Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Kevin Pietersen signs new deal at Surrey
  2. Liverpool's Skrtel banned for three matches
  3. Scotland v Northern Ireland (19:45)

Live Reporting

By Adam Williams and Jonathan Jurejko

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye!

Gordon Strachan
PA

What is Gordon Strachan pointing towards? The Scotland boss, of course, is pointing you towards the BBC coverage of tonight's friendly between his side and Northern Ireland at Hampden Park.

We have a dedicated live text commentary starting at 19:00 GMT and you will also be able to listen on BBC Radio 5 live.

And that final plug means Sportsday is all over for another day - just enough time for you to grab some dinner before settling down for the match.

See you again for more Sportsday shenanigans at 08:00 GMT tomorrow!

Adam Jones to join Quins

Rugby Union

Adam Jones is leaving Cardiff Blues to join Harlequins at the end of the season.

The former Wales and British and Irish Lions prop has signed a deal with Quins who are eighth in the Premiership.

The 34-year-old retired from international rugby in January after being left-out of Wales' squad for the Six Nations Championship.

Player accused of biting is charged

Football

The Football Association charges Dagenham and Redbridge midfielder Joss Labadie with violent conduct - after the player was

accused of biting an opponent at the weekend.

The League Two player, who served a 10-match ban for biting another opponent last season, is being investigated by police for apparently repeating the act in the Daggers' 1-0 win against Stevenage.

Labadie, 24, has until 18:00 BST on 30 March to respond to the charge.

Listen live on 5 live

Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

That's a nice reminder for us - to remind you - that BBC Radio 5 live is providing live commentary on all the action from Hampden Park tonight.

Tune in and listen to Conor McNamara and the team later on.

Football

Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

Conor McNamara

BBC Radio 5 live

If you've not yet seen Scotland's kit for this evening's game, you really are in for a treat. Yellow, pink & white.

Get involved

#bethevideoref

Video Ref: Does France's Laurent Blanc deserve a red card?
BBC Sport

BBC Sport is giving you the chance to be the video ref and decide whether

France's Laurent Blanc deserves a red card after an altercation with Croatia's Slaven Bilic in the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup.

Magnus Poole: Intent maybe but Bilic's reaction totally over the top. Intention is to have Blanc sent off so to me warrants booking for both

Emmanuel Obinna: It's not as bad as Bilic made it, so I'd give Blanc yellow.

Jamie Morris: Red Card. Yes there was playacting and Blanc did no harm but the law is very clear on the issue so he had no defence

Join the debate using #bethevideoref.

Everton prospect joins Plymouth

Football

Everton right-back Gethin Jones

is to join Plymouth Argyle on loan until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old, who made his senior debut in the Europa League in December, will link up with Argyle after the Under-21 match between Wales and Bulgaria in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Red Bull chief is a liar - Renault boss

Formula 1

Not since the days of Prost and Senna have we seen a good spat in F1. Until now.

Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul accuses

Red Bull's Adrian Newey of lying after he blamed the car's problems on the engine.

Recent four-time constructors champions Red Bull finished a lap down on Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in the opening race of the 2015 season.

Technical boss Newey said "we've got an engine which is quite a long way behind". But Renault's engine chief responded: "It's hard to have a partner who lies."

Be interesting if/when those two bump into each other on the Malaysian grid this weekend...

The six o'clock (sporting) news

Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong. Bong.

That's the sound of Big Ben hitting six o'clock. And it means it is time for a bitesize look at today's best bits as you (hopefully) are heading home.

Top story: Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is banned for three matches for violent conduct.

Top feature: Harry Kane - is the England new-boy a new breed of homegrown hero?

Top video: Watch as Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton finishes a fantastic team try in their match against Salford Red Devils.

Forster's Southampton stats

Football

Fraser Forster
BBC

Saints target clean sheets for Forster

Football

Fraser Forster's knee injury will motivate Southampton to keep even more clean sheets, says Saints executive director of football Les Reed.

The England keeper, 27, has kept 13 Premier League clean sheets for the south coast club this season.

"Fraser is an outstanding goalkeeper and has been a huge part of our success this season. While this is a challenging situation, we look forward to him returning to action as soon as he is fully fit," Reed

tells the Saints website.

"No one will be any sadder than Kelvin Davis, who did an outstanding job replacing Fraser in such circumstances.

"I am sure the team will now be even more motivated to ensure we stay miserly in front of our goal and ruthless at the other end."

Get involved

#bethevideoref

BBC Sport is giving you the chance to be the video ref and decide whether

France's Laurent Blanc deserves a red card after an altercation with Croatia's Slaven Bilic in the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup.

Gregory P: Pulls his shirt in order to make it easy to push him in the face. Bit of theatrics by Bilic but it is a red card.

Tim: No. A red card for Bilic instead.

Join the debate using #bethevideoref.

No timescale on Forster return - Saints

Football

Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster had successful surgery this afternoon

after damaging his left knee last weekend.

"Forster will be ruled out for the rest of the season. A long-term prediction of when he will return will be made in due course," tweet the Premier League club.

Forster out for the season

Football

Southampton
Reuters

England goalkeeper Fraser Forster will be out "long-term" and miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, his club Southampton announce.

'Fletcher is Scotland's leader'

Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

Darren Fletcher
PA

Darren Fletcher's past experience leading Scotland could win him the captaincy against Northern Ireland later, says former international Mark Wilson.

Celtic skipper Scott Brown has led Gordon Strachan's national team recently but fit-again Fletcher is back playing at West Bromwich Albion.

"Scott has flourished under it when Darren's been injured," former Celtic player Wilson tells BBC Radio Scotland.

"But Darren's more the leader of the country and has been for many years."

Get involved

#bethevideoref

Video Ref: Does France's Laurent Blanc deserve a red card?
BBC Sport

You budding video referees are a busy bunch. Here's another contentious decision which has landed in your lap as part of our #bethevideoref series.

You decide whether France's Laurent Blanc deserves a red card after an altercation with Croatia's Slaven Bilic in the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup.

Tell us whether you would make Blanc walk or not, and why, using #bethevideoref on Twitter.

FA proposals an excuse - Sakho

Football

West Ham
Getty Images

English football's failings

should not be blamed on the number of foreign players in the Premier League, says West Ham's Diafra Sakho.

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has outlined plans to restrict non-EU players coming into the English game.

But Senegal striker Sakho, speaking at West Ham's new Olympic Stadium, tells BBC Sport: "Everyone can make their own excuses to defend their own interests."

Get involved

#bethevideoref

The latest of our

#bethevideoref videos asked whether
Geoff Hurst's shot off the underside of the crossbar in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany crossed the line or not?

Video Ref: Does Geoff Hurst's World Cup final shot cross the line?
BBC

Simon MacRae: It does NOT cross the line, hence why the LINESMAN with the better view does NOT give it!

MLS expands to 23

Football

Minnesota United are officially confirmed as the next Major League Soccer team.

Minnesota, who have competed in the second-tier North American Soccer League since 2010, will make their MLS debut from the 2018 season.

Plans have already been announced to include Atlanta and a recreation of Chivas USA in Los Angeles.

When Minnesota United kick-off their first season, they will be the 23rd franchise in MLS.

Countdown to kick-off

Germany v Australia (19:30 GMT)

Germany
Twitter

Germany: Everything is already in place in Kaiserslautern...

Shouldn't that box be packed with boots instead of flip flops? Unless they're playing beach soccer tonight instead....

Bale is a 'strong character'

Israel v Wales (Sat, 17:00 GMT)

Burnley striker Sam Vokes on Gareth Bale: "He's obviously a great player and one we're looking forward to playing with. He's a great character and a strong character and you have to be like that to play week in week out at that level. He's used to that and just seeing him here in the last few days he is buzzing around the place and looking forward to getting started.

Bale same as usual - Allen

Israel v Wales (Sat, 17:00 GMT)

Wales
PA

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen on Gareth Bale: "He's the same as usual. He's a world class player who every minute of every training session shows that. I doubt the Israelis will enjoy playing against him at the weekend. I don't get the impression that he is someone who is fazed by these sort of things - it comes with the territory at a club like that.

Bale can deal with pressure - Taylor

Israel v Wales (Sat, 17:00 GMT)

Swansea defender Neil Taylor on Gareth Bale: "He's fine. Normal Gareth. I think he's acclimatised to how his life is now.

"He's fit and ready like everyone - and everybody sees that he turns up to every trip. You can see how much he wants it as a Welshman.

"He looks like he's got used to the world he's in now. He's played in enough big games to deal with all that."

Welsh players quizzed on Bale

Israel v Wales (Sat, 17:00 GMT)

Gareth Bale
Getty Images

As the world's most expensive player (and plying his trade in the goldfish bowl that is Real Madrid), Gareth Bale is used to being a central topic of discussion.

And his Wales team-mates have been quizzed, ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier in Israel, about his demeanour after a couple of tricky months at the Bernabeu.

First, Bale was

booed by Madrid fans for not passing to Cristiano Ronaldo, then
appeared to have his luxury car attacked by irate supporters following Sunday's El Clasico defeat at Barcelona.

Here's the views of defender Neil Taylor, midfielder Joe Allen and striker Sam Vokes on the Welsh superstar's mood since linking up with his international team-mates....

Hammer time

Football

Dion Dublin
Getty Images

Now just in case you thought we were pulling your leg earlier, here's confirmation of arguably the story of the day.

Dion Dublin has been named as a

new co-presenter of Homes Under The Hammer on BBC One.

"I still want to achieve," he told BBC Radio 5 live. "I want to learn the art of presenting."

There's been such a storm created by the news that both "Dion Dublin" and "Homes Under The Hammer" have been in the top 10 UK trending topics on Twitter for much of the day.

Goal or no goal?

#bethevideoref

Video Ref: Does Geoff Hurst's World Cup final shot cross the line?
BBC

OK, fresh from your split opinions over Michael Owen against Argentina, we're moving on to another

#bethevideoref clip for you.

Does

Geoff Hurst's shot off the underside of the crossbar in the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany cross the line or not?

No voting this time, just get involved and tell us your decision via

#bethevideoref text 81111 (UK only) or comment on the
BBC Sport Facebook page.

Votes are in

#bethevideoref

So, did Michael Owen dive?

As part of our video technology debate here on Sportsday today, we asked you to watch the clip

from the 2002 World Cup and cast your vote on what decision you would give.

Here's the results:

  • Book Owen for a dive 41%
  • Award a penalty 46%
  • No action - wave play on 13%

Not a lot in it then in the final reckoning.

The key thing here is that if Owen was booked for a dive, England wouldn't have scored the goal that won this game and secured a memorable 1-0 win against Argentina.

David Beckham penalty v Argentina 2002
AP

Gibson out for Republic

Football

Darron Gibson
AFP

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad to face Poland in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday with a persistent groin injury.

He was one of three players unable to train with the rest of the party at the Aviva Stadium earlier, with James McClean and Stephen Ward battling ankle problems.

Voting closed

That's it. The votes are closed for our second

#bethevideoref clip of
Michael Owen.

Many thanks for all your votes. We'll bring you the results shortly right here on this page.

Countdown to kick-off

Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

Gordon Strachan
PA

An all-British showdown takes place in Glasgow later as Scotland host Northern Ireland in a warm-up for their weekend Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Northern Ireland sit second in Group F after winning three of their opening four matches and face Finland on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Scotland are third in Group D, with just one defeat - away to world champions Germany. Gordon Strachan's side take on group minnows Gibraltar at Hampden on Sunday.

All four UK teams and the Republic of Ireland have never qualified for the same European Championship. Could that move a step closer this week?

Find out...

Voting time running out

#bethevideoref

Here's your 10-minute warning to get your vote in on our second

#bethevideoref clip of
Michael Owen.

The vote is open until 16:00 GMT and the three options are on the top right-hand corner of this page or by clicking the vote tab on mobile or tablet.

We'll announce the full result on this page and you can read the

full terms and conditions here.

England got a ticket to ride

Football

England
@England/Twitter

Our transport geekery does not extend to being able to identify the station (we'll hazard an educated guess at Stafford or Tamworth), but if you did happen to be stood on this platform earlier then you may have found yourself jostling with Wayne Rooney or Joe Hart for a window seat.

The England squad, decked out in team tracksuits just in case train commuters did not recognise them, caught the train from their St George's Park training base to London earlier.

And those players who don't have a quick snooze will be able to see Wembley, where they play Lithuania on Friday, as the train passes through north-west London...

Get involved

#bethevideoref

Jean-Paul Breyer: Owen's dive vs Argentina is even more obvious than Rooney's vs Preston. Easy Yellow card nowadays.

Tim Norris: No penalty. Yellow card for Owen. Plus yellow for Beckham for his dive seconds before.

Corin Wright: Of course Owen dived. The Point is, after what happened in France ´98, England deserved the penalty. Still, it was a dive.

Bravo in line for Windies return?

Cricket

West Indies batsman Darren Bravo
Getty Images

West Indies batsman

Darren Bravo is set to make his return to action from injury after being named in a training squad ahead of England's Test tour next month.

Bravo's World Cup ended early due to a hamstring injury, but he has been put down in a list of 20 players by the West Indies Cricket Board for a training camp in Antigua that begins on 5 April.

Chris Gayle will miss the camp and the England series due to ongoing back problems and his Indian Premier League commitments.

West Indies training squad: Sulieman Benn, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sheldon Cottrell, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Leon Johnson, Veerasammy Permaul, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.

Somerset back Gayle to break records

Cricket

Chris Gayle
AP

Chris Gayle

has the potential to break T20 Blast records during his stint at Somerset this summer, according to director of cricket Matthew Maynard.

The West Indies batsman, 35, is set to arrive in Taunton in May and will play at least five games for the county.

"Just the mention of his name puts a smile on people's faces and it gives you that excitement, with the thrill of what he can deliver," Maynard told BBC Points West.

"It is that type of wicket [at Taunton] and if Gayle gets in we could potentially see the first double hundred."

Flower primed for Wigan return

Rugby League

Ben Flower is sent off in the 2014 Grand Final
Getty Images

Disgraced Wigan prop Ben Flower will go straight back into his side when his six-month suspension ends next month, says coach Shaun Wane.

Wales international Flower, 27, was banned after being sent off for punching Lance Hohaia twice in last year's Grand Final loss to St Helens.

Flower is set to feature when Wigan play Warrington on 16 April, rather than get playing time elsewhere. "I'm confident I can put him back in," says Wane.

Watch Flower's actions again here.

Get involved

#bethevideoref

Don't forget to vote on our second

#bethevideoref clip of
Michael Owen against Argentina. Here's what some of you are saying
on Twitter:

Mr H: The last part of the clip shows contact with Pochettino's knee and Owen's leg. So, yes. It was a pen.

Chris King: The third replay shows slight contact, which is enough to stop Owen. He is just faster than Pochettino. Penalty.

Adam Fearn: I forgot to watch whether there was contact on Owen or not, I couldn't take my eyes off Pochettino's flowing locks.

The vote is open 16:00 and the three options are on the top right-hand corner of this page or by clicking the vote tab on mobile or tablet.

We'll announce the full result on this page and you can read the

full terms and conditions here.

Swanny gets quizzed

#AskSwanny

Graeme Swann
BBC Sport

Ever wondered what former England spin bowler Graeme Swann

rates as his favourite Barmy Army song?

In our

#AskSwanny video, a selection of your questions were put to the Test Match Special pundit on all things England, coaching and his favourite moments of his England career.

Martin Skrtel banned

Football

On the day Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel learned he will be

banned for three matches for violent conduct, the Slovakia international shared
this picture on his Instagram page.

Martin Skrtel instagram picture
Martin Skrtel instagram

No caption or comment left with the picture by the 30-year-old, who said the stamp was unintentional.

Your afternoon headlines

It's three o'clock. Time for an afternoon tea break perhaps and while you're catching a quick work intermission, let us remind of the day's main sporting headlines:

Top story: Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is banned for three matches for violent conduct.

Top feature: Harry Kane - is the England new-boy a new breed of homegrown hero?

Top video: Watch as Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton finishes a fantastic team try in their match against Salford Red Devils.