Sportsday Live - Thursday, 28 February as it happened

Reaction to Rafael Benitez's outburst, Rangers's ruling, Adrian Sutil joins Force India, and Olympic honours.

28 February 2013 Last updated at 19:03 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1900: 

    That is it for another day of Sportsday Live. Don't forget to tune in to 5 live at 2100 GMT for a preview of the Cheltenham Festival. Thanks for your company and see you back here at 0800 GMT on Friday.


    More of your views on Rafael Benitez's outburst.

    Ali265: "Looks like Rafa has got a very thick skin to face Chelsea fans on Saturday."

    Tom Minton: "Is everyone forgetting that it was there in black and white that he'd be 'interim'? If he hated the title so much, why sign?

    Tom Hiom: "Rafa calling his 'interim manager' title a "big mistake" is a bit petty for me; look at what Hiddink and RDM achieved as one."

  3. 1837: 

    More from Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez to Football Focus: "If we stick together and support the players we will be able to win games. Then at the end of the season I will leave and then they (the fans) can criticise." Watch the full Football Focus interview with Benitez on BBC One, Saturday, 2 March at 12:15 GMT.

  4. 1833: 

    Asked whether he thought he might be sacked following his outburst on Wednesday, Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez tells Football Focus: "No. They know how we work and what we are trying to do. The players are really happy in what we are trying to do. Sometimes you win, sometimes you cannot. The atmosphere in the club is really good. There are no issues in the team. In terms of what we do the players are fully behind the methods."

  5. 1829: 

    More from Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez to Football Focus: "My relationship with the staff and people at the club is really good. My relationship with Roman Abramovich is very good. When I meet with Roman Abramovich we talk about football, we talk like normal people and share our passion for football."

  6. 1826: 

    Rafael Benitez has been explaining to Football Focus presenter Dan Walker the reasons behind his outburst following Chelsea's FA Cup win at Middlesbrough: "We still have to play 11 games in the Premier League and we have the FA Cup and the Europa League. Everyone knows I will finish my contract at the end of the season.

    "So this group of fans, who are singing and creating banners, they have to concentrate on supporting the team. The rest of the fans, the majority of fans, know the way to help the team is by supporting the players. I'm thinking about my team and my club - I want to win every game. I tried to explain the way is to support the team in every single game."

    Watch the full Football Focus interview with Benitez on BBC One, Saturday, 2 March at 12:15 GMT.

  7. 1822: 

    Dunfermline say that players and other staff have received just 20 per cent of their monthly wages.

  8. 1814: 

    Livingston director of football John Collins and manager Gareth Evans have both left the club following a disagreement with the board. The Scottish First Division club said that director of football Collins had quit after the board sacked Evans, who replaced John Hughes as manager in November when the former Hibernian boss left for Hartlepool.

  9. 1811: 

    Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic after overcoming Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-0 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Championships: "It was an even better performance than first two matches, so match after match I'm elevating the level, which is good. I'm trying to do my best on the court. Hopefully I can sustain the level from today.'' Top seed Djokovic will face Juan Martin del Potro next.


    More of your views on Rafael Benitez's outburst. Keep them coming at #bbcsportsday

    Ahmzzz: "If Rafael Benitez is the professional that he is he wouldn't crack under any sort of pressure."

    Oliver James: "Rafa Benitez doesn't deserve the bad treatment from Chelsea fans."

    Darren McConville: "Chelsea fans should be happy to have a manager that will do all he can for his club and not for himself."

  11. 1746: 

    AEK Athens defender Christos Arkoudas has been banned from playing for one year after testing positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine.

  12. 1742: 

    Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic remain on course for a final showdown at the Dubai Championships after both men reach the semi-finals in style. Defending champion Federer beat Nikolay Davydenko 6-2 6-2 in just 54 minutes and will play Tomas Berdych next, while top seed Djokovic thrashed Andreas Seppi 6-0 6-3 to set up a match against Juan Martin del Potro.

  13. 1740: 

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suarez should be named the Premier League's Player of the Year. The Uruguay forward has scored 25 times for his club this season. "There's many great players in this league but for me he has been absolutely outstanding," said Rodgers. "If I look across the board this is a guy who had to play alone up front because he was the only striker we had for nearly six months and never missed a day's training and played every minute of every game."

  14. 1730: 

    Stephen Ferris's Lions aspirations appear to be over after he was ruled out for another three months following a second operation on his injured ankle. The Ulster and Ireland flanker suffered the injury on provincial duty in November, but had been expected to be back in action at some point during the Six Nations.

  15. 1729: 

    Edinburgh head coach Michael Bradley insists he is pleased with his players - despite suffering a 10th straight defeat. "It's clear we're in desperate need of a win," said Bradley ahead of Friday's game against Scarlets in Wales. "The players have worked exceptionally hard, in some very vocal and physical training sessions, as we prepare mentally and physically to front up to one of the top teams in the division in their own back yard."


    Keep sending us your thoughts on the outburst by Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez using #bbcsportsday

    Connor Thompson: "Didn't every Chelsea manager have an 'excellent relationship' with him?"

    davemeasures: "It's the players who are poor - not the manager."

    Lewis James Brown: "Wait until Roman sees the crowd reaction at the next game. He has made his position simply untenable now."

  17. 1712: 

    Rangers announce a five-year kit deal with Puma. The brand will become the official supplier and licensee of replica merchandise for the Scottish Third Division club, with the agreement set to start next season.

  18. 1707: 

    West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke says he "didn't see a lot wrong" with the comments made by Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez and expects the Spaniard to remain in his role for the rest of the season. " I didn't hear the interview but I read it and seeing a transcription is different to hearing someone say something," said Clarke, a former Chelsea player and coach.

    "But I didn't see a lot wrong in what he said. The script, as it was written down, was okay. I think by and large we are all interim."

  19. 1700: 

    Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon confirms Luiz Razia is still contracted to the team, but shied away from stating whether the Brazilian would be on the grid for the opening race in Australia.

    GP2 runner-up Razia signed as a replacement for Timo Glock, making no bones about the fact they needed the money more than an experienced driver.

    Razia, however, has since run into difficulties with his sponsors and the 21-year-old sat out last week's second pre-season test in Barcelona, with team-mate Max Chilton behind the wheel for all four days.

    Lowdon says: "We have a contract with Luiz. I'd prefer not to comment on the details of that contract, but as it currently stands there is no change."

  20. 1655: 
    Ben Foster West Brom manager Steve Clarke says Ben Foster wants to play for England again because, "he would like to play in a major tournament."
  21. 1650: 

    Neal E: "Benitez is a joke, who gave him the interim title without telling him first? I'd be amazed if he's in charge of the final game."

    Liam Stones: "Rafa is a true unprofessional #CFC need to accept they wont get anyone better

  22. 1646: 

    Cardiff owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan assures fans he is not going to change the club's name to Cardiff Dragons.

    He tells the club website: "I can assure all supporters that we will not be changing our name from Cardiff City, a club I am very proud to be a part of.

    "Our name is our identity and remains at our core. I would not want any of our supporters to be concerned that this change would be made, hoping that this personal commitment from myself removes any fears.

    "I believe the colour change is positive and will bring good tidings to Cardiff City. At this point of time, no decision has been made to change the club crest for the next season."

  23. 1641: 

    Kauto Star is ready to make his first public appearance in dressage this weekend but the head of Britain's Eventing team has ruled out the horse's chances of competing in the Olympics.

    Kauto Star is commonly regarded as one of the greatest steeplechasers of all time - he's the only horse to have won, lost and then regained the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He was retired from racing last October.

  24. 1636: 

    Soccer Amz: "What I don't understand is why Abramovich hasn't sacked him. He's sacked other managers for performing a lot better."

  25. 1631: 

    Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has described Ryan Giggs as "pure class" as the Manchester United midfielder prepares for his 1,000th senior competitive game.

    The Welshman made his first appearance for United on March 2, 1991, as a substitute against Everton and has achieved the remarkable feat of scoring in each of his 23 seasons.

    Laudrup says: "It is incredible he is still playing."

  26. 1627: 

    So Rafa Benitez tells the BBC he is going to be at Chelsea for the rest of the season. What are your thoughts? Tell us using #sportsday.

  27. 1625: 

    Rafael Benitez tells the BBC he has an 'excellent' relationship with Roman Abramovich and he will be at Chelsea until the end of the season.

  28. 1620: 

    Ireland's hopes that Jonathan Sexton will be fit for their Six Nations clash with France on Saturday week are fading.

    Sexton missed the 12-8 defeat by Scotland with a hamstring injury, but team manager Mick Kearney has revealed that his chances of returning for the must-win encounter are receding.

    "Jonny continues to make progress. He's back running this week but to reach match level intensity there's still significant work to do," Kearney said.

  29. 1614: 
    Kevin Nolan West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan will miss at least three games after suffering a broken toe in Monday's match against Spurs.
  30. 1609: 

    Manchester City youth player Courtney Meppen-Walter has been jailed for 16 months for killing a brother and sister while speeding in his Mercedes.

    Courtney Meppen-Walter, 18, was at the wheel of his grandfather's "high-powered" Mercedes C220 saloon and doing nearly double the 30mph speed limit when he hit a Nissan Micra emerging from a side street.

    The Nissan driver, Kulwant Singh, 32, from Salford, and his sister, front-seat passenger Ravel Kaur, 37, from Cheetham Hill, Manchester, were both killed.

  31. 1606: 

    Norwich manager Chris Hughton reckons Manchester United will rest some of their big guns in Saturday's Premier League clash.

    The Reds have a Champions League date with Real Madrid three days after Norwich come to Old Trafford.

    Hughton says: "It is a massive game they have on Tuesday. I think it will affect the line-up, but I don't think it will affect the quality of the line-up.

    "Irrespective of the team they put out, we know it is going to be one of high quality."

  32. 1602: 

    Here a couple of unusual reasons you feel are behind Rafa Benitez's outburst. Tell us your views on #rafarant.

    Bhawandip 'Baz' Rai: "Maybe players are purposely making the Chelsea managerial job a death pit so that JT/FL can waltz right in....."

    Tokunbo: "Rafael Bernitez is an idiot. Has he won the EPL? Serie A? Oh, didn't think so."

    Robert Bramley: "As a Liverpool fan the worse Rafa does for Chelsea the more I'll love him. Its as if we've sent a special agent to destroy them."

  33. 1600: 

    Leeds coach Brian McDermott is confident there will be no World Club Challenge hangover when his side return to Super League action at St Helens tomorrow.

    McDermott feared in the immediate aftermath of the Rhinos' 18-14 defeat by Melbourne last Friday that it would take some time for the wounds to heal but, on reflection, now believes there were lots of positives to take into their league campaign.

    He says: "Whilst no-one at the Rhinos will ever be satisfied with a loss, we were able to take encouragement from our performance.

    "We opened up Melbourne on a number of occasions, which not many sides will do, and we pushed them all the way."

  34. 1551: 

    Sam Edis: "As a CFC fan who hasn't ever booed Rafa, I think he never got a chance. Boos = bad performances = boos =... spiralled into a rut."

    Everton Carter: "Problem with Benitez is he spent too much time making rude/derogatory comments about other managers & clubs. Fans don't forget."

    Tell us your views using #rafarant.

  35. 1547: 

    Every Premier League club will be obliged to have goal-line technology systems in their stadiums from as early as next season.

    Premier League communications director Dan Johnson says: "We are in advanced discussions with two of the companies who provide the systems and we are working on the basis of having goal-line technology in place for the start of the season."

  36. 1545: 

    West Brom manager Steve Clarke confirms on Twitter that Ben Foster is ready to play for England again.

    Foster announced in early 2011, when a Birmingham player, that his injury problems were making it impossible to turn out for his country.

    He won the last of his five caps three years ago but back is in contention to return for next month's World Cup qualifiers in San Marino and Montenegro.

  37. 1539: 

    Spurs star Gareth Bale admits he is flattered at being described as one of the best players in the world.

    He tells Sport magazine: "I think anybody would love to be mentioned alongside the best in the world.

    "It's flattering, but I don't really look too much into it."

  38. 1534: 

    Torquay United manager Alan Knill says he expects to bring in some loan players to his squad before Saturday's key game with Accrington.

    The Gulls are one point above the League Two relegation zone after seven successive losses.

    Knill tells BBC South West Sport: "We're desperate just to help the players we already have here,"

  39. 1530: 

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has some empathy with Rafa Benitez's situation at Chelsea.

    Rodgers began his coaching career as Chelsea's youth team manager.

    He says : "He has obviously been understanding of the situation he has gone into - and only he and the football club know.

    "You have empathy as a manager, but you know the game you are in."

  40. 1525: 

    England coach Stuart Lancaster is warning his players not to get wound up in future.

    Fly-half Owen Farrell and wing Chris Ashton were both drawn into rows by French provocation in their recent Six Nations victory.

    Lancaster says: "As an opposition coach and team you've got to do everything in your power to upset and try to niggle the opposition.

    "You have to be able to deal with that, keep your focus and deal with the task in hand, letting your rugby do the talking."

  41. 1521: 

    Still plenty being said about Rafa Benitez's outspoken post-match press conference on #rafarant.

    rashid jamil: "Since Benitez is leaving in May, how about giving Frank Lampard a new deal as player-manager for #cfc."

    Sangam Dhakal: "No-one from Chelsea's hierarchy came forward in defence after Rafa hiring, He was isolated from day one."

  42. 1517: 

    Brian McDermott is not expecting his Reading players to suffer a negative reaction from their heavy home defeat by fellow strugglers Wigan when they travel to Everton on Saturday.

    The Latics secured a 3-0 win at the Madejski Stadium last weekend, sending McDermott's side back into the relegation zone as a result.

    He said: "Everyone came in on Monday and was ready to crack on. They are all raring to go. Everyone is raring to go and looking forward to going there."

  43. 1513: 

    Wigan boss Roberto Martinez expects his side's FA Cup involvement can help them survive, in what he feels is their toughest fight against relegation yet.

    Wigan are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table but have enjoyed success in the FA Cup, winning through to a quarter-final clash with Everton.

    Martinez says: "It will help. The FA Cup success has helped us in the confidence and belief we bring into the league."

  44. 1508: 

    Wolves full-back Jack Robinson is confident all the hard work will pay off as his side bid to avoid relegation from the npower Championship.

    Wolves face second-placed Watford tomorrow night and will be seeking their first league win since the 1-0 victory over Blackpool on 21 December.

    Dean Saunders' side have only taken four points from the 11 games since that result - a run that has seen them slip down the table and into the bottom three.

    Robinson tells Wolves website: "Because of the lack of results it looks like we're struggling, but during the games we're working hard and trying to play football. If we carry on playing like that, results will come."

  45. 1503: 

    Abou Diaby says Arsenal hold a psychological edge over Tottenham in the north London derby.

    The Gunners have beaten their rivals 5-2 in their past two matches, but head to White Hart Lane four points behind Spurs in the Premier League table.

    Diaby tells "Of course we have a psychological edge because from the last game against them we took some lessons and we know them well. We know how to deal with them."

  46. 1458: 

    Luke Daniels: "Cardiff City Stadium will be rebranded and known as the Dragons Den. Once the club name has been changed."

  47. 1455: 

    Patriotic double London 2012 gold-winning cyclist Jason Kenny described meeting the Queen today as "the ultimate pressure situation".

    The 24-year-old was at Buckingham Palace to receive his OBE awarded in the New Year Honours.

    He said: "No-one compares to the Queen."

  48. 1452: 

    Former Pakistan captain Hanif Mohammad believes the team's Australian coach Dav Whatmore needs to learn Urdu if he is to succeed with the players.

    Whatmore has been criticised after Pakistan suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the Test series in South Africa, failing to take any of the matches into the fifth day.

    "They must be able to understand and feel what their coach is saying," Hanif said.

  49. 1449: 

    Sam Kier: "So many people backing Rafa. He's trading off past success - record at Chelsea not good enough, simple as that. Can't complain!"

    Mark Houghton: "People who don't support Chelsea wont understand why we dont want Rafa, we wouldnt mind Di Canio or Moyes or even Clarke."

  50. 1445: 

    Cheltenham extend the loan deal of Reading defender Michael Hector by a further month.

    The 20-year-old first joined the Robins in January and will now stay until at least March.

  51. 1439: 
    Matthew Briggs Fulham left-back Matthew Briggs is joining Watford on loan for a month.
  52. 1435: 

    Talk of Cardiff changing their name to the Cardiff Dragons is raising some interesting points on Twitter. Have your says using #namechange.

    Aled Reed: "Is this going to be another Wimbledon and Mk Dons incident?"

    Moe Almntz: " I wonder what names other EPL teams would rename themselves if they can. Arsenal were once known as Dial Square and Woolwich."

  53. 1430: 

    Burnley striker Wes Fletcher is set to celebrate his 22nd birthday with a loan move to League One promotion chasers Yeovil Town.

    The Clarets say the frontman is travelling to the West Country with a view to completing a deal running for an initial month.

  54. 1427: 

    Michael Chernucha: "The rate Chelsea get thru managers, each new manager shud be referred to as an interim."

  55. 1425: 

    Ex-Chelsea player Frank Sinclair is warning Rafa Benitez to take his ear plugs to work on Saturday.

    He tells BBC Radio 5 live: "I don't fancy being him at the weekend. All the fans will have taken it personally and I can't see it having any positive effect.

    "I can't understand it. He seems like a man at the end of his tether, maybe this could be an easy way out of it."

  56. 1420: 

    Salford's millionaire owner Marwan Koukash wants to use his cash to bring back former club favourites.

    Joel Moon, Daniel Holdsworth, and Matty Smith were all prised away at the height of the club's strife last year while Stefan Ratchford and Richie Myler were previous high-profile buys by Warrington.

    Koukash said: "I want our boys back. I'm not going to mention names but last year the so-called big clubs used our financial difficulties to entice our players away.

    "Now, if it means me using our financial strength to entice them back, I will."

  57. 1416: 

    Football managers across the land are having their say on Rafa Benitez's outburst. Tell us your views using #rafarant

    Matthew Hocken: "Chelsea adopted their owners limited patience & arrogance. Clue is in the, don't boo when you want team to win."

    Jack Jackson: "Cant argue with anything Rafa said. Back your team! What manager in their right mind would go to Chelsea now?"

    Oliver Troen: "Sack Rafa, make John Terry manager and never appoint a manager who's ever worked at another club #ChelseaFansDontUnderstand."

  58. 1412: 

    Kenya Sevens top try scorer Collins Injera is at risk of being dropped for next month's Hong Kong and Japan legs of the IRB World Series after being handed a lengthy suspension by his club for failing to honour a national league match.

    The 26-year-old winger, who is ranked fifth in the IRB sevens all-time try-scoring standings, was last week suspended by his Mwamba club for eight weeks, and was subsequently dropped from the national sevens team.

    "Rugby has its values and we should never lose touch with the laws of the game. Discipline is just one of them," said Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman Mwangi Muthee.

  59. 1407: 

    Time to put you out of your misery and reveal the answer to the Question of Sport puzzler.

    We asked you to name 10 players to score 20 or more Premier League goals for Chelsea whose surnames end in a vowel.

    The answers are, in order… Drogba, Zola, Anelka, Kalou, Malouda, Flo, Wise, Joe Cole, Vialli and Crespo.

  60. 1359: 

    Stoke's Marc Wilson or Geoff Cameron will replace defender Robert Huth for Saturday's home clash against West Ham, says manager Tony Pulis.

    Huth has been banned for three games after admitting a charge of violent conduct for an off-the-ball incident with Fulham's Philippe Senderos last weekend.

    "It gives either Marc or Geoff a wonderful opportunity of coming into the middle alongside Ryan [Shawcross] this weekend," Pulis told the club website.

  61. 1355: 
    Dennis Rodman

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un watched a basketball game with former Chicago Bulls' star Dennis Rodman on Thursday, according to Chinese state media organisation Xinhua.

  62. 1351: 

    Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul is facing up to five weeks on the sidelines with his ankle injury.

    The 24-year-old Netherlands international picked up the injury last Thursday following a challenge by striker Jonathan Cristaldo in Newcastle's Europa League match against Metalist Kharkiv.

  63. 1345: 

    Brighton manager Guy Poyet on managing Chelsea in the future:

    "That is my aim, everyone knows and I don't hide it. I want to go to the highest level and if it is in the Premier League with Chelsea then fantastic, if it is with someone else, then we shall see."

    On the Blues' FA Cup win over Middlesbrough and Rafa Benitez's reaction to negativity among his own supporters:

    "I can assure you I was not paying attention to Chelsea yesterday. I was not paying attention to the game, who played or who didn't play. I was paying attention to Huddersfield in quite a competitive game at Burnley. I had to watch for 90 minutes and it was interesting. That was my job.

    "His reasons I don't know. We are all different. I would like to meet him and know the reasons, I am sure probably everyone would like to do that. It is very easy to make opinions about other people, what they do and what they say, but we never put ourselves on the other side so it is difficult to comment."

  64. 1327: 

    Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has said that promotion to the Premier League could trigger further "rebranding" and did not rule out changing the club's name to Cardiff Dragons.

    Here are some of your thoughts:

    Liam Turvey: "Is Wales associated with dragons anyway. Suppose depends on the type of dragon. But it might work in Asia. #easymoney"

    Sameer: "Nothing new. Newton Heath FC was bought in 1902 + name, kit color and badge was changed. Manchester United FC was born."

    Use the hashtag #namechange to have your day

  65. 1317: 

    Rangers manager Ally McCoist, after it was announced that the club would not be stripped of its titles: "I am delighted in many ways by the decision today."

  66. 1310: 

    Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva tells BBC Sport that he believes manager Brendan Rodgers' plans for the club need to be supported.

    "We can see what they have in mind, in terms of taking the club back to the top," he said.

    "A lot of players came in and a lot of players left, so it's not easy really. When you see the teams that fight at the top, they have players that play for many years for the club and they know each other.

    "I think Brendan is trying to build a competitive squad and a good team for the future. I think it's going to work and hopefully sooner rather than later."

  67. 1301: 

    BBC Sport's Ed Marriage: "England back row forward James Haskell will not play for his club Wasps on Saturday, despite being released by England earlier this week.

    "Haskell was expected to be available for Wasps' Premiership match against Worcester.

    "But in a statement, Wasps say Haskell 'is not available for selection having not been able to train this week because of a leg strain'."

  68. 1257: 

    Jamie1987: "Even if they change their name everyone will still call them Cardiff like how most people say Wolves, not Wolverhampton Wanderers."

  69. 1252: 

    Adrian Sutil, who was confirmed as Force India's second driver today: "I'm delighted to be back in Formula 1, especially with a team I know so well.

    "I'm very happy and I want to thank Force India for giving me a second chance.

    "Having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula 1."

  70. 1241: 

    Former Wales fly-half Stephen Jones will retire at the end of the season and join the Wasps coaching staff.

    He is the most capped Welsh player of all time, winning 104 caps - as well as six for the British and Irish Lions.

  71. 1237:  
    Andrew Benson, BBC SportFORMULA 1

    "And finally Force India confirm Adrian Sutil."

  72. 1232: 
    The Queen and Jessica Ennis

    British Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis has been made a CBE by the Queen, while Team GB cycling boss Dave Brailsford has been knighted.

    Other Olympians honoured included cyclist Jason Kenny, made OBE, as well as long jumper Greg Rutherford, boxer Nicola Adams and cyclist Joanna Rowsell, who were all made MBE.

  73. 1224: 

    Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna will miss the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and midfielder Abou Diaby is rated a 50-50 chance.

    "Abou has a calf problem, a minor one. He will have tests and then we will see if we can use him or not," said manager Arsene Wenger.

    Diaby's fellow Frenchman Sagna has a knee injury and missed last weekend's win over Aston Villa.

    "He is not ready for Sunday. It is too short for him," added the Frenchman.

  74. 1218: 

    Dale Wright: "Dragons v Swans instead of Cardiff v Swansea will add to the drama. Derby County can be renamed if it helps us stay in the PL"

    blackbox2342: "As much as I'd be against a name change of my club surely it is more important to support the team!"

    What do you think of name changes if it's for possible financial benefit?

    Get involved using #namechange

  75. 1211: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    Mercedes AMG F1: "Lunchtime at a very wet Circuit de Catalunya... @LewisHamilton has completed 43 laps this morning."

  76. 1208: 

    Joe Cattmull: "Can't go speaking out against your employers Rafa! Bring in Di Canio."

    Mike Bains: "It's not a "rant" when Rafa tells a few home truths. Does anyone disagree with anything he's said!? CFC Fans='special ones'!"

    What do you think? Use the hashtag #rafarant

  77. 1200:  
    Dan Roan, BBC SportFOOTBALL

    "Benitez took training on Thursday morning and sources say it is 'business as usual' at the club."

  78. 1156:  
    Alastair Eykyn, BBC SportRUGBY UNION

    "England No 8 Ben Morgan is making headway following his ankle injury, but won't be ready for the match against Italy. He will be fit to face Wales, if selected. Wasps' Billy Vunipola has recovered from his ankle problem, and will be available to play against Italy."

  79. 1155: 

    England captain Casey Stoney opens up about her tough rise to the top in her first column for BBC Sport.

    You can read it on the BBC Football page.

  80. 1149:  
    Alastair Eykyn, BBC SportRUGBY UNION

    "England fly-half Owen Farrell is rated as only 50/50 to be fit to play against Italy in the Six Nations next Sunday. He picked up a quad injury against France and is said to be making 'good progress.' Head coach Stuart Lancaster says he expects him to be running freely by next week, but they won't risk him if kicking is a problem.

    "Lancaster also revealed that Alex Corbisiero, Jonathan Joseph, Tom Croft, Calum Clark and Tom Johnson will not be fit to play in the remaining two matches of the Six Nations."

  81. 1148: 

    Cardiff Dragons FC: "There is already a Cardiff Dragons team in town. Celebrating our 5th year."

  82. 1143: 

    Mark Jackson: "It's stupid. How would #MUFC fans react if a rich owner tried to change the shirt orange and call them the Manchester Goldfish."

    A Brummie on Wheels: "Vincent Tan's plan may have a spanner in the work - Cardiff Dragons FC already exist and might have something to say: @cdfc"

    Would it be OK for Cardiff City to change their name to Cardiff Dragons? Although, it seems that Cardiff Dragons already exists. Get involved using #namechange

  83. 1141: 

    Football's world governing body Fifa is looking for a new country to stage the Under-17 Women's World Cup next year because construction delays means the stadiums in Costa Rica will not be ready in time.

  84. 1135: 

    Family Fortunes presenter Vernon Kay: "Whenever s'thing like this happens I imagine Fergie sat in his big leather armchair laughing wildly like a banshee stroking his cat #rafarant"

    What does our survey say Vernon? Anyway, get involved at #rafarant

  85. 1130: 

    Newcastle's Northern Ireland full-back Shane Ferguson signs for Championship side Birmingham on an emergency loan.

  86. 1126: 

    Here's Thursday's teaser: Name the 10 players to score 20 or more Premier League goals for Chelsea whose surnames end in a vowel?

    Answer here at about 14:00 GMT or go to @QofS_Official

  87. 1125: 

    West Ham tell BBC Sport they are waiting to discover how long Kevin Nolan will be out for after the club captain sustained a foot injury in the 3-2 defeat by Tottenham at Upton Park on Monday.

    Reports claim that the club's top scorer this season could have suffered a broken foot and could be out for up to eight weeks.

  88. 1121: 

    The draw has been made for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens which Moscow will host from June 28-30.

    Scotland's men are in Pool B with South Africa, Russia and Japan. Wales are in Pool B along with Fiji, Tonga and Uruguay. England are in Pool F and will face Argentina, Portugal and Hong Kong.

    England's women are in Pool D with Russia, France and Japan.

  89. 1116: 

    An update on the Rangers verdict - although the club have not been stripped of their titles, Rangers oldco have been fined £250,000.


    Sam Oakes: "It's stupid. How would #MUFC fans react if a rich owner tried to change the shirt orange and call them the Manchester Goldfish."

    Tim Binsley: "Football clubs are all using names different to those they started with so what's new? Brings them into line with rugby union."

    You have been giving us your thoughts on the story that Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan would be open to changing the name of the Championship side to Cardiff Dragons. Would it be a good move if it helps the club financially? Send us your thoughts, #namechange

  91. 1100: 

    Bernard Hopkins says he would be happy to take on WBO light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly in a unification fight at the end of the year.

    Welshman Cleverly makes the fifth defence of his WBO title against Robin Krasniqi on 16 March at Wembley. That fight will be staged a week after Hopkins challenges IBF champion Tavoris Cloud in New York.

    "To me, I think every division should have one king," Hopkins says.

  92. 1057: 

    Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is unwilling to be drawn too much on Rafael Benitez's situation at Chelsea.

    He says: "I didn't see it [on Wednesday night] but as a manager you are working 100% every day to try to affect the things you can affect. Obviously there are many issues you can't affect and you can't do much about it. As a manager that can make your job a little bit harder."

  93. 1051: 

    Scottish Premier League side Hearts announce that manager John McGlynn leaves the club by mutual consent.

    McGlynn took over at Tynecastle in June 2012 and leaves with immediate effect with the club sitting second bottom of the SPL after Wednesday night's 2-0 defeat to St Mirren in Paisley, the team's fourth straight league defeat.

    First team coach Gary Locke and player development manager Darren Murray will take interim charge of the team.

  94. 1047: 

    Stoke boss Tony Pulis says he is "very privileged" to have the relationship he has with his chairman, acknowledging in the wake of Rafael Benitez's outburst that not all managers are lucky enough to have such strong boardroom backing.

    "What goes on at Chelsea goes on at Chelsea - I can't control that," says Pulis. "Every manager has a different relationship with chairmen.

    "I'm very privileged to have the [Coates] family here, who are absolutely fantastic people. If I want to see them, I pop down the road and it is five minutes if I jump in my car. The door is always open for me to go and see them."

  95. 1042: 

    Dani Pedrosa finishes fastest on the final day of the second MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia, clocking two minutes and 0.562 seconds.

    The Repsol Honda rider was 0.81s quicker than his teammate Marc Marquez, with reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi third and fourth fastest respectively. British rider Cal Crutchlow was sixth fastest.

  96. 1038: 

    England will stay at a luxurious hotel on Copacabana Beach for their June friendly with Brazil - with the intention of moving in again for the World Cup 12 months afterwards.

    It is understood Roy Hodgson's men will take up residence at the five-star Windsor Atlantica when they head to Rio de Janeiro for their rematch with the World Cup hosts, which is expected to take place at the world-famous Maracana Stadium on 2 June.

    Providing it meets with expectations, England will request to stay there for the World Cup should they qualify.

    England beat Brazil 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley in February.

  97. 1032: 

    BBC Scotland's senior football reporter Chris McLaughlin reports that Rangers will not be stripped of league titles, following an investigation into allegations that payments made to players were not properly registered with the football authorities.

  98. 1024: 

    Is St Mirren's Graham Carey Scotland's answer to Tottenham's Gareth Bale? The Welshman would have been proud of a strike like Carey's 35-yard effort against Hearts, which you can see on the BBC Sport website.


    David Smart: "Roman Abramovich needs to put his hands up and accept culpability for the power struggle and subsequent lack of stability his spendings' caused."

    Kartikay: "Rafa went to Chelsea with the honest belief that he can sort out the mess. Tried, got abused and ridiculed. Got fed up & paid them back."

    Lewis Coomber: "Rafa has finally let it all out after months of abuse, to be fair to the bloke his points were valid."

    Was Rafael Benitez right to rant about his treatment at Chelsea? #rafarant

  100. 1010: 

    Stoke manager Tony Pulis says the club will assess injured duo Matty Etherington and Michael Owen on Friday before making a decision regarding whether they will feature against West Ham on Saturday.

    Etherington injured his back against Fulham, while Owen is a doubt with a thigh injury.

    "Matty Etherington will be touch and go; we'll leave that until tomorrow. He hasn't trained with the rest of the lads this week," says Pulis. "We won't take a view on Michael Owen's injury until Friday or Saturday."

  101. 1003: 

    Judd Trump is again in scintillating form as he blitzes Nigel Bond 5-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Haikou World Open.

    Trump had whitewashed Mark Joyce 5-0 in the first round and picked up where he left off, firing three centuries to set up a clash with Matthew Stevens or Shaun Murphy.

  102. 1000: 

    Canada's Rebecca Marino is "stepping back" from tennis because of depression, reports BBC Monitoring.

    In a statement, the 22 year-old said: "Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm hoping, by opening up about this, I can encourage someone to get the help they deserve.""

  103. 0956: 

    We asked you earlier where Rafael Benitez ranks, by win percentage, out of the 14 managers who have been in charge of Chelsea during the Premier League era. The answer is ninth, with a win percentage of 51.9%.

    Here are the rankings, courtesy of Opta.

    1. Guus Hiddink (72.7%). 2. Jose Mourinho (67.6%). 3. Avram Grant (66.7%). 4. Carlo Ancelotti (62.6%) 5. Roberto Di Matteo (61.9%) 6. Felipe Scolari (55.6%) 7. Claudio Ranieri (53.3%) 8. Gianluca Vialli (52.9%) 9. Rafael Benitez (51.9%) 10. Ruud Gullit (50.0%) 11. Andre Villas-Boas (47.5%) 12. David Webb (38.5%) 13. Ian Porterfield (36.1%) 14. Glenn Hoddle (33.8%).

  104. 0953: 

    GB Rowing names a bold and experimental men's eight line-up for the first World Cup of the season.

    Pete Reed, Andy Triggs Hodge and Alex Gregory, who won gold in the men's four in London, move into the eight. Moe Sbihi, Tom Ransley and cox Phelan Hill retain their places alongside the returning Dan Ritchie and newcomers Lance Tredell and Matt Gotr

  105. 0943: 

    Manchester United announce they will play a pre-season game in Bangkok on 13 July at the Rajamangala Stadium.

    "There are over 19.5m Manchester United followers in Thailand and the club has been lucky enough to visit on a number of occasions. The game will be the first match of the club's pre-season tour," says United chief executive David Gill.


    David Hodgson: "Can't believe everyone is making such a fuss over Rafa's "rant". Was nice to hear honest views rather than the usual script we get!!"

    Austin Bobmanuel: "Roman Abramovich is to blame for all this. Rafa justifiably angry but still no excuse that we have lost half of games under him."

    Tejas: "I blame Rafa Benitez himself for signing with Chelsea, he knew this was coming but still persisted."

    What are your thoughts on Rafael Benitez's rant? Was he right to say what he did or should he have bit his lip? Let us know, #rafarant

  107. 0932: 

    The commission appointed by the Scottish Premier League to investigate alleged undisclosed payments by Rangers will deliver its verdict on Thursday. The SPL has announced that the written decision will be published at noon.

  108. 0930: 

    New France coach Richard Agar will consult with his senior players before deciding whether to call on "outsiders" for the World Cup. Agar's predecessor Bobbie Goulding selected Australian Clint Greenshields for the 2009 Four Nations Series after the Catalan full-back qualified under the three-year residency rule.

    "We'll do it the French way," says Agar, who plans to hold some discussions ahead of Wakefield's match against the Catalans in Perpignan on Saturday. "It's really important for me that everybody is comfortable if we're going to pick from outside French people."

  109. 0923: 

    Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee is relishing his return to top-flight racing after a testing time since winning gold last summer.

    Brownlee, who had an emergency operation to remove a swollen appendix a few months after his London 2012 triumph, competes at the Abu Dhabi triathlon this weekend.

    He tells BBC Sport: "By the time I had had my appendix removed, been on holiday and done thousands of commercial commitments, it felt like the best thing in the world to return to training."


    Matt Readman: "Football Clubs are NOT the playthings of their 'owners'. Why should individuals control so much? It's archaic.

    Stephen Orwin: "Its standard in all sports. I don't see why football has to be different."

    Matt Crivelli: "Changing a club's name to something like Dragons would disconnect from its history. Not a good idea in my opinion."

    Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan is not ruling out changing the club's name to Cardiff Dragons if the club are promoted to the Premier League. Is it right to change a team's name if it is financially benficial for the club? Let us know, #namechange

  111. 0913: 

    Chairman Huw Jenkins reveals there is "no pressure" on Swansea manager Michael Laudrup to sign a new contract.

    "Michael knows there is no pressure either way," says Jenkins. "We have that relationship and whatever he wants to do we are happy with and go along with."

  112. 0910: 

    Out of the 15 managers who have been in charge at Chelsea during the Premier League era, where do you think Rafael Benitez ranks? Give us your answers via #rafarant and we'll give you the answer at 0945GMT.


    With Cardiff City having changed shirt colour, badge and now possibly their name to Cardiff Dragons, what do you think of rebranding a club in order to maximise revenue and marketing opportunities?

    Would you be happy with your team being called the Wigan Wasps, Doncaster Devils or Wycombe Warriors if the potential financial gains of doing so helps bring success? Or is such a move erasing the identity and history of a club?

    Let us know on Twitter, #namechange

  114. 0902: 

    World number one Tseng Yani eagles her last hole at Singapore's star-studded HSBC Women's Champions as she shoots up the leaderboard to put pressure on first-round leader Azahara Munoz. Tseng lies three shots behind Munoz with a 68.

    Munoz ends a hot first day at the par-72 Sentosa Golf Club two shots clear on seven-under-par 65 after dropping four birdies on her front nine and another three on the way back.

  115. 0853: 

    Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan says that promotion to the Premier League could trigger further "rebranding" and is not ruling out changing the club's name to Cardiff Dragons.

    The Malaysian billionaire has already insisted upon a colour change from blue to red, as well as a new club crest.

    "We will think about it when we know the final result of this season," he said about using Cardiff Dragons. Then we will think what's the best way to brand it."

  116. 0850: 

    Paris St-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti praises David Beckham after the former England captain played 85 minutes of Wednesday night's 2-0 Coupe de France win over arch-rivals Marseille.

    Beckham was given his first start by Ancelotti in the last-16 tie and he impressed in a deep-lying midfield role as PSG eased through to a quarter-final clash with Evian thanks to two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    "Beckham played very well, as he usually does," says Ancelotti in L'Equipe. "His passing was good, as was his positioning, and he complemented (Blaise) Matuidi well in midfield. He showed he can play."

  117. 0845: 

    Former Chelsea midfielder Nigel Spackman dismisses Rafael Benitez's claims that he did not know he would be referred to as the London club's "interim" manager.

    Benitez said in a passionate outburst after Wednesday's FA Cup win at Middlesbrough that it was a "mistake" to name him interim when he was appointed.

    But Spackman tells BBC Radio 5 live: "Rafa knew when he took the job so it is swings and roundabouts. The interim manager was a massive mistake from him because he shouldn't have signed the contract with that on it. The fans and the players don't see him as long term and that feeling will fester."

  118. 0835:  
    BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio 5 liveFORMULA 1

    Radio 5 live Sport will round up the day's pre-season testing in their first F1 programme of the new season, from 1930 GMT on Thursday. The show will feature a very special behind-the-scenes look at McLaren.


    John Crouch: "As a Chelsea fan I can't say I'm proud of some of the songs. But, surely by insulting us again he is just making it worse."

    Hazy: "Was it even a rant? I feel he said a few home truths that CFC don't want to hear. No manager will last with JT and FL in squad."

    DavidMan: "Rafael Benitez is right. He's knows he'll never win the fans, even if he won the league. He's given up on them, really."

    What are your thought's on Rafa's rant? Right to say what he did or a step too far? Let us know, #rafarant

  120. 0829: 

    How do you go from a question about the importance of the FA Cup to complaining about a section of fans and hitting out at your own club for the title they gave you? Find out by reading the full transcript from Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez's outburst on Wednesday night.

  121. 0823: 

    It is the final pre-season testing session before the 2013 Formula 1 season gets under way. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is out on the track on day one and we have live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.


    If you had an early night last night and missed the amazing rant by Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez after his side's 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, then you really have to have a listen to the BBC Radio 5 live interview.

    What are your thoughts on Benitez's outburst? Was he right to say what he did? What now for Chelsea and Benitez and will he even see out this season?

    Give us your thoughts on Twitter, using the hashtag #rafarant


    Here are the top three stories from our football gossip column.

    Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, 26, has fuelled speculation linking him to Bayern Munich ahead of Pep Guardiola's arrival as the German side's manager by admitting he would not "automatically" reject an offer. Guardiola's brother Pere represents the Uruguay international. (Metro)

    Tottenham have rejected a bid from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala to take 27-year-old defender Younes Kaboul on loan until the end of the season. Anzhi are searching for a replacement for Christopher Samba, who left for QPR in January. (the Guardian)

    West Brom manager Steve Clarke wants to keep on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, 19, at The Hawthorns for another season. (Chelsea)

  124. 0814: 

    Two late wickets leaves England in control as a New Zealand XI reach 224-6 at stumps on the second day of their warm-up match in Queenstown.

    Dean Brownlie was caught down the leg side for 63 in the penultimate over of the day off Jonathan Trott before Graeme Swann trapped Jimmy Neesham lbw for a duck. England lead by 202 runs, having been dismissed for 426 in the first innings.

  125. 0809: 

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan says out-of-competition drug testing would be a "step forward" in the wake of Tom Maynard's death.

    "If you had [drug testing] on a regular basis, there would be a starting point of potentially wiping it out completely," Vaughan told BBC Sport.

    Surrey batsman Maynard, 23, had cocaine and ecstasy in his system when he died last June, an inquest heard on Tuesday.

  126. 0805: 

    Rafael Benitez says he will leave Chelsea in May and describes the decision to give him the title "interim manager" as a "massive mistake".

    After beating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the FA Cup fifth round, the Spaniard also criticised some of the club's fans.

    He told BBC Radio 5 live: "Chelsea gave me the title of interim manager, which is a massive mistake. I'm the manager. The fans are not helping us. At the end of the season I will leave. They don't have to worry about me."

  127. 0800: 

    Good morning and welcome to Thursday's edition of Sportsday Live, coming to you from BBC Sport Centre in Salford Quays. Plenty coming up today with several Premier League clubs's news conferences plus, of course, all the reaction to THAT rant by Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez. First though, the three top stories on the BBC Sport website.

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