Sportsday - breaking sports news as it happened

League Cup reaction, Premier League team news, Graeme Swann apologises plus breaking news.

19 December 2013 Last updated at 07:59 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1854: 

    That's the end of today's edition of Sportsday. There will be more of the same on Friday when we will bring you all the latest football news conferences and look ahead to the weekend's sporting action.

  2. 1850: 

    The Rangers board and supporters have been warned they have got one last chance to save the club from oblivion.

    Andy Kerr, president of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, fears the club will not survive another financial catastrophe following their liquidation crisis last summer.

    Kerr said: "We as supporters need to keep supporting the club. Can the club survive another process where we have to start again? I'm not sure because a lot of fans are already fed up.

    "I know some people think the only way to get results is for a boycott. But if we have to go back to the bottom, maybe go into administration again, it will be hard to pick people up again."

  3. 1844: 

    Europe captain Jose-Maria Olazabal has promised to make Friday's opening foursomes a "nightmare" for their Asia hosts when The Royal Trophy gets under way.

    The seventh staging of the annual tournament between the two continents, held at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, China, sees Europe trying to regain the title after losing a sudden-death play-off 12 months ago.

    Olazabal said: "I don't know if you heard that but captain Yang says we will lose 3-1 and vice-captain Zhang says it will be 4-0. Well, I think we had better turn that wishful thinking into the stuff of nightmares."

  4. 1838: 

    New Zealand Rugby chief executive officer Steve Tew on Sonny Bill Williams committing to the All Blacks: "Sonny showed in his two years with New Zealand rugby that he is an outstanding talent and was a real asset to our game.

    "We are delighted to have agreed terms which will see him return to rugby in 2015."

  5. 1833: 

    If you want to catch up with all the day's latest sports news then Sportsday has started on the BBC News channel and on this website.

  6. 1832: 

    Manager Tony Pulis believes Crystal Palace face a tough test against a Newcastle side flourishing without the distraction of European football.

    "I think European football caught them out and that has been proved this season with them not being in Europe," said Pulis of Saturday's opponents.

    "Two years ago they weren't and they had a great season and they are following it up this year by not being in the Europa League. That is the main reason they struggled last year."

  7. 1824: 

    Bayern Munich have extended Brazilian defender Rafinha's contract by three seasons. The 28-year-old played for Schalke before going to Sampdoria and then returning to Germany to sign for Bayern at the start of the 2011-12 season.

  8. 1820: 

    Everton's hopes of getting Gerard Deulofeu back before the end of January appear to have been dashed with his parent club giving a more pessimistic prognosis.

    On Tuesday Martinez said he thought the 19-year-old winger would be missing "for the best part of five weeks". However, Barcelona have increased that timescale to up to two months.

  9. 1815: 

    Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby has warned his players not to expect they will thrash Hearts again.

    Celtic host the injury-hit Scottish Premiership bottom club on Saturday, less than three weeks after winning 7-0 at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup.

    Mjallby told Celtic TV: "It's not easy for them as they are a very young team and confidence-wise they have been struggling a wee bit lately.

    "But the main thing is not for us to go in and think it's going to be 7-0 all over again. That's the worrying thing and something we need to press home, as we can't go into the game thinking it will be easy."

  10. 1805: 

    Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes he has a strong enough squad to cope with injuries and suspensions in the coming weeks.

    Midfielder Darron Gibson and striker Arouna Kone are out with long-term knee injuries while left-back Leighton Baines has been sidelined with a broken toe and on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu has now been ruled out for several weeks with a hamstring strain.

    "It's that time of the season," said the Toffees boss, whose side sit just one point outside the top four having been beaten just once in the league all season. "All we are doing is taking it game by game and making sure everybody is fully fit for the games they are involved in and nothing else."

  11. 1757: 

    Blackburn have made striker DJ Campbell available for selection again just a week after granting him time off following his arrest in the National Crime Agency's probe into spot-fixing.

    Earlier this month the Championship club confirmed that Campbell was one of six players that were arrested and bailed until April by the NCA, which was investigating claims published in a newspaper report of spot-fixing across the sport.

    Last Thursday, Rovers released a statement which explained the 32-year-old would be "given time to spend with his family" and would miss their game with Millwall three days later as a result.

    However, Campbell has now been welcomed back into the fold with Rovers revealing he was back training with the squad on Tuesday and is eligible to feature in their clash at Yeovil this Saturday.

  12. 1747: 

    England right-back Kyle Walker, Tottenham's captain during the Capital One Cup defeat by West Ham in the absence of Michael Dawson, believes recent results are merely a "blip".

    He said on "Every one of us has to dig in - the fans, the staff, the players - because we're a great football team with great players, great fans and we all need to stick together and come through this patch.

    "We need to dig in and as I keep saying, it will be a good season, we're just having a blip at the moment."


    Jimjam101 on Twitter: Dover Athletic vs Sutton United. Called off after 5 minutes due to ice, everyone kept slipping over. It was hilarious

    Henry Moore on Twitter: New Year's day at Stalybridge Celtic, howling winds and torrential rain. The final straw was the power cut meaning no hot pies

    What are your memories of a sporting event being disrupted by the weather? Tweet via #bbcsportsday.

  14. 1731: 

    Arsenal's Jack Wilshere has been suspended for two matches by an Independent Regulatory Commission.

    Wilshere was charged by The FA with making an offensive and/or insulting and/or abusive gesture during the fixture between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, 14 December. The incident was not seen by match officials but was caught on video.

    Whilst admitting the charge, Wilshere claimed the standard sanction for this offence was clearly excessive. The Commission rejected this claim and the two match suspension will commence with immediate effect.

    He will now miss Arsenal's home game with third-placed Chelsea on Monday and the trip to fourth from bottom West Ham United on 26 December.

    Jack Wilshere
  15. 1730: 

    Norwich manager Chris Hughton has warned his side they must be ready to bring Capital One Cup semi-finalists Sunderland back down to earth when they travel to the Stadium of Light this weekend.

    "Sunderland are on the back of a very good win, albeit not in the league, so they will be buoyed by that - but that is them," said Hughton.

    "We are also in good form ourselves, on the back of a very good away win at West Brom and a good performance against Swansea, so will be looking for that to continue."

  16. 1723: 

    Exeter Chiefs captain Dean Mumm has signed a two-year contract extension, to keep him at Sandy Park until 2016.

    Head coach Rob Baxter said the former Australia lock's decision sends a warning to the rest of the Premiership not to try to poach the Chiefs' top stars.

    Mumm, 29, joined Exeter in the summer of 2011 from the New South Wales Waratahs, assuming the captaincy from Tom Hayes at the start of this season.

  17. 1714: 

    The New Zealand Rugby Union has tweeted that Sonny Bill Williams has signed a two-year deal to play for the All Blacks and Chiefs Super Rugby team.

    Williams started his career in rugby league before playing 19 times for the All Blacks between 2010 and 2012 before switching back to league. He played for New Zealand during the recent Rugby League World Cup.

    Sonny Bill Williams
  18. 1706: 

    Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler believes Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is on a par with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

    "Messi and Ronaldo are unbelievable players but in all honesty, I wouldn't be embarrassed to say Luis Suarez's name in the same breath as those two. His form has been phenomenal - right now Suarez is definitely on the same level," Fowler told Standard Sport.

    "An extra three or four-year contract for Suarez shows that the club want to tie him down and aim towards getting in the top four. They've shown they're willing to stand by him and believe in him, and equally they're repaying him for his form this season, so I think it's a good decision."


    BBC Radio 5 live on Twitter: Tonight at 9pm. The Day We Won Wimbledon - narrated by John Hurt. You can listen to the preview on the BBC Radio 5 live website

  20. 1654: 
    Swansea FC

    Guardian's Stuart James on Twitter: Popped to Swansea for an interview earlier. Don't think another Premier League chairman can compete with this car...

    "Pink Ferrari" was purchased by the players - loser on crossbar challenge has to drive it for a week, into training everyday & to home games. As I left, the "jeep" was being loaded up with Christmas presents (paid for by the Swansea players) for children in a local hospital.

  21. 1648: 

    FIFA has fined the Greece Football Federation £68,500 for offensive behaviour by fans at a World Cup playoff victory against Romania.

    FIFA says Greek fans at the 15 November match in Athens breached disciplinary rules, including one relating to "contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions."

  22. 1640: 

    Keith Downing takes charge of West Brom this weekend with a sense of sadness.

    The 48-year-old served as an assistant to Steve Clarke but, after the Scot was sacked last weekend, he will go it alone in caretaker charge against Hull.

    "It's very sad and I had a huge amount of respect (for Clarke)," Downing, who joined West Brom in 2009, said.

    "I have learned from a very good man who has been in the game a long time and been under a lot of good managers."

  23. 1634: 

    Sunderland boss Gus Poyet warns that England's World Cup chances will continue to be hit until Premier League chiefs vote to bring in a winter break, with his side facing 11 games in 38 days.

    Poyet said: "The next five or six weeks is something I don't understand - why the rest of the world are probably on holidays next week and we have to play 250,000 games in a month and a half.

    "Nobody will convince me - it's not normal. I will even give you Boxing Day - I agree it is a special day in history and everybody wants to play that day - but then take the 27th off until the middle of January.

    "Then probably your national team players will get you to the World Cup in a better condition. But I'm not in charge. It doesn't matter how many times I say it - the winter break is needed and we don't take it."

  24. 1628: 

    Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer has confirms striker DJ Campbell is back in training and available for selection against Yeovil Town on Saturday.

    Campbell, 32, was one of six people questioned - and bailed until April 2014 - as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into spot-fixing.

    He was granted time away from the Championship club following his arrest.

  25. 1622: 
    Ishant Sharma

    India gain the upper hand following a batting collapse from South Africa on day two of the first Test in Johannesburg.

    The Proteas looked to be in the driving seat when captain Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla took the score to 130 for one, after the tourists themselves saw their lower order fold from 264 for five to 280 all out.

    But Ishant Sharma ended the 93-run partnership by bowling Amla and then had the out-of-form Jacques Kallis trapped in front next ball to begin a sequence of five wickets in just 39 deliveries.

    South Africa made a recovery of sorts - with Vernon Philander following up his three wickets in the morning session with an unbeaten 48 - to close on 213 for six.

  26. 1615: 

    Tim Sherwood will remain in charge of Tottenham for Sunday's Premier League match at Southampton after talks with chairman Daniel Levy today.

    The caretaker manager took training this morning and has been told he will remain in charge of the first team until told otherwise.

    Sherwood cast some doubt over his position after Tottenham's 2-1 defeat by West Ham in the Capital One Cup quarter-final on Wednesday.

    Tim Sherwood

    But with Spurs still working to identify a permanent successor to Andre Villas-Boas, Sherwood remains the man tasked with improving the club's fortunes in the short term.

  27. 1613: 

    The Rangers board have won their power struggle after all five directors were re-elected and their four opponents failed in their bid to be appointed.

    The outcome of the votes was announced in a statement to the London Stock Exchange following a stormy annual general meeting at Ibrox.

    Finance director Brian Stockbridge received 65.3% backing from shareholders while his four colleagues all secured more than three-quarters of the support.

    The four so-called requisitioners - Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray, Alex Wilson and Scott Murdoch - all polled close to 30 per cent of the shareholder strength.

  28. 1610: 

    The Netherlands will hold three separate training camps before they arrive in Brazil for the World Cup.

    Coach Louis van Gaal will have several days of training at Hoenderloo between 7 and 17 May for selected players who have already finished their club commitments.

    The Dutch squad will then fly to Portugal on 20 May for a week of preparation on the Algarve. The area has been chosen because the climate is similar to that in several of the host cities in Brazil.

    The squad will then return home for another week of training before setting off for Brazil on 5 June.

  29. 1605: 

    Newcastle boss Alan Pardew heads into the January transfer window hopeful of hanging on to star midfielder Yohan Cabaye.

    He said: "I am pretty confident that my owner and the club are in a great financial position. I would be a lot more nervous if we weren't.

    "He's a great player, there are always going to be big clubs sniffing around him. We are fortunate to have him, we are enjoying him while he is here and long may that continue."

  30. 1558: 

    Paddy Wallace will make his first Ulster appearance in nine months at Ravenhill against Zebre on Friday night in RaboDirect Pro12 action.

    The 34-year-old playmaker tore knee ligaments against Glasgow in February, and returns to senior action after two British and Irish Cup outings for the second string Ulster Ravens.

    Head coach Mark Anscombe has made nine changes to the side that beat Treviso last weekend.

  31. 1553: 

    Swansea swimmer Jazz Carlin believes the European team is in its best shape yet to take on the United States in this weekend's Duel in the Pool in Glasgow.

    The 23-year-old was part of the side who slumped to a 185-78 defeat in the event in Manchester in 2009, with Team USA coming out on top again in 2011 in Atlanta.

    Carlin said: "I raced the Duel in the Pool in 2009 and we did get a bit of a beating then but with the team we've got now, I think we are definitely in with a fighting chance."

  32. 1538: 

    Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor insists he will carry confidence and belief into Sunday's Premier League contest at Southampton after making a belated first start of the season against West Ham.

    Emmanuel Adebayor

    "I've been working on finishing since the start of the season," Adebayor, who scored the opening goal of the game, told Spurs TV. "I was hanging in there waiting for my chance. Tim gave me the chance to play football again.

    "I've still got my smile on my face. I got a chance, I took it well. I'm very happy. Now the most important thing is me scoring goals, confidence is back."

  33. 1524: 

    Aberdeen secure 18-year-old forward Cammy Smith on an extended contract.

    The Scotland Under-19 international, who has made nine first-team appearances this season after netting his first goal for the club against Inverness last year, has signed a deal that ties him to the Dons until summer 2017.

    The extension continues manager Derek McInnes's bid to build a squad for the long term after first-team players Jamie Langfield, Jonny Hayes and Peter Pawlett recently signed new deals.

  34. 1518: 

    Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill would welcome goalkeeper Shay Given back into the international fold, though he admits he has yet to make contact with the 37-year-old.

    After being relegated to the Aston Villa bench, Given has been revitalised by a loan move to Middlesbrough and could provide serious competition for Keiren Westwoood and David Forde.

    "I would not discount that at all," said O'Neill. "I haven't spoken to Shay but I would like to at some stage, if he says 'I'm back'."

  35. 1512: 
    Dennis Rodman

    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to meet leader Kim Jong Un and put the finishing touches on plans to bring 12 ex-NBA players to Pyongyang for an 8 January exhibition game marking the leader's birthday.

    Rodman said the game is on track despite the recent execution of Kim's uncle.


    Liam Kite: Plymouth argyle 4-1 down to barnsley and ref calls it off after 61 minutes due to rain! played the replay drew 0-0!

    David Whalley: I was in Warsaw for the Poland v England postponed qualifier. Fortunately my flight was the Thurs. But my clothes were ruined.

    Jeff Forshaw: Tranmere Rovers v Norwich City 1997 - Fog... Tranmere won 3-1 but to this day I don't know what the goals looked like.

    What are your memories of a sporting event being disrupted by the weather? Tweet via #bbcsportsday.

  37. 1500: 

    Leicester's Brett Deacon has revealed doctors told him he was "lucky to be alive" after contracting a severe case of immune system disease lupus.

    The 31-year-old confirmed his retirement on Wednesday on medical advice, and has assumed a role in Leicester's academy.

    Deacon admitted specialists told him he was fortunate not to have suffered a heart attack as a result of his symptoms.

    "The specialist said with the amount of clots I had I was lucky to be alive, with the potential for heart attacks," Deacon told BBC Radio Leicester. "It's tough having to retire through illness, but first and foremost comes your health."


    OptaJoe on Twitter: 1099 - Yaya Toure (1099) has made 123 more successful passes than any other player in the Premier League this season.

  39. 1450: 

    Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has committed his future to the Spanish champions by signing a new three-year contract.

    The 29-year-old World Cup winner's deal was set to expire in 18 months' time, with Manchester United one of the clubs who had been linked with a move for him either in January or in the summer as they look to bolster their midfield options.

    But Barca president Sandro Rosell has confirmed the player will remain at the Nou Camp until June 2018.

    Andres Iniesta

    Adam Priestley: I honestly wouldn't swap Pochettino for any manager around. He mirrors Saints' team: young, ambitious and progressive.

    Prince Randle: I'd love to see Karl Robinson as Forest manager. Failing that either Pearce, Zola or Ferguson.

    Michael Standing: I really wanted #cpfc to approach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when Ian Holloway left. Clever man, want to see him at a Prem club soon.

    With five Premier League bosses having departed before Christmas, we're taking a look at the managerial merry-go-round.

    Regardless of whether your team currently has a manager, who, in an ideal world, would you like to take the hotseat at your club? Tweet #bbcsportsday or share your views on BBC Sport Facebook.

  41. 1441: 

    The Daily Mail reports: "Chelsea defender Ashley Cole joined rival team-mates from Arsenal as the Gunners celebrated their Christmas party on Wednesday night - despite Jose Mourinho cancelling his players' own festive bash."

  42. 1434: 

    Ireland captain Liam Finn will be back in Super League in 2014 after being snapped up by Castleford.

    The 30-year-old goalkicking half-back, who had brief spells in the top flight with Halifax and Wakefield, has linked up with the Tigers following his release by neighbouring Championship club Featherstone.

    "I'm flattered and extremely grateful that a great traditional club like Castleford has given me the opportunity to play in Super League again," said Finn, who led the Irish in all three World Cup games against Fiji, England and Australia.

  43. 1429: 

    It's time to reveal the answers to today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official.

    The question was: It's 50 days till Sochi 2014 so which sports are these anagrams of key choice, kindest pages and loath bin.

    The answers are: key choice = ice hockey; kindest pages = speed skating; loath bin = biathlon.

  44. 1423: 

    With 50 days to go until the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the BBC are in Russia ahead of the event.

    End of Women's Downhill course. End of Women's Downhill course.
    Half pipe, aerials and moguls courses Half pipe, aerials and moguls courses

    For more photos from Sochi ahead of the games, check out the BBC Sport Instagram page.

  45. 1413: 

    Sally Giles: Returning to Bristol after match in Birmingham. Snow so bad coach driver got lost. Ended up at Leicester City FC!!

    Paul Devlin: Barcelona v Newcastle Champions League December 2002...torrential rain, closed turnstiles! 24 hrs later Shola scores!

    Jordan Walker: Paying £300 to go to Poland, sitting in the ground only to find out it was off due to a waterlogged pitch, smart laugh!

    What are your memories of a sporting event being disrupted by the weather? Tweet via #bbcsportsday.

  46. 1408: 

    Leicester Tigers are interested in signing Rhys Priestland, according to their rugby director Richard Cockerill.

    He admitted Leicester have made contact with Priestland's agents, but he conceded it will be difficult to secure the Wales fly-half's services for next season.

    Leicester's captain Toby Flood has been linked with a move to the Heineken Cup champions Toulon, should Jonny Wilkinson retire this summer, and Priestland would be an ideal replacement.

    Rhys Priestland

    Francis Keogh: Mountain Tunes has now given 18-times champion jockey AP McCoy his 4,000th and 4,036th win. Both times at Towcester in Northamptonshire.

  48. 1356: 

    Hereford United are facing the threat of a winding-up order after again revealing that they are struggling to meet their monthly wage bill.

    The Conference club have failed to meet their latest PAYE payment to Revenue and Customs, triggering an appointment with the taxman, expected in early February.

    But the most pressing concern for the board is paying staff for December.

    And they have appealed to fans to help raise £35,000 to meet the wage bill.

  49. 1351: 

    BBC Sport's Nabil Hassan on Twitter: "South African World Cup winning tight head prop CJ Van Der Linde will make his London Irish debut tomorrow night against Sale.

    GET INVOLVED- BBC Sport Facebook

    Samuel Chibuike Otiono: I'd prefer Roberto Di Matteo over Mourinho. Seriously.

    Stephen Phelps: Neil Lennon as Celtic manager is perfect as he knows what it's like to play for the badge and is a true Celt through and through.

    Shay Dillane: Joachim Lowe at United wouldn't be a bad shout.

    Shane Clapham: Brian Mcdermott at Leeds has been brilliant with nothing to spend. He never played for us but understands the traditions and expectations of fans. Very underrated manager who got treated harshly by Reading to our advantage.

    With five Premier League bosses having departed before Christmas, we're taking a look at the managerial merry-go-round.

    Regardless of whether your team currently has a manager, who, in an ideal world, would you like to take the hotseat at your club? Tweet #bbcsportsday or share your views on BBC Sport Facebook.

  51. 1340: 

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on the squad's togetherness: "You saw the spirit in our team as well at the weekend. If you looked at our bench when we were scoring the goals and when we were winning, it was a happy bench.

    "I've always said to the players that aren't playing that it's their responsibility to support the players that are playing. If you're out of the team, of course it's difficult and I always acknowledge and recognise that by supporting them.

    "There's very much a togetherness here, and that's one of the key facets of the season so far."

  52. 1335: 

    Doncaster Rovers assistant manager Brian Horton says it is unfair that British managers and coaches are being overlooked in favour of foreign ones.

    Horton was appointed by Scot Paul Dickov, who joined the Championship club after three years at Oldham.

    But only half of the managers at the 20 Premier League sides are British.

    "The coaching system and football [in Britain] is the best in the world. We are bypassing a lot of good managers," Horton told BBC Radio Sheffield.

  53. 1327: 

    Bristol Academy WFC: ‏GK @Sio_Chamberlain has signed for @ArsenalLadies.

  54. 1324: 

    With 50 days to go until the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the BBC are in Russia ahead of the event.

    End of the Slopestyle course getting a bit of maintenance End of the Slopestyle course getting a bit of maintenance

    For more photos from Sochi ahead of the games, check out the BBC Sport Instagram page.

  55. 1319: 

    South Africa are 118 for one at tea on the second day of the first Test against India at the Wanderers. India were dismissed for 280.

  56. 1315: 

    Barcelona president Sandro Rosell says Andres Iniesta has agreed to extend his contract for three more seasons until June 2018.

    Rosell says: "It's confirmed, we have shaken hands and that's good enough, especially with a person like Andres."

    Iniesta, 29, came up through Barcelona's youth teams and has helped them win three Champions League titles and six Spanish league titles.

    Rosell says that Iniesta is expected to sign his new contract on Monday.

  57. 1309: 

    More from Brendan Rodgers on Cardiff manager Malky Mackay:

    "He has had great results this season and is going to go on and be a great manager at a big club and I find it absolutely astonishing there is talk about him leaving there.

    "I worked with Iain Moody at Watford, one of the most authentic people you could ever meet. My only conclusion is you have a business guy operating the club who knows absolutely nothing about football.

    "When I see what Malky has had to put up with, to see him being questioned I find it remarkable. Especially when supporters there look up to him and respect him for what he's done."

  58. 1307: 

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on his Cardiff counterpart Malky Mackay.

    The Bluebirds visit Anfield on Saturday after a week in which there has been a public fall out between Mackay and Tan over transfers, leading to more speculation over the manager's future.

    Their first season in the Premier League has seen further off-field strife with the sacking of head of recruitment Iain Moody, who was replaced by someone with no football background and a friend of Tan's son.

    Rodgers said: "I find it astonishing what he has had to go through. This is a guy who walked into Cardiff after they had lost in the play-off semi-finals and they waited two weeks to sack the manager Dave Jones on the day we (Swansea) were in the final - which I found strange.

    "Malky walked into the club with 10 players that summer and he totally transformed the mentality of the club."

  59. 1302: 

    Former captain Alec Stewart warns England against making a knee-jerk reaction on the back of their Ashes humbling in Australia.

    In his BBC Sport column, he said: "I read and hear a lot of opinions, but I take the view that you should never just make immediate knee-jerk reactions on the back of a defeat. There will be a lot of ex-professionals and the public wanting to get rid of this player and that, but opinions are easy when you are not the one making the actual decisions.

    "Take a deep breath and think carefully what should be done."

    Read what else Stewart has to say here.

  60. 1257: 
    Raja Casablanca

    Moroccan champions Raja Casablanca became only the second African club to reach the final of the Club World Cup.

    The unfancied side, coached by Tunisian Faouzi Benzarti, struck two late goals in Marrakech on Tuesday to knock out favoured South American champions Atletico Mineiro 3-1 and reach Saturday's final against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

  61. 1253: 

    West Ham will not be able to block Leyton Orient agreeing a separate deal to rent the Olympic Stadium, the League One club's chairman says.

    Barry Hearn said the news had emerged from a meeting he had had with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

    West Ham won the bid to be the anchor tenants but Hearn said the LLDC had confirmed the Premier League club could not block other companies or clubs agreeing deals to use the Olympic Stadium when it was not being used by the Hammers.

    Hearn told Press Association Sport: "West Ham have no say about it, that was the most important thing that came out of the meeting."

  62. 1248: 
    Aled Davies

    Paralympic discus thrower Aled Davies on Twitter: What a surreal experience. Absolute honour to receive my MBE.

  63. 1244: 

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the future of striker Luis Suarez will take care of itself as long as the focus remains on football.

    Managing director Ian Ayre flew to Barcelona this week to open preliminary talks about an improved contract for the Uruguay international, who has two and a half years remaining on his current deal.

    "There is nothing to report on that," he said when asked about Suarez's contract.

    "Contractually, with any players, it is private so at the minute he is just focusing on his football."

  64. 1239: 

    Former Norwegian international Henning Berg has been named coach of Legia Warsaw.

    The 44-year-old defender, who won the 1999 Champions League with Manchester United, as well as three English titles during a glittering career, replaces Polish coach Jan Urban on a two-and-a-half year deal.

    Berg has yet to see his coaching career emulate his days as a player and had a dismal spell at former club Blackburn in 2012 where he was sacked after just 57 days in charge.

    GET INVOLVED- BBC Sport Facebook

    Si Hawkes: I've always said (since Swansea) when Wenger steps down I think Martinez is a potential man for the job. Same style/philosophy.

    Peter Holland: I'd have Roy Hodgson back at @FulhamFC any day of the week. Club legend, great escape #2?

    Rian Hoskins: Chelsea are more likely to achieve success with Mourinho but not sure if he will play the style of football Abramovich wants.

    With five Premier League bosses having departed before Christmas, we're taking a look at the managerial merry-go-round.

    Regardless of whether your team currently has a manager, who, in an ideal world, would you like to take the hotseat at your club? Tweet #bbcsportsday or share your views on BBC Sport Facebook.

  66. 1230: 

    Jonny Evans admits he took the soft option and headed for the dug-out when a ferocious hail storm caused referee Mark Clattenburg to call a temporary halt to Wednesday night's Capital One Cup tie at Stoke.

    Evans insisted there was no option - because no-one could see.

    "It was crazy conditions," said the Manchester United defender. "The wind was blowing hailstones into our eyes. They were the hardest hailstones I have ever felt.

    "You couldn't keep your eyes open, which meant you couldn't see."

  67. 1226: 

    Sports minister Helen Grant is set to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year despite politicians from other countries boycotting the Games due to Russia's law banning 'gay propaganda'.

    Germany's president Joachim Gauck, France's president Francois Hollande and EU Commissioner Viviane Reding have all announced they are boycotting the Games in response to Russia's human rights violations.

  68. 1220: 

    Edin Dzeko admits Sergio Aguero's absence is "very bad" for Manchester City but hopes he can fill the Argentinian's boots.

    Aguero limped out of City's 6-3 victory over Arsenal last weekend with a calf injury and could be missing for two months.

    Dzeko told several national newspapers: "Sergio has had an amazing season, scoring a lot of goals, and he is an important player for us.

    "That's life, and now we have to try to play games without him, and try to win. This is very bad for the team but there are a lot of players who want to play."

    Gary Lineker (left) with Eniola Aluko

    England and Chelsea's Eniola Aluko on Twitter: Me and Gary Lineker opening the stand at Barns Elms playing field for FA 150 celebrations. Where football started!

  70. 1210: 

    Swansea striker Michu has called on his club to snap up Iago Aspas on loan from Liverpool this January, report the Independent.

    Michu said: "We (the Welsh club's Spanish players) are hoping he can come here on loan. It would be a pleasure to play with him. Iago has had injuries, but he has quality. He deserves to play in the Premier League."

    The Spanish forward has struggled to make an impact at Anfield following his £7.2m move from Celta Vigo this summer and is yet to score for the club.

  71. 1206: 

    Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers on striker Luis Suarez:

    "It was extremely difficult for him to cope [with the 10 game ban].

    "He's matured and he's accepted the roles and responsibilities I've given to him as one of the senior players. He's one of the pillars of the group for me.

    "We're a young side and he's taken on that mantle while really adding the X-factor he has to his game. He's in a good place and his family is in a good place and long may it continue."

  72. 1203: 
    Rangers AGM

    Rangers chairman David Somers appeals to the fans to give the board time to win their trust after being greeted by loud jeers when he opened the club's annual general meeting.

    Rangers chairman David Somers has appealed to the fans to give the board time to win their trust after being greeted by loud jeers when he opened the club's annual general meeting.

  73. 1154: 

    Hungary name Attila Pinter as national team coach on Thursday in a surprise move after searching for, and then deciding against an overseas appointment.

    "We talked and looked at at least 20 foreign coaches, but after all we thought a native coach would be better," Hungarian FA president Sandor Csanyi told a news conference.

    "Pinter is a fighter, knows the Hungarian players and sees what's behind the scenes in our football. His will to win is strong."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcsportsday
    Liverpool fog

    Steven Jones: Flying from Irl to Liverpool, plane lands in Notts, £230 for taxi to Liverpool. LFC v arsenal cancelled due to fog ....

    Nabil Dhala: The Leicester v Ipswich game a few years ago when the ref took the players off 60 mins in to clear the snow. Great refereeing.

    Daniel Jenks: Sunderland v Fulham April 2006. A freak snow shower abandoned the game on 23 minutes with the visitors in front.

    What are your memories of a sporting event being disrupted by the weather? Tweet via #bbcsportsday.

  75. 1142: 

    The Football Association brings an end to its year of 150th anniversary celebrations by commemorating the organisation's founder Ebenezer Cobb Morley.

    FA chairman Greg Dyke has laid a wreath at Hull-born Morley's grave at the now disused Barnes Cemetery in London.

    Morley was the catalyst behind the meeting at London's Freemasons' Tavern in 1863 that led to the foundation of the FA.

    He drafted the first laws of the FA at his home in Barnes and was elected as its honorary secretary from 1863-1866. He became the second president of the organisation from 1867-1874.

  76. 1137: 

    The England and England 'A' netball squads have been announced ahead of next year's Tests against Jamaica and New Zealand.

    England squad: Pamela Cookey (captain) Eboni Beckford Chambers (vice-captain), Jo Harten ( vice-captain), Ama Agebeze, Rosie Allison, Jade Clarke, Kadeen Corbin, Sasha Corbin, Stacey Francis, Serena Guthrie, Laura Malcolm, Geva Mentor

    The England 'A' squad: Summer Artman, Sara Bayman, Shaunagh Craig, Emma Dovey, Rachel Dunn, Jodie Gibson, Helen Hounsby, Lindsay Keable, Yasmin Parsons, Mia Ritchie, Alice Travis, Georgie Webster


    It's time for today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official

    It's 50 days till Sochi 2014 so which sports are these anagrams of key choice, kindest pages and loath bin.

    Answers will be revealed later this afternoon.

  78. 1127: 
    Winter Olympics

    Sochi 2014: #50DaysToGo Sunset at #Sochi2014 Olympic Park #SeeYouInSochi.

  79. 1121: 

    Wasps' backline duo Jack Moates and Ben Jacobs will miss the rest of the season through injury, boss Dai Young confirms.

    Scrum-half Moates suffered a knee ligament tear in last weekend's Amlin Challenge Cup clash against Grenoble and will be sidelined for six to nine months.

    Centre Jacobs tore ankle ligaments in the same game, and will be out for at least six months.

    Both players will need surgery.

  80. 1115: 

    Manchester United hope striker Wayne Rooney will recover from a groin injury in time for Saturday's Premier League match at home to West Ham.

    Rooney was ruled out of Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final victory against Stoke with a groin strain.

    When asked whether Rooney would feature against West Ham, manager David Moyes replied: "He has got a chance, yes."

  81. 1110: 
    Gary Cahill birthday celebrations

    Chelsea defender Gary Cahill on Twitter: Thank you everybody for the birthday messages. Much appreciated! Looking forward to a great day

  82. 1104: 

    Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has said his old club is capable of knocking Bayern Munich out of the Champions League.

    Arsenal face the reigning European champions in the last 16 of the Champions League.

    "Arsenal are a young team, they are always getting stronger and stronger," said former World Cup winner Silva. "They have brought in players with the quality to make a difference on their own and for the team as a whole."

  83. 1100: 

    Nottinghamshire sign of former Lancashire veteran spinner Gary Keedy, whose primary role at the county will be as an assistant physiotherapist.

    The 39-year-old is looking to further his career away from the playing side of the game, although he will be available to play should his services be required.

    "We're pleased to have agreed a deal with Gary who has a wealth of experience and is uniquely qualified to serve us at this stage of his career," said Nottinghamshire's director of cricket Mick Newell.

  84. 1052: 

    Gay professional footballer Robbie Rogers has told Newsnight he feels he has a duty to set an example after coming out.

    The former Leeds United player revealed his sexuality in February but briefly quit the game afterwards - claiming it had made playing "impossible."

    "No one's done it so I had no one to look up to to test the waters before I went out there," he told Jeremy Paxman. "I know and I realise I'm the only one that's doing this. I do feel a responsibility."

  85. 1044: 
    South African batsman Graeme Smith

    South Africa are 22 without loss at lunch on the second day of the first Test against India at the Wanderers.

    Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel ripped through India's lower order, who collapsed from a promising position on day two.

    Philander took three scalps and Morne Morkel two as the tourists meekly lost their last five wickets for the addition of just 16 runs to be all out for 280.

    GET INVOLVED- BBC Sport Facebook

    Justin Todd on Facebook: I wouldn't prefer anyone over Martinez at Everton. Perfect manager

    Peter Foulger: I'd obviously welcome Fergie back with open arms... But I'm happy with Moyes. We may be a little off the pace in the league but we breezed through our European group and are in a cup semi-final. This could still be a very successful season.

    Lee Glover: Not a spurs fan or anything but for me Diego Simeone would be an ideal fit. with them flying in the league and CL though i think it would be tough to prize him away from them.

    With five Premier League bosses having departed before Christmas, we're taking a look at the managerial merry-go-round.

    Regardless of whether your team currently has a manager, who, in an ideal world, would you like to take the hotseat at your club? Tweet #bbcsportsday or share your views on BBC Sport Facebook.

  87. 1034: 

    Clermont Auvergne have cooled their interest in signing Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny and have put a move for his compatriot Alun Wyn Jones on hold.

    The French club were apparently not prepared to break the bank to prise Halfpenny away from the Blues.

    Clermont are also prepared to wait until after the 2015 World Cup to sign Ospreys captain Jones.

    Leigh Halfpenny
    GET INVOLVED- BBC Sport Facebook

    The Premier League has already seen five managers depart their clubs this season, while there have been a number of casualties throughout the football league.

    Regardless of whether your team currently has a manager, who, in an ideal world, would you like to take the hotseat at your club?

    Tweet #bbcsportsday or share your views on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  89. 1024: 

    Tottenham's caretaker boss Tim Sherwood believes he has "got to be in the frame" for the vacant managerial position at White Hart Lane.

    Sherwood, who was put in charge after Andre Villas-Boas's sacking on Monday, watched Spurs lose 2-1 to West Ham in Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final.

    "I've got to be in the frame, but it's not my decision, unfortunately," said the 44-year-old ex-Tottenham player.

    "I'm up for a challenge. I always have been. I'm very opinionated."

  90. 1018: 

    Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has said his team must beat Cardiff on Saturday otherwise their 5-0 victory over Tottenham will count for nothing.

    "We showed what we can achieve when we play the football we want to play and all of us do our jobs," he told the Liverpool Echo.

    "We have to make sure we build on that performance and do the same things against Cardiff."

    Simon Mignolet
    GET INVOLVED- #bbcsportsday

    matthew: Best race in my living memory - Canada 2011 JB from 24th to 1st after 3 hour rain delay!

    Morgan Murray: Remember when Preston v Bury got called off. Graham Westley paid £40 petrol and got everyone a can of coke.

    John Bailey: This is nothing. In the winter of 1963 most clubs didn't play for months due to the big freeze!

    What are your memories of a sporting event being disrupted by the weather? Tweet via #bbcsportsday.

  92. 1008: 

    Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to appear on a celebrity edition of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' on Thursday evening.

    The Scot will team-up with United fan and presenter Eamonn Holmes in a bid to win £1m for charity.

    Ferguson and Holmes appeared on the ITV show nine years ago and won £32,000.

  93. 1004: 

    Leon Osman is set to create Everton history by making more Premier League appearances for the club than anyone else.

    The defender is three games away from overtaking former defender David Unsworth's record of 302 Premier League appearances.

    "To be close to making the most for Everton is something very special," he told the Liverpool Echo. "It's something I'm very proud of."

  94. 0958: 

    Sam Tomkins could be set for a quick reunion with Wigan Warriors after the Super League champions arranged a friendly against New Zealand Warriors.

    The full-back, 24, joined the NRL side for a world-record fee in September.

    And he could make his debut for his new club against the team he helped to a league and cup double in 2013.

    The friendly, which will be played in Hamilton on 12 February, is a warm-up for Wigan's World Club Challenge match against Sydney Roosters 10 days later.

  95. 0953: 

    Wolverhampton announce the return of World Champion Tai Woffinden for the 2014 season.

    Woffinden, who became only the third Wolverhampton man behind Ole Olsen and Sam Ermolenko to take the sport's top honour in October, has agreed a new deal with Wolves owner Chris Van Straaten.

    India v South Africa

    India are all out for 280 on the second day of the first test against South Africa at the Wanderers.

  97. 0940: 
    FA chairman Greg Dyke

    Football Association chairman Greg Dyke defends the cut-throat gesture he made at the World Cup draw earlier this month, insisting it was merely "a piece of humour".

    Dyke caused a stir at the draw in Brazil on December 6 when he slid his index finger across his throat after England were placed in Group D alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

    Asked if he regretted his actions, Dyke told Sky Sports News: "No. It was a piece of humour. That's me.

    "If you want a straight-laced suit, you can have a straight-laced suit. Or you can have someone like me."

  98. 0934: 

    Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko wants to become undisputed world heavyweight champion by claiming the WBC crown vacated by his older brother Vitali.

    Briton Lennox Lewis was the last boxer to hold all the major belts in 2000, as the Klitschko brothers chose not to fight each other.

    Klitschko told German newspaper Bild: "It's obviously my aim to bring the WBC title back into the Klitschko family."

    This month, the older Klitschko swapped boxing for politics.


    Mercedes Formula One Nico Rosberg driver on Twitter: Just spun at full speed 320km/h on Bahrain straight cause my tyre blew up without warning.thanks to that need to get some toilet paper now.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcsportsday

    Phillip Applegarth: December 2010 getting all the way to Birmingham from Newcastle only to find out the match had been postponed #gutted.

    Ernesto Paniccia: 2011 Canadian Grand Prix.

    David R Bellairs: I'm old enough to remember the winter of 1962-63 when there was no league football for about a month.

    What are your memories of weather disrupted sporting events? Tweet #bbcsportsday.

  101. 0917: 

    Swansea City goalkeeper Michel Vorm will have an operation on Thursday to rectify a long-standing knee problem.

    The Swans had hoped the 30-year-old Dutch international would battle through until January, but he was in discomfort against Norwich on Sunday.

    The club have now decided the cartilage problem cannot be managed any longer and have booked him in for surgery.

  102. 0912: 

    Mercedes sign two leading engineers from world champions Red Bull to boost their technical staff, BBC Sport learns.

    Mark Ellis and Giles Wood will join Mercedes in June 2014.

    Red Bull now face two of chief technical officer Adrian Newey's main lieutenants leaving the team next year.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcsportsday

    Charlie Gill: Last Saturday it was so windy the ball would move back towards our goal from goal kicks.

    Eagles v Lions NFL

    Andrew Priestley: Anyone who saw the Eagles v Lions NFL game a couple of weeks ago will be appalled that a football match was stopped for hail.

    What are your memories of weather disrupting sporting events. Tweet via #bbcsportsday.

  104. 0903: 

    Cycling Australia (CA) says it will seek maximum punishment for Michael Rogers if the rider is found guilty of doping.

    The 33-year-old was provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Wednesday after testing positive for the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol.

    The three-time world time trial champion and 2004 Olympic bronze medallist denied any wrongdoing and blamed food contamination for the failed test.

    "While we respect Michael Rogers' right to defend himself, we will support the maximum sanctions applicable in the event that he is found guilty of doping," CA interim chief executive Adrian Anderson told reporters.

  105. 0857: 

    Swansea play down concerns that Michael Laudrup could leave the club to take over as manager at Tottenham.

    City boss Laudrup is among those being touted to succeed Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Spurs on Monday, in the wake of a 5-0 defeat by Liverpool.

    However, Swans assistant manager Morten Wieghorst said: "I don't think the club should be worried.

    "We've seen in his time here he's been linked with a few vacant jobs and he's said: 'I'm staying'."

  106. 0851: 

    Here are some of the stories making the international headlines.....

    L'equipe: Greek club Olympiacos's 24 year-old midfielder Sambou Yatabare could make a return to his former club Bastia. (in French)

    Marca: Real Madrid has quashed rumours of Xabi Alonso moving to England after it renewed the 32 year-old midfielder's contract. (Spanish)

    Bild: German club Hamburger SV's Sporting director Oliver Kreuzer has hinted at securing the services of their former team member Ivica Olic, 34. (German)

  107. 0845: 

    There are a lot of stories about the managerial situation in football in today's newspapers......

    Daily Mail: Former Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, 36, did not approve four of Spurs' seven summer signings and asked chairman Daniel Levy not to buy them.

    Express and Star: Villas-Boas has emerged as a contender for the vacant West Bromwich Albion job, along with former Liverpool coach Mauricio Pellegrino and Martin Jol.

    Daily Mirror: Ajax manager Frank de Boer, 43, is top of Tottenham's wanted list to become their next head coach.

  108. 0841: 

    Here are some of the headlines making the back pages in today's newspapers......

    Wilfried Zaha

    Daily Telegraph: Newcastle, Everton, Stoke, West Brom, West Ham, Aston Villa, Swansea and Cardiff are monitoring the situation of Wilfried Zaha, 21, at Manchester United.

    Daily Mail: Arsenal are tracking Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, 25, who has a £32m release clause in his contract with the Spanish club.

    Daily Star: Real Madrid want to make a bid for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, 26, next summer.

  109. 0837: 

    Tottenham fear Andros Townsend could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after he injured his hamstring during the League Cup defeat by West Ham.

    The England winger limped off the pitch in the 73rd minute of the 2-1 loss.

    When asked whether the 22-year-old would be out for a considerable time, Spurs' caretaker manager Tim Sherwood replied: "It looks like it. It looks like he pulled up with a hamstring."

  110. 0832:  
    BBC Radio 5 liveWEATHER IN SPORT

    Former Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham talking about the Potters' weather-disrupted League Cup quarter-final against Manchester United on BBC Radio 5 Live:

    "In the grand scheme of things I think it was a good idea. It could actually have been quite dangerous.

    "A good friend of mine - Rory Delap - when he was at Sunderland he had a similar situation and they couldn't really see each other and he ended up running into one of his teammates and breaking his nose.

    "From that point of view I think it was a good idea and it settled down quickly anyway so there wasn't too much of a break in play."

  111. 0826: 

    The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) says it may take disciplinary action against Heather Mills after alleging she "verbally abused" and "physically harassed" an official.

    Mills, 45, announced on Monday that she was abandoning her bid to ski at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics after the IPC ruled a new prosthetic leg she was competing on had not been ratified.

    The IPC says after the decision, Mills went into a "wild tantrum" and could now be fined. Mills's coach claimed there was a "vendetta" against her.

  112. 0822: 

    In other sport, England spin bowler Graeme Swann has apologised for "crass" comments made on Facebook where he compared England's Ashes defeat in Perth to rape.

    Swann, 34, had an online conversation with his brother where he said he would rather be at a concert.

    England lost the third Test and the best-of-five Ashes series in Perth.

    Swann said on Twitter: "Sorry to anyone who was offended by my comments in the papers today. Crass and thoughtless of me in the extreme."

  113. 0815: 

    Tottenham caretaker manager Tim Sherwood says he is yet to declare whether he wants to be considered for the role on a permanent basis.

    Following Andre Villas-Boas's sacking on Monday, Sherwood took charge as Spurs lost to West Ham in Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final.

    "I don't know if I'll be Spurs boss - I haven't spoken to the chairman," the 44-year-old said after the 2-1 defeat.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcsportsday

    Last night's weather-disrupted football has led us to ask you what are your memories of weather affecting sporting events? Have you been involved in a match or event that has been suspended or abandoned due to the conditions?

    Share your memories on Twitter via #bbcsportsday or on the BBC Sport Facebook.

  115. 0806: 
    Manchester United v Stoke

    Manchester United's quarter-final victory over Stoke was temporarily suspended in the 29th minute after a heavy hail storm.

    The match wasn't the only action affected last night by the weather with Sheffield Wednesday's Championship home match against Wigan postponed because of a waterlogged pitch after 59 minutes, with the Latics winning 1-0.

    The FA Cup second-round replay between Crawley Town and Bristol Rovers was also abandoned in the second half because of a waterlogged pitch, with the sides drawing 0-0.

  116. 0802: 

    Tottenham suffered a second successive home defeat as Modibo Maiga's late goal saw West Ham book a Capital One Cup semi-final tie against Manchester City with a 2-1 win.

    Stunning strikes from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra against Stoke set Manchester United up for a Capital One Cup semi-final against Sunderland as they won their quarter-final 2-0.

  117. 0800: 

    Good morning and welcome to another edition of Sportsday Live from the BBC Sport HQ in Salford.

    We will have plenty to bring to you today, including a host of Premier League news conferences ahead of the weekend's matches, starting with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers at 1100 GMT.

    All the reaction to the League Cup quarter-finals will also be high on our agenda, as will the latest managerial situation at Tottenham and West Brom.

    First, though, here are some of the stories from overnight.

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