019 World Cup in Japan, Wales Rugby Union said on Monday.
Gibson not sold on two spinnersConventional wisdom says two spinners are a good idea on the subcontinent‚ but Ottis Gibson isn’t buying that ahead of the first Test in Galle on Thursday. And if the conditions demand an additional slow poisoner, a batsman and not a fast bowler will make way for him. Gibson’s logic is rooted in the equal and opposite effect of Asian players growing up on pitches that offer more turn than seam movement — their batsmen know how to deal with the turning ball.
Australia sweat over injury to key batsman
Depleted Australia have concerns over another possible injury to one of their Test players with long-serving batsman Shaun Marsh sustaining a shoulder problem while playing in a Twenty20 match for Glamorgan in Cardiff on Sunday. The 35-year-old was helped off the field after landing awkwardly while trying to stop a boundary in the Welsh county’s defeat to Sussex in the encounter.
Hamilton accepts Raikkonen’s apology 
F1 champion Lewis Hamilton has accepted an apology from Kimi Raikkonen and recognised that their first lap collision in Sunday’s British Grand Prix was a racing incident and not deliberate. The Mercedes driver, who fought back from last to second after being sent spinning at the third corner by Ferrari’s Finn, had spoken immediately after the race of the Italian team’s “interesting tactics”.
Open prize fund grows
The prize fund for this year’s British Open has increased by $250,000 to a total of $10.5-million, with the winner set to take home $1.89-million, organisers Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews said on Monday.
Kim sets LPGA mark
South Korea’s Kim Sei-young Kim shattered the LPGA’s scoring record on Sunday while winning the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Oneida. She closed with a seven-under-par 65, leaving her at 31-under 257 for the tournament, beating the previous LPGA 72-hole record  set by Annika Sorenstam in 2001.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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