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a weekly feature on the latest sports news


Dateline: 02.10.09


England suffer more injuries

Michael Owen’s World Cup dream has suffered a major setback after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the striker would be out for “two to three weeks” with a groin injury.

It ends any lingering hope Owen had of being involved in England’s final two qualifiers against Ukraine and Belarus next month.

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe looks set to miss Saturday’s trip to Bolton and could be a doubt for Fabio Capello’s latest England squad.

The in-form striker sustained a broken hand in the 5-0 romp against Burnley at White Hart Lane last weekend and was forced off in the 57th minute.

Longest serving manager

Arsene Wenger is now the longest-serving manager in Arsenal history, and the man behind his appointment has hailed his era in charge.

David Dein, former vice-chairman of the Gunners, instigated the move to bring the Frenchman to Highbury in 1996 and many questioned it.

Wenger was a relative unknown in English football, despite having a fine coaching pedigree, as he arrived at Arsenal from Japanese football.

Damages for Keegan

Kevin Keegan has been awarded £2million damages plus interest after winning his case for constructive dismissal against Newcastle.   An independent arbitration panel convened by the Premier League heard the case following a claim from Keegan.    The dispute relates to the circumstances in which the ex-England manager departed St James’ Park in 2008.

Champions League round up

Man Utd came back to win against the German champions as they took the lead, against the run of play. United hit back with a Giggs deflected free kick and a flowing move saw Carrick score to win the match. It was Ryan Giggs’s 150 goal for United.

AC Milan slumped to a shock UEFA Champions League loss to FC Zurich in the San Siro to heap more pressure on under-fire coach Leonardo.

Real Madrid aim to continue their winning start to the season with three UEFA Champions League points at home to Marseille, Ronaldo being unstoppable by scoring two of the goals, Kaka scoring the other.

Manuel Pellegrini has enjoyed a fantastic start to his reign as coach and boasts a 100 per cent record in La Liga after five games, with Real having scored 16 goals in the process.

Barcelona secured their first UEFA Champions League win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi gave the defending champions the lead with a typically precise finish in the first half before substitute Pedro Rodriguez sealed the three points after capping off a smart move as the Catalan giants top Group F.

Chelsea made it two wins from two games in Group D of the UEFA Champions League with a 1-0 win at Apoel Nicosia.

A well crafted goal from Nicolas Anelka after 18 minutes was the difference between the sides but it was not plain sailing for the Blues as they resisted intense second-half pressure.


Wednesday 30th September

Bayern Munich 0 – 0 Juventus

Bordeaux 1 – 0 Maccabi Haifa

CSKA Moscow 2 – 1 Besiktas

Man Utd 2 – 1 Wolfsburg

AC Milan 0 – 1 FC Zurich

Real Madrid 3 – 0 Marseille

Apoel Nicosia 0 – 1 Chelsea

FC Porto 2 – 0 Atletico Madrid

Tuesday 29th September

Fiorentina 2 – 0 Liverpool

Debrecen 0 – 4 Lyon

Rubin Kazan 1 – 1 Inter Milan

Barcelona 2 – 0 Dynamo Kiev

Unirea Urziceni 1 – 1 VfB Stuttgart

Rangers 1 – 4 Sevilla

Arsenal 2 – 0 Olympiacos

AZ 1 – 1 Standard Liege


Australia will face England for a place in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy following a nail-biting two-wicket victory over Pakistan at Centurion.

England will wait until the morning of the match to decide on the participation of Stuart Broad and Matt Prior in Friday’s ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against Australia.

Broad has been diagnosed with a torn muscle in his left buttock after having a scan on Thursday morning.


Fernando Alonso has said he is fully aware there will be pressure on him to deliver Ferrari world championship success.

Speaking at Suzuka, venue for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, the Spaniard said that success will be expected from the partnership between a double world champion and Formula One’s most successful team.

The 28-year-old predicted that Ferrari will be the last team he drives for in F1.

Championship leader Jenson Button and title rival Rubens Barrichello have each been penalised five starting places for the Japanese Grand Prix. They have each been penalised five starting places for the Japanese Grand Prix. Button is down to 12th and Barrichello to 10th on the grid for Sunday’s race.

Button, championship leader, has revealed he will not be taking any “unusual risks” in his bid for the Formula One world title. 

The Briton is closing in on Lewis Hamilton‘s crown with a 15-point advantage over Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello and only three races remaining.

Adrian Sutil, Force India, was quickest in a wet second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday. His effort of one minute 47.261 seconds was over half-a-second quicker than Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.


Thomas Dekker has been sacked by Silence-Lotto after testing positive for EPO. Dekker, 25, was caught when the International Cycling Union re-tested an out-of-competition sample from 2007. The B sample confirmed the initial finding and the Dutchman has owned up to a “one time mistake” and vowed to accept his punishment – which is likely to be a two-year ban.

Team Columbia’s Mark Cavendish has withdrawn from the Paris-Tours one-day classic due to a lung infection. The ailment caused the British rider to miss the recent world championships and his team have now confirmed he will not be ready for the Paris-Tours on October 11.


Brazil will become the first South American country to host the Olympics after the city of Rio de Janeiro was chosen to stage the 2016 Games.

Rio won a majority of the 95 votes at the meeting in Copenhagen, eliminating Madrid in the final round. Tokyo and Chicago had already been knocked out.


World-record holder Paula Radcliffe will attempt to win her fourth New York City Marathon in November, becoming the first person to achieve the feat since 1982.

The last four-time winner of the race was Norway’s Grete Waitz, who went on to win a total of nine marathons across a decade.


The GB Judo World Cup event at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena saw Britain make a return to form with a nine medal haul, including four golds.

Impressive performances, with Euan Burton, Sarah Adlington, Sarah Clark and Kimberley Renicks all striking gold, helped to lessen painful memories of the World Championships in Holland last month, where Britain claimed just one medal.


Dateline: 01.10.09


The latest UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE  results (click to enlarge):


Dateline: 28.09.09


Manchester United are back at the summit of the Premier league on goal difference after their 2-0 success away to Stoke, with Ryan Giggs stepping off the bench to inspire the Red Devils, as Wigan stunned the 10-man Chelsea at the DW Stadium.

Fernando Torres hit a hat trick as Liverpool trounced troubled Hull city 6-1, banishing the memory of their home draw with the Tigers last term. Merseyside neighbours Everton handed pointless Portsmouth their seventh successive defeat at Fratton Park despite producing a much improved display. They were given a standing ovation by the Pompey faithful as if they had won the last seven games.

Robbie keane helped himself to a four goal haul to get Spurs back to winning ways as Burnley’s away form struggles in the Premier League continued with a 5-0 drubbing at White Hart Lane, while Arsenal won at Fulham, and Bolton edged past Birmingham at St Andrews with 10-man Blackburn grabbed the points against Aston Villa with a late penalty.

Scores: Portsmouth 0 Everton 1 / Birmingham 1 Bolton / Blackburn 2 Aston Villa 1 / Liverpool 6 Hull City 1 / Stoke 0 Man Utd 2 / Tottenham 5 Burnley 0 / Wigan 3 Chelsea 1 / Fulham 0 Arsenal 1 / Sunderland 5 Wolves 2


Ferrari have announced that double world champion Fernando Alonso will join them for 2010 from Renault, with Kimi Raikkonen making way.

Ferrari said the Spaniard had signed a three-year contract, with another two as an option, and that he would partner Brazilian Felipe Massa.


McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to his second win of the season with a commanding victory in the Singapore Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion made a clean start and although he was put under pressure by Rosberg and Vettel, the British driver never looked like surrendering the lead.

After a below par qualifying, championship leader Jenson Button gained a crucial fifth place finishing ahead of Brawn team mate and title rival Barrechello.


1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 1hr 56mins 06.337secs,

2 Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:56:18.971,

3 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:56:22.961,

4 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1:56:26.598,

5 Jenson Button (Gbr) Brawn GP 1:56:36.352,

6 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Brawn GP 1:56:38.195,

7 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren 1:56:42.494,

8 Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:57:01.391,

9 Kazuki Nakajima (Jpn) Williams 1:57:02.391,

10 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:57:05.229


Donnington is on the verge of losing its contract to hold the British Grand Prix, as its owner, Donnington Ventures, has less than a week to stump the bank guarantee of £80 million and must be produced by Saturday of this week.


Floyd Mayweather Jr. made an impressive return to the ring after a 21-month layoff with a unanimous points victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.

The 32-year-old dominated all 12 rounds of the non-title welterweight contest and made full use of both his left jab and agile movement at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.


Mission accomplished. England made hard work of it but eventually overhauled their modest target of 177 with 10 overs to spare. The result allows England to avoid the embarrassment of a 7-0 whitewash – a 6-1 reverse sounds so much better. It also brings the curtain down on the international summer.


New Zealand joined England in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy with a four wicket victory over Andrew Strauss’ side in Johannesburg. A match-winning opening stand of 84 from Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill was enough to set the Kiwis on their way to success after England failed by some way to match Sunday’s hugely impressive batting display against South Africa.


Tiger Woods believes his $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot is just reward for his efforts at the end of a year which saw him secure six victories.

The world number one was confirmed as 2009 FedEx Cup champion after finishing second behind Phil Mickelson at the Tour Championship.

It was Woods’ second win in the three-year history of the event, having missed last year’s play-off series due to reconstructive knee surgery.


World number three Elena Dementieva was the latest top-ranked player to be dumped from the Pan Pacific Open following her loss to Kateryna Bondarenko.

Reigning Olympic champion Dementieva was knocked out after a 6-2 6-7 6-1 defeat in the second round – and with Caroline Wozniacki retiring hurt and Vera Zvonareva also crashing out the Tokyo tournament has now lost its top six seeds.

Dementieva, Wozniacki and Zvonareva follow world number one Dinara Safina, second seed Venus Williams and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who were also tripped up in their opening matches after receiving first-round byes.


Dateline: 14.08.09


It’s that time of the year when the F1 teams begin to consider their driver line-up for next year’s Championship. Commonly called the ‘silly season’.

BRAWN GP are the current leaders of the World Championship, Brawn make for an attractive destination. Jenson Button is committed to the team – why would he want to leave when Ross Brawn has given him something that Williams, Renault and Honda could not? – but his team-mate’s seat is up for grabs. There is little chance of Rubens Barrichello staying on.

Felipe Massa is “good and motivated to get back as soon as possible”, according to Michael Schumacher. However, the seven time F1 champion will not be substituting for Massa at the Valencia Grand Prix. In a communiqué, Schumacher admitted that the motorbike accident he had last February “prevent me from competing.”

While the majority of the F1 drivers will soon be returning to work following the summer break, Massa will remain at home in Brazil as he continues to recovery from his Hungarian qualifying accident. Massa suffered head trauma that included skull fractures and a brain concussion when he was hit on the helmet by a spring that had come loose from a rival’s car.


International news

Jermain Defoe insists he will not be taking his place in Fabio Capello‘s England squad for granted.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker bagged a brace on Wednesday as he helped England recover from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against Holland in Amsterdam.

Gordon Smith has stressed that George Burley‘s position as Scotland manager will not be reviewed until after the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Scotland suffered a 4-0 defeat against Norway on Wednesday night to leave their chances of reaching next summer’s tournament in the balance.

Club news

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United’s main title challengers will be the established Premier League powers.

The Red Devils begin their campaign for a fourth successive title with Sunday’s home meeting against Birmingham City


Marcus Trescothick has said he will not make a comeback for England in the deciding Ashes Test at The Oval next week.

The Somerset batsman has been mentioned alongside the likes of Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key as a possibility for a recall for England’s must-win match against Australia.


Tiger Woods moved ominously to the top of the leader board after the first round of the USPGA Championship on a day when his ongoing rivalry with Padraig Harrington dominated proceedings at Hazeltine National.

The duo memorably locked horns at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and, as at Firestone; it was Woods who just got the better of his playing partner as he fired a bogey-free 67 to set the early pace.


WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has told David Haye to forget about fighting him or his brother Wladimir in the near future.

Vitali has been left fuming by the actions of Haye, claiming the former cruiserweight champion backed out of deals to fight against both brothers.

Women’s Olympic boxing

Britain’s women boxers have been given the green light to compete for gold at the London 2012 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board gave women’s boxing the go-ahead for the upcoming London Games on Thursday.

The IOC executive board also recommended golf and rugby sevens for inclusion in the Games from 2016


Andy Murray produced an outstanding performance to beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal.

The Scot, who had lacked consistency in his previous outings in the tournament, dominated throughout in a hugely impressive 6-1 6-3 win over the world number 29.

Update, Yesterday at Masters 1000 in Montreal

Rafa Nadal, whose expected return to top class tennis after two months away because of knee injuries, had his No.2 spot taken from him by Andy Murray, who beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfrield Tsonga, 6-4 y 7-6 (10-8). Nadal lost in quarter finals against Argentine Juan Martín del Potro.

The final, to be played today, Sunday 16th, is between Murray and the winner of Del Potro v. Andy Roddick.


Phil Taylor was at his awesome best as he crushed Terry Jenkins 18-4 to win his tenth World Matchplay crown in Sunday’s final in Blackpool. Jenkins simply had no answer to Taylor’s relentless scoring power as The Power landed ten maximums and finished with a 106 three-dart average.


Ronnie O’Sullivan has been fined by World Snooker for prematurely conceding a frame in last year’s UK Championships. The 33-year-old has been ordered to pay a fine of £300 and £1,000 in costs for his mid-match walkout against Joe Perry. O’Sullivan left the table at 23-0 down in the second round clash after flicking the white ball with his cue to concede the 12th frame.


Dateline: 05.08.09


Michael Schumacher‘s much-anticipated Formula One comeback remains conditional upon him passing medical checks on his neck, his spokesperson has admitted.

The seven-time World Champion, who is set to replace the injured Felipe Massa at this month’s European Grand Prix in Valencia, suffered a neck injury in a motorbike accident in Spain in February.

Donnington Park has stepped up their preparations to stage the British Grand Prix next year. Simon Gillet, CEO of Donnington Ventures Leisure Ltd. Is asking Red grouse to oversee the multi million pound revamp of the Leicestershire circuit


England captain Andrew Strauss has insisted that Andrew Flintoff will not be selected purely on emotional grounds.

Flintoff has been battling with a troublesome knee injury throughout the Ashes – with the all-rounder clearly struggling during the final day of the third Test.

Flintoff, though, has so often been England’s talisman – and given his performance with the ball at Lord’s and the bat at Edgbaston, it would be tempting to select the 31-year-old even if he is just only 75 per cent fit.

ECB chairmen, Giles Clarke, has written in the programme for the fourth npower Test, starting on Thursday, calling for respect to be shown to the Ozzie captain Ricky Ponting, who has been booed pantomime fashion throughout this series


Rafa Benitez believes prospective new signing Alberto Aquilani is a player who will excite the Liverpool supporters.

Roma midfielder Aquilani has been earmarked as a replacement for Xabi Alonso after the Spain international completed his protracted move to Real Madrid on Wednesday evening. Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood insists Cesc Fabregas will not be leaving the club after the Gunners captain was linked with AC Milan.

Following the departures of Kolo Touré and Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City, reports had claimed that Fabregas could be the next big name to leave Emirates Stadium.

Italian giants Milan were rumoured to be planning a £30million bid for the Spain international, who is under contract to Arsenal until 2014.

John Barnes, the mercurial footballer of Liverpool and England fame, has become the new manager of Tranmere Rovers, and has a tough job with this one. He can only bring in free transfers and loan signings, having no money to buy players. Also the club has had to reduce the wage bill by about a third and lost five of their main players. A long way from the higher echelons of the premier league and big money.


Tiger Woods admits he has surprised himself by how quickly he has returned to winning ways since his reconstructive knee surgery.

The world number one was sidelined for nine months after undergoing surgery to repair cruciate ligament damage following his remarkable triumph at last year’s US Open.

He returned to action at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the end of February and has subsequently gone on to record four victories on the PGA Tour.


Dateline: 25.07.09


Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has held talks with Real Madrid target Xabi Alonso and has urged the midfielder to stay at Anfield.

Spanish giants Real have made no secret of their desire to take the £35million-rated Reds star to the Bernabeu as they look to continue lavish summer spending.

David Beckham has been fined by Major League Soccer following his ugly confrontation with Los Angeles Galaxy fans earlier this week.

MLS commissioner Don Garber dished out a $1,000 (£609) penalty (that should dent his spending money) to the former England captain this evening.


Freddie’s knighthood can’t be far away, can it?

I think we all knew that one wicket was all that England needed to spur them onto victory on the final day of the second Test at Lord’s and trust Andrew Flintoff to get it in his first over.

As it turned out the overnight break worked in England’s favour rather than Australia’s. It gave the bowlers a chance to rest, while Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin had to start all over again.

Team for third test

England will not name an extra batsman in their squad for the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

National selector Geoff Miller is likely to announce a 13-man party on Sunday morning that will not include the injured Kevin Pietersen.


Tom Watson bounced back from his Open Championship heartache by carding a first round of 67 at the Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale on Thursday.

The 59-year-old came within a whisker of becoming the oldest-ever major winner last weekend before enduring play-off agony as Stewart Cink got the better of him at Turnberry.


David Haye admits it is going to be hairy going in with man mountain Nikolai Valuev – in more ways than one!

The Londoner will challenge the seven-foot tall WBA heavyweight champion on November 7.


Alonso takes pole at the Hungarian Grand Prix with a stunning last lap in the final qualifying.

Massa was rushed to hospital by helicopter after debris from Barrichellos’ car hit him on the chin whilst qualifying. He is said to be ok and will start tenth on the grid tomorrow

Hot on the heels of his first grand prix victory, Mark Webber has signed a new contract with Red Bull Racing.

The Australian, who won the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring the weekend before last, will stay put until the end of the 2010 season.

Teenage rookie Jaime Alguersuari has shrugged off claims that he is a danger to other drivers at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 19-year-old Spaniard is set to become the youngest driver in the sport’s history on Sunday when he makes his race debut for Toro Rosso.


Danny Cipriani insists he remains determined to force his way back into England manager Martin Johnson’s plans next season.

The 21-year-old is not currently part of Johnson’s Elite Player Squad and missed the senior side’s tour of Argentina, featuring instead for the second-string Saxons in the Churchill Cup.

The Wasps now back finds himself well down the pecking order for England’s number ten shirt having been hailed as one of the most promising players of his generation.



Phil Taylor continued his quest for a 10th World Matchplay title with a 16-3 demolition of Stoke rivals Adrian Lewis in their quarterfinal clash.

‘The Power’ was once again in ominous form at the Winter Gardens, averaging 109 on his way to a victory, which sets-up an appetising semi-final clash with Mervyn King.



With the tour to finish in Paris on Sunday, Mark Cavendish claimed his fifth stage victory in this year’s Tour de France with another perfect sprint in Jallieu-Aubenas.

Cavendish took advantage of Team Columbia’s lead out to hit the front in the closing stages of the 178-kilometre route from Bourgoin

Alberto Contador retained the yellow jersey despite being caught on the wrong side of a split in the main bunch.

His Astana team-mate Lance Armstrong, third overall, was the beneficiary, picking up four seconds on all his rivals for a podium spot

Lance Armstrong will quit Astana to set up a United States-based team in 2010.

The seven-time Tour de France winner, who returned to the saddle this season after three years in retirement, is to form his new line-up in partnership with RadioShack – a consumer electronics company based in Texas.


Usain Bolt roared to another impressive victory at the Aviva London Grand Prix last night as a drugs controversy swirled around his country

Five minor Jamaican athletes have tested positive for banned drugs but Bolt, the Worlds’ number one sprinter, ignored the shock news with a stunning 100m win in 9.91 secs that had the Crystal Palace crowd on its feet.

Bolt said he had heard about the rumour but all he knew was that it was not him.


Dateline: 20.07.09


Roque Santa Cruz has welcomed the signing of fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor at Manchester City.

The Togo international sealed his transfer from Arsenal to Eastlands on Saturday for a reported fee of £25million.

Liverpool star Xabi Alonso has admitted he is flattered to be linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Big-spending Real have been courting Alonso all summer as they look to rebuild their squad after a disappointing campaign last term.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema have already arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer and Alonso is the next player in Real president Florentino Perez’s sights.


Second nPower Test Match

Lord’s – Day Four

England 425 (A J Strauss 161, A N Cook 95, B W Hilfenhaus 4-103)

2ND innings 311-6 dec (M J Prior 61, P D Collingwood 54)

Australia 215 (M E K Hussey 51, J M Anderson 4-55)

2ND innings 313-5 (M J Clarke 125 no, B J Haddin 80 no)

The second Ashes Test looks set for a thrilling final day after Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin held up England’s victory charge at Lord’s.

The duo shared an unbroken stand of 185 to help Australia recover from 128-

5 to 313-5 having been set the small matter of 522 for victory


Tour de France

Alberto Contador seized the yellow jersey in spectacular style by winning the 15th stage of the Tour de France.

The Spaniard left his rivals for dead with a superb solo attack on the climb towards the finish at the Swiss resort of Verbier

Perhaps crucially Lance Armstrong was left behind by the stunning break by his Astana team-mate


Amir Khan has won his first world title.

The man who would be king was crowned WBA light-welterweight champion after out-pointing Andreas Kotelnik at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

Khan turned in a masterful display to take a unanimous decision, 120-108, 118-111, 118-111 and become the third youngest Briton to win a world title, at the tender age of 22


The Open at Turnberry

Stewart Cink claimed his first major title as he beat Tom Watson in a four-hole play-off at Turnberry to win the 138th Open Championship.

Watson had looked poised to become the oldest-ever major champion as he headed down the 18th hole with a one-shot lead over the field.

But after his approach had run through the back of the green, he left himself a six-foot putt for par and victory and was unable to hole it.

Sadly for the 59-year-old American it was then that his dream of a sixth Open title all but died as his game rather fell apart in the play-off with Cink triumphing by an emphatic six-shot margin

Collated final round scores in the 138th Open Championship,

The Ailsa Championship Course, Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland

(Gbr & Irl unless stated), (x) denotes amateurs, Par 70

278 Stewart Cink (USA) 66 72 71 69 (Stewart Cink won the 4 hole play-off), Tom Watson (USA) 65 70 71 72

279 Chris Wood 70 70 72 67, Lee Westwood 68 70 70 71

280 Retief Goosen (Rsa) 67 70 71 72, Luke Donald 71 72 70 67

281 Richard S Johnson (Swe) 70 72 69 70, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 71 72 69 69, Justin Leonard (USA) 70 70 73 68, Mathew Goggin (Aus) 66 72 69 73, Ernie Els (Rsa) 69 72 72 68, Soren Hansen (Den) 68 72 74 67


Sebastien Bourdais has said he is considering taking legal action after being dropped by Toro Rosso.

Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari will become the youngest ever Formula One driver at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix after Toro Rosso confirmed he will replace Sebastien Bourdais.

The Italian team confirmed on Thursday that they had released the Frenchman who, according to team principal Franz Tost, had “not met our expectations”.

Former Ferrari team boss Jean Todt has confirmed that he is to run for the presidency of the FIA.

The announcement came 24 hours after current incumbent Max Mosley said he would not be seeking a fifth term in office and instead proposed the 63-year-old Frenchman as his successor.

He will run against former World Rally champion Ari Vatanen, who announced his candidacy last week, with the election due to be held on October 23.


Dateline: 14.07.09


With the big guns of Raphael Nadal of Spain and Michael Stick of Germany, the two countries had a battle to reach the semi-finals of the Davis Cup.

Spain defeated Germany in the deciding rubber when Juan Carlos Ferrero won giving Spain the place in the semis.

The defending champions will now meet Israel in the semi finals on Sunday. Israel beat the Russian side convincingly 4-1 to book their place.

Israel took a convincing lead 3-0 over the Russians, playing in the quarters for the first time foe 22 years.

Argentina were dumped out of the cup by the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals with Stepanek beating the Argentine Monaco in the deciding rubber.


At last, after an eight-year wait, the Ozzy, Mark Webber, driving the Red Bull scored his first win at the Nurburgring this weekend. He beat his team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa taking the final podium place.

Webber started in pole position and made heavy weather of the race by colliding with Brawns Rubens Barrichello on the first corner, which resulted in Webber having a drive through penalty. With this setback he still managed to stroll over the finish line.

Alonso, the double world champion, finished seventh after a storming second half of his race and said that Renault can improve in the second half of the season. He also set the fastest lap at the Nurburgring

An upbeat Fernando Alonso believes Renault can improve their performance in the second half of the season following a better showing in the German Grand Prix.


What a nail biting finish to the first npower test at Cardiff at the weekend.

It ended in a draw with Last-wicket pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar surviving for 69 deliveries to make sure the series stays on an even base for the following tests.

The main scores are as follows

England 435 1st innings

(K P Pietersen 69, P D Collingwood 64, M J Prior 56)

252-9 2nd innings

(P D Collingwood 74)

Australia 674-6 dec

(R T Ponting 150, M J North 125 no, S M Katich 122, B J Haddin 121, M J Clarke 83)
England captain Collingwood believes that England have a good base to take on the Ozzies after the resilience shown on the last day.

On a more successful note. The women retained  their Ashes with Charlotte Edwards’s half century and they gained a draw against the Australians.


After the transfer of Carlo Tevez to Man City he ahs stated that he will still keep winning trophies with his new team sooner rather than later.

He rejected to stay at Man Utd and took a five year deal, being transferred for £25million on Tuesday, completing the negotiations on Monday.

Man City are still chasing John Terry of Chelsea, but the blues manager Carlo Ancelotti has identified John Terry among the ‘very important’ members of his Chelsea squad.


The 138th Open Championship starts on Thursday at Turnberry and all eyes will be on the European players to see who will participate in the Ryder Cup.

Just to whet your appetite England’s Lee Westwood is paired with the world number Tiger woods for the first two days. Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, making his debut at the tender age of 17, makes up the trio.


Tour de France

These are the standings for the race after stage nine, Lance Armstrong, seven times winner, is still in the hunt and defiant about his status with the team Astana after moving to third.

Britain’s Brian Wiggins is still in touch with the leaders, and so is Spain’s Leon Sanchez, as anything can happen in this competition.

1 R Nocentini (Italy/AG2R) 34hrs 24mins 21s
2 A Contador (Spain/Astana) +6″
3 L Armstrong (US/Astana) +8″
4 L Leipheimer (US/Astana) +39″
5 B Wiggins (Britain/Garmin) +46″
6 A Kloeden (Germany/Astana) +54″
7 T Martin (Germany/Columbia) +1:00″
8 C Vande Velde (US/Garmin) +1:24″
9 A Schleck (Luxembourg/Saxo Bank) +1:49″
10 V Nibali (Italy/Liquigas) +1:54″
11 L Leon Sanchez (Spain/Caisse d’Epargne) +2:16″


Dateline: 06.07.09



Another championship over and what a way to finish with a final to remember, arguably the best player in the World, Roger Federer beat the American Andy Roddick in a five set marathon.

Federer clinched the title 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 16-14 in an enthralling match and is now the grand slam winner of all time with 15 slams, beating Pete Sampras’s record of 14.

The women’s final, being a family affair, was won by Serena Williams in two sets, 7-6 (7/3) 6-2, to win her third Wimbledon crown. The game lasted one hour and 27 minutes beating her elder sister Venus.


The tour is now over and the Lions won the final test to keep some pride, they beat South Africa 28-9 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg to have their first victory in eight years.

Welsh centre Jamie Roberts took the British and Irish Lions’ Player of the series.


The Tour-de-France is in its third stage and Mark Cavendish, the British rider, has won the third stage with a fantastic sprint in  La Grande-Motte.

This was his second win in as many days, giving Team Columbia the perfect lead.


Dateline: 04.07.09


Yes Wimbledon is still with us, now we are in the second week and semi-final and finals are upon us in both the women’s and the men’s.


Andy Murray had a straight sets victory over the Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nick name the mosquito, with a stunning three sets 7-5 6-3 6-2. Murray started a little woefully, maybe to keep the crowds guessing, but soon showed his form to see off the Spaniard

He now plays the American Andy Roddick in the semis, Roddick had a gruelling match against the Ossy Leyton Hewitt with a 6-3 6-7 (10/12) 7-6 (7/1) 4-6 6-4. The three-hours and fifty-minute five set contest on court one captivated the crowd and showed determination to win by both players.

Murray’s brother Jamie, and partner Liezel Huber are through to the mixed doubles for the third time by seeing off the American sixth seeds in three sets.

Roger Federer marches on and will meet the German Tommy Haas in the other semi-final.

Semi-final line up: Andy Roddick Vs Andy Murray and Tommy Haas Vs Roger Federer

Men’s semi final day today, Friday, and Andy Murray will have to be on his best form to see off Andy Roddick.

The other semi brings the German Haas, and Federer together with Federer being favourite to reach the final.


Venus Williams strolled into the final by demolishing the world number one Dinara Safina with a straight set win 6-1 6-0 in a time of 51 minutes. She just seemed to blitzed her Russian opponent off court.

Her sister Serena, in contrast, had a tough match against Elena Dementieva lasting two hours and 49 minutes, reaching her fifth Wimbledon final.

She had to save match point in the tenth game of the deciding set to win 6-7(4-7) 7-5 8-6

Once again the All England Club ladies final will be a Williams affair and should produce some fantastic tennis.


The wounded Lions side will run out tomorrow with Ian McGeechan making eight changes to end the tour and bring some pride back home, with a win in the final test. This is after two very narrow wins by the Springboks.


Manchester City have made a second bid to capture Chelsea’s England captain John Terry. The cash loaded club have had their audacious bid rejected.

Manchester United are reportedly looking at striker Michael Owen after his contract with Newcastle expired at the end of last season,

Hull City and Stoke have been in the chase but United have now joined them.

Roberto di Matteo now manager of West Bromich Albion is confident of returning the club back to the top flight. Matteo is definitely a surprise choice for the job having only spent only one season in league one with MK Dons.


Bernie Eccleston is to meet Bulgarian officials next week in the hope of them securing a place in the F1 2011 season. The motor cycling federation pres Bogdan Nikolov says that the grand prix organiser Rumen Petkov will meet with Bernie at the German Grand Prix next weekend.


The AT&T golf tournament started yesterday and defending champion, Anthony Kim got off to a good start at the at Congressional Country Club but Tiger woods is on his tail as they go into the second days play.

Kim shot a course record of 62 yesterday but was amazed to see the world number one come in sharing second place with a round of 64 to share second place.


The Isle of Man cyclist Mark Cavendish aims to win this year’s Tour de France and the green jersey for the most consistent points winner. Last year he won four stages, the most by a British rider on one tour, and this year he wants more.


Dateline: 28.06.09



The British and Irish Lions have beefed up their pack after making five changes for the must-win second Test in Pretoria.

England lock Simon Shaw, age 35, had been called in to add his weight to the second row, with Adam Jones and Matthew Rees handed the task of silencing the Boks front row.

Captain  O’Driscoll insisted that the British and Irish Lions must get off to a flying start in Pretoria if they are to level the Test series.


The Lions looked set to take the battle right down to the wire after Rob Kearney’s early try helped give them an 18-6 advantage

But South Africa run up their second win against the Lions to win the series.

South Africa’s hero at Loftus Versveld was substitute Morne Steyn when his last-gasp penalty clinched his side a 28-25 victory over the British and Irish Lions.



Brazil against surprise finalists USA

This was a scintillating match with open football and tremendous goals.

The USA started the better scoring two goals in the first half hour to stun the “Samba Boys” and it took them some time to recover.

After the managers’ team talk the Brazilians came out with the desire to win, how could they go back home having been beaten by the USA?

They scored in the first minute of the second half and never looked back. They took charge of the game and came out 3-2 to win the Confederation cup

What next for the World Cup competition?

Spain versus South Africa:- S.A. took a shock lead in the play off for third place against Spain, but were pegged back by two goals from substitute Dani Güiza.  However S.A. scored from a free kick to send the game into extra time where Xabi Alonso‘s struck from a free-kick two minutes into the second period giving Spain third place in the Confederations Cup with a 3-2  win.


The England U21’s let a three goal lead slip before beating Sweden U21 on penalties to progress into the European Championship final.

Stuart Pearce‘s side enjoyed a dream start with Martin Cranie netting in the first minute from a James Milner corner.

Neduym Onuoha then doubled the advantage on 27 minutes, blasting home from close range, again from a Milner corner.

They let Sweden back in the second half and after extra time the score was 3-3.

The England side came through 5-4 on penalties and face old adversaries Germany on Monday 29th in Malmo.


Donnington Park could be the venue for the British Grand prix next year, after receiving a boost by circuit chief, Simon Gillett, signed a document giving the go ahead for upgrades to begin.

The Leicestershire track had reached agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to host the meeting, but various wrangles put construction plans on hold.

The ongoing saga of formula still rolls on. Mr Mosley has admitted that the deal made with Luca di Montezemolo  may yet collapse, as part of the deal would be that he would not stand for re-election October.

But after comments, attributed to the FOTA, questioning his style of leadership and also his future in the sport, these have angered Mr Mosley, and may have set the deal back.

We await the outcome of both events.


Michael Vaughan, Englands most successful test captain, is set to announce his retirement from the game. In August 2008 the Ashes winning captain resigned the leadership of the team, having been successful in 26 test victories, more than any other England captain. There are reports that suggest he may quit this week after talks with his county, Yorkshire. Will keep you informed of any developments



A day of rest today, Sunday, and no rain to speak of, the roof over the centre court being closed only once – a preventative measure due to the forecast.

Andy Murray marches on after a straight set win over Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-3 6-4 on Centre Court

After digging deep and taking all his chances Juan Carlos Ferrero won a five-set victory over Fernando Gonzalez, reaching the second week for the fourth time, in the gloom of the evening on Court One, 4-6 7-5 6-4 4-6 6-4


Venus Williams marches on in a bid for her third successive title with a victory  over Spain’s  Carla Suarez Navarro on Saturday in straight sets: 6-0, 6-4.

Her sister Serena got into the last 16 by beating the Italian Roberta Vinci on Friday convincingly 6-3 6-4.

Draw for the fourth round men’s singles, (underlined = seeded):

Leyton Hewitt Vs Radek Stepanek

Tomas Berdych Vs Andy Roddick

Andy Murray Vs Stanislas Wawrinka

Juan Carlos Ferrero Vs Gilles Simon

Igor Andreev Vs Tommy Haas

Dudi Sela Vs Novak Djokovic

Fernando Verdasco Vs Ivo Karlovic

Robin Soderling Vs Roger Feder

Draw for the fourth round women’s singles:

Dinara Safina Vs Amelie Mauresmo

Caroline Wozniacki Vs Sabine Lisicki

Venus Williams Vs Ana Ivanovic

Agnieszka Radwanska Vs Melanie Oudin

Virginie Razzano Vs Francesca Schiavone

Elena Vesnina Vs Elena Dementieva

Victoria Azarenka Vs Nadia Petrova

Daniela Hantuchova Vs Serena Williams


Dateline: 25.06.09


Last minute: Brazil beats South Africa with a single smashing goal by Dani Alves (Barcelona) from a free kick in the 88th minute to make it to the final against the USA.

The playoff for third place, Spain v. South Africa, is on Sunday at 15.30 local time, and the final at 20.30.

Spain was knocked out by the USA at the Confederations Cup in South Africa last night. Two goals (Altidore 27′, Dempsey 74′) to nil, saw the world champions out of contention for the final.

The Confederations Cup final will be played between the USA and the winner of the Brazil v. SouthAfrica match tonight.


Dateline: 24.06.09


Rafeal Benitiz and Liverpool are fighting to stave off interest in their midfeilder Xabi Alonso , and the team refusing no for an answer is Real Madrid.
Liverpool insist that the Spanish international  is not for sale, but there are reports of offers in the region of £30 million, with this amount it will be difficult to refuse.
Robinho has stated that Manchester City would be “almost unbeatable” if they could sign Samuel Eto’o from Barcelona.
Eto’o has been a target  City as the big-spending Premier League side look to add even more firepower to Mark Hughes’ attack.



After their defeat against the Springboks, the British and Irish Lions took on the Emerging Sprigboks  at Newlands, Cape Town.
The match was played in horrendous conditions and with substitute Danwel Deremas scoring a try in the dying minutes, another sub Willem de Waal , stepped up with the final kick of the game, to convert and make the final score 13-13.



The partisan crowd at Wimbledon endured another nail biter as the home favourite, the world number three Andy Murray, won his first round match against  American Robert Kendrick, with a 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-4 victory.
Murray, who will next face the Latvian Ernests Gulbis, has stated that the lack of depth in the British game is lacking, insisting that current results are “not acceptable”

In the women’s competition Britain’s number two Elena Baltacha held British hopes high when she defeated Alona Bondarenko 3-6 6-4 6-4 on court number one in the first round.



What with the speculation of a breakaway series by some of the top teams, and whether Formula One would be in the same format as this season, it would have left the Formula One in turmoil and the worst crisis since it started 60 years ago
The main sticking point being specifically the introduction of a budget cap for the 2010 season.
However it has been announced today that a deal has been struck with the breakaway group and the FIA, says  president  Max Mosley
A resolution has been found. And part of the deal being that Mosley does not stand for re-election as president
There has also been an agreement in the reduction of costs for next season



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