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Summary

  1. BBC Young SPOTY top three: Downie, Kearney & Marquand
  2. Benzema banned from France team over alleged blackmail
  3. Schweinsteiger gets three-game ban
  4. Nine Premier League news conferences
  5. Debate: Your best and worst sporting facilities #bbcsportsday

Live Reporting

By Patrick Jennings and Saj Chowdhury

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye!

That is all from Sportsday today. Go over to our BBC Football page for Europa League live text commentary.

We will be back at 08:00 GMT on Friday.

Japanese team reach Club World Cup quarters

Football

Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima beat Auckland City 2-0 on Thursday in the opening game of the Club World Cup to book their place in the quarter finals.

European champions Barcelona and Argentina's River Plate, the South American Libertadores Cup holders, join the seven-team tournament at the semi-final stage next week.  

Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s Yusuke Minagawa
AP

And the pitch, Aaron?

Football

We've been publishing pictures of some pitches that could do with more TLC.

I'm sure the Hammers will be playing on something better when they move into the Olympic Stadium next season.

Had a good tour round the new stadium yesterday.. Looks incredible @whufc_official
Had a good tour round the new stadium yesterday.. Looks incredible @whufc_official

Had a good tour round the new stadium yesterday.. Looks incredible @whufc_official

Rousey v Holm II date set

Ronda Rousey v Holly Holm
EPA

UFC president Dana White tells the Los Angeles Times that "it’s Ronda Rousey" next for Holm, with a 9 July date pencilled in at the new arena in Las Vegas.

Holm produced a shock second-round knockout to see off 28-year-old Rousey who was undefeated in her first 12 mixed martial arts fights, with 11 wins in the first round.

Garry Monk statement

Football

Garry Monk
PA

Swansea and manager Garry Monk went their own separate ways on Wednesday.

Monk, 36, had managed the club since 2014. One win in 11 league matches this year resulted in the Swans sacking their manager.

Here are excerpts from his statement via the League Managers' Association: 

"It's with great sadness that I am leaving this special club. "Over the last twelve years I have been part of the Swansea City family. It has been both an honour and a privilege to play for and manage this club.

"I believe that whenever you join a football club, the supporters deserve your blood, sweat and tears. I can say for sure I gave all those things and more.

"Everyone at the club from myself, my staff and the players themselves have been working tirelessly to change this loss of form, but unfortunately have not been able to in satisfactory time.

"I feel truly proud of all we've done during my 22 months in charge. I would have liked to continue because I strongly believe we would have come through this period together and stronger but I will now use my time to reflect and improve, ready for my next challenge.

"I would like to finish by thanking Huw Jenkins and the board of directors for giving me the opportunity to manage this remarkable club and for their support throughout the whole of my journey at Swansea City."

Jersey hopeful of Uefa membership

Football

The Jersey FA believes their hopes of Uefa membership may hinge on the outcome of applications for membership by Kosovo and Greenland.

"If the application of Kosovo is to be dealt with on its merits, and it is expected that a future application by Greenland will be considered when it develops its facilities, then Jersey's application must also be dealt with on its merits," the island's bid document states.

Current Uefa rules state that only sovereign nations can be admitted as members.

Hinch sharp before GB semi

Hockey

Nick Hope

BBC Sport, Olympic Sport reporter in Rosario

GB keeper Maddie Hinch tells me the team spent most of Wednesday's training session, before Thursday's World League clash against New Zealand, working on their shootout skills.

Hinch was the hero for England as they defeated world and Olympic champions the Netherlands in a shootout to claim European gold in August.

"Obviously we want to win in regular time, but we know this game could be very tight so given our record we're confident if it does go to a shoot out that we can come out on top," she tells BBC Sport.

Great Britain hockey
Getty Images

Young Sports Personality of the Year

The top three contenders for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2015 have been revealed on Blue Peter:

Ellie Downie (Gymnastics)

Tully Kearney (Para-Swimming)

Tom Marquand (Horse Racing)

The winner will be announced at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which comes live from The SSE Arena, Belfast on Sunday 20 December, 18:50 GMT, BBC One.

Claudia Fragapane
BBC
Gymnast Claudia Fragapane won the award last year

GB target World semi

Hockey

Nick Hope

BBC Sport, Olympic Sport reporter in Rosario

The British women face world number four nation New Zealand at 19:00 GMT today for a place in the World League semi-finals.

After a slow-start, which saw GB lose to hosts Argentina on the opening day, the team have been gathering momentum and defeated world number two side Australia on Tuesday.

This is one of the team's final major events before next year's Rio Olympics and victory today would be a further sign of GB's progress in a year which saw them qualify for the 2016 Games and claim European gold.

Sion v Liverpool (18:00 GMT)

Europa League group match

If you want to follow how Liverpool get on in their final group game then check out our Europa League live text. Celtic are at Fenerbahce.

Tottenham host Monaco at 20:05 GMT.

Both English clubs are through to the knockout stages.

Reading Women switch grounds

Football

Reading FC Women will play their home games at Adams Park, the home of Wycombe Wanderers, next season.

They were promoted to WSL 1 last season, but their groundshare agreement at Farnborough was not renewed.

Adams Park has been Wycombe's home since 1990-91. 

No Swansea pre-match news conference

Man City v Swansea (15:00 GMT)

Swansea were due to have their pre-Manchester City game news conference on Thursday, but delayed that until Friday.

Now the Swans, who sacked manager Garry Monk on Wednesday, have cancelled Friday's news conference.

Europa League: Sion v Liverpool (18:00 GMT)

Football

Confirmed #LFC team to face FC Sion: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Smith, Henderson, Milner, Can, Lallana, Firmino, Origi.

There will be live text coverage of the Reds' final Europa League group match on this website at 17:00 GMT.

Top English Premier League managers

Football

Roy Evans
.

This is a bit of a surprise don't you think?

Former Liverpool boss Roy Evans has the best win percentage of any English manager in the Premier League.

To see the top 10, watch this video.

Bolton confirm winding-up petition

Football

Bolton Wanderers confirm that the club has now received a winding up petition from HMRC in respect of unpaid PAYE and VAT for the month of November.

A statement from the club added:

"Despite requests from the club to HMRC to give it further time to either conclude a sale or raise additional funds, HMRC has proceeded with due process and duly served a petition.

Trevor Birch, advisor to the board and owner at Bolton Wanderers:

"Quite clearly the club remains in a critical financial position. We will continue to try and finalise a sale or alternatively raise some short term funds needed to give the club a breathing space and time in which to consider its options."

Schweinsteiger three-game ban

Football

Statement from The Football Association:

"Bastian Schweinsteiger will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after he accepted an FA charge for violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.

"The Manchester United midfielder was involved in an incident with West Ham United’s Winston Reid in the 40th minute of the game on Saturday 5 December 2015."

Winston Reid and Bastian Schweinsteiger
Getty Images

BBC award announcement on Saturday

Football

BBC African Footballer of the Year reveal tomorrow; I'll be on our special show at 1530 GMT on BBC World TV. But where will the trophy be??

Grosskreutz to Liverpool?

Football gossip

Is Galatasaray winger Kevin Grosskreutz on his way to Liverpool? 

Turkish paper Takvim is reporting the former Borussia Dortmund man has already agreed personal terms on a move that will see him link up with Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp
Getty Images

Galloway signs new Everton deal

Football

BREAKING: Defender @brendan_gallo37 has signed a new contract with #EFC to the end of June 2020.

BREAKING: Defender @brendan_gallo37 has signed a new contract with #EFC to the end of June 2020.

A new deal for the youngster, who has done well at left-back in the absence of Leighton Baines.

With Baines now close to a full return, will Galloway's run continue?

Euro 2016 draw - this Saturday!

Football

Here's a random one for you...

Don't miss out! @davidguetta will be answering your questions after Saturday's #EURO2016 draw. Use #AskGuetta...

Don't miss out! @davidguetta will be answering your questions after Saturday's #EURO2016 draw. Use #AskGuetta...

You can follow the draw from about 17:00 GMT this Saturday on the BBC Sport website!

There's no David Guetta though. 

Advent calendar; basketball beauty; Tyson Fury

Check out the best of the BBC Sport website's video content.

BBC Sport
BBC Sport

Rossi withdraws appeal

Moto GP

Former world champion Valentino Rossi withdrew his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) after an initial demand to have a three point penalty overturned following the Malaysian Grand Prix in October.

The nine-time champion was given the punishment following an incident on the track when he collided with Spanish rider Marc Marquez who crashed out of the race after contact with the Italian in the 25 October race.   

Valentino Rossi
AP

Grassroots football - the state of play

#bbcsportsday

Is your Sunday League home pitch a nightmare of divots and dips? Or are the preconceptions outdated and you play on a turfy green dream?    

Good or bad, send in your photos and share your stories using #bbcsportsday on Twitter.

#bbcsportsday Failed a late pitch inspection...

#bbcsportsday Failed a late pitch inspection...

You can also text us on 81111 (UK only - please include a name) or post a comment on the BBC Sport Facebook page and we will publish them right here.  

'Celtic out to spoil Fener party'

Fenerbahce v Celtic (18:00 GMT)

#BBCSportsound live on BBC Radio Scotland at 5:30pm on 810MW/digital & online. #EuropaLeague
#BBCSportsound live on BBC Radio Scotland at 5:30pm on 810MW/digital & online. #EuropaLeague

#BBCSportsound live on BBC Radio Scotland at 5:30pm on 810MW/digital & online. #EuropaLeague

Celtic will finish bottom of Group A and cannot reach the last 32 of the tournament.

But manager Ronny Deila says Celtic will do all they can to "ruin Fenerbahce's party" in Thursday's Europa League meeting.  

Fenerbahce, who are second, are well placed to join current group leaders Molde in the next round but Ajax can overtake the Turkish side.

"The motivation is to win and to perform," Deila told BBC Scotland.

Townsend signs new contract

Rugby Union

Head coach Gregor Townsend signs a contract extension to remain at Glasgow Warriors until June 2017.

The former Scotland fly-half, 42, has been in charge at Scotstoun since 2012 and led the club to their maiden Pro12 title success last season.

"I'm very excited to be able to continue my role with the Warriors," said Townsend.

"Being offered the job in 2012 was a huge honour and I've thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone at the club."

Townsend
Getty Images

Van Gaal v Moyes in Europe

Football

You know what they say about statistics, but still. 

This can't be pretty reading for Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, with his side condemned to the Europa League...

6 - Manchester United's Champions League group stage performance under Van Gaal and Moyes. Comparison.

6 - Manchester United's Champions League group stage performance under Van Gaal and Moyes. Comparison.

Stoke news conference

West Ham v Stoke (Sat, 15:00 GMT)

Stoke City

A final word from Stoke City boss Mark Hughes in his earlier news conference to bring you.

"We're in good shape & most of the squad is available. We're hoping to get another good performance. The group is really focussed.

"We're not used to all the compliments, normally we go under the radar! If the profile is raised we'll deal with that challenge."

Benzema banned from France squad

Football

So in other words, Benzema cannot be called up by the national team until he is convicted or cleared of the alleged offence.

In case you need a recap, this all relates to an alleged attempt to extort money from Benzema's fellow French international Mathieu Valbuena over a sex video.

Benzema denies wrongdoing, but if found guilty, could face a minimum of five years in prison.

Benzema Valbuena
Reu

Benzema banned from France squad

Football

Here's some more on the French Football Federation's [FFF] decision tosuspend striker Karim Benzemafrom the national team.

"I have decided, it's a decision from the president of the French federation and not from the executive committee or the ethics committee," FFF president Noel Le Graet said. 

"As long as the judicial system has not decided that everything that has been published on Benzema is excessive, the federation will not change its mind."

Karim Benzema
Getty Images

Europa League build-up

Tottenham v Monaco (20:05 GMT)

Monaco must beat Tottenham to have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Spurs are already through but would win Group J with a draw. Will Mauricio Pochettino play the kids tonight? 

They play at home to Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday...

Walk in London ! #TempsAnglais #TOTASM
Walk in London ! #TempsAnglais #TOTASM
Walk in London ! #TempsAnglais #TOTASM
Walk in London ! #TempsAnglais #TOTASM

Walk in London ! #TempsAnglais #TOTASM

Who's in and out

Football

The 12 UEFA Europa League groups end tonight and 20 teams are chasing the nine remaining round of 32 places still available alongside the 15 confirmed qualifiers and the eight clubs ending third in UEFA Champions League sections. 

Already qualified: Molde, Liverpool, Krasnodar, Dortmund, Napoli (group winners), Villarreal, Rapid Vienna, Braga, Lazio (group winners), St-Etienne (group runners-up), Basel (group winners), Tottenham, Schalke, Sparta Praha, Athletic (group winners).

Can qualify: Fenerbahce, Ajax, Sion, Rubin, Midtjylland, Club Brugge, Legia Warsaw, Marseille, Slovan Liberec, Besiktas, Lokomotiv Moskva, Sporting CP, Fiorentina, Lech Poznan, Belenenses, Anderlecht, Monaco, Qarabag, Partizan, Augsburg.

Eliminated: Celtic, Bordeaux, PAOK, Qabala, Viktoria Plzen, Dinamo Minsk, Groningen, Dnipro, Rosenborg, Skenderbeu, Asteras, APOEL, AZ Alkmaar.

Jurgen Klopp
EPa

Stoke news conference

West Ham v Stoke (Sat, 15:00 GMT)

Stoke City

Mark Hughes
Reuters

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has been talking to the media ahead of Saturday's trip to West Ham

On last weekend's win over Manchester City: "It was the level of performance we'd hoped we were capable of. The challenge is to replicate it on a consistent basis.

"West Ham are hurting somewhat with the injuries they have. But you look at the players they have left & they're still a very good team.

"West Ham in an away fixture is always a difficult game. As its their last season at the Boleyn Ground that will make it a challenge too."

Wales resolve Euro bonus

Football

Dafydd Pritchard

BBC Sport Wales at the Liberty Stadium

Wales' players and the Football Association of Wales have resolved the dispute about their bonus payment for qualifying for Euro 2016.

There had been a disagreement after the FAW offered the squad a shared seven-figure bonus for qualifying which was lower than its pre-qualifying offer.

A group of four senior players - including Gareth Bale - led the discussions with the FAW.

It is understood the players had been unhappy with a revised bonus offer.

Gareth Bale
Reuters

Benzema banned from France squad

Football

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet said Benzema's ban would include the 2016 European Championships unless the case was settled.

"I have decided that he is not available for selection,'' added Le Graet, who had previously supported Benzema. He described the decision as "heart-breaking''.

Benzema scored a hat-trick for Real Madrid on Tuesday, in an 8-0 win over Swedish club Malmo in the Champions League.

Benzema banned from France squad

Football

Benzema, 27, is being investigated over a blackmail plot involving team-mate Mathieu Valbuena but denies wrongdoing.

The former Lyon striker, who has scored 27 international goals, faces charges of conspiracy to blackmail relating to an extortion scam over a sex tape.

France are hosting this summer's European Championship, which gets under way in June. 

Karim Benzema
GEt

BreakingBenzema banned from France squad

Football

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is banned from playing for the France national team because of his alleged involvement in a sex-tape blackmail plot, report AFP.

The fish are found!

Football

Breathe easy fish fans!

You may recall the that earlier today, Carlisle discovered three Koi Carp swimming in their goalmouth at Brunton Park.

Well, the latest from the League Two club is they've now been claimed and rescued by their owner!..

More unbelievable news: Mark Chandler from Warwick Road spotted his fish on social media & has been to rescue them!

More unbelievable news: Mark Chandler from Warwick Road spotted his fish on social media & has been to rescue them!

Groundsman Dave Mitchell was helping repair the damage caused by Storm Desmond, which began on 4 December, when he found the fish at the Waterworks End of the League Two club's ground.

The storm flooded thousands of homes in Cumbria and Lancashire and causing widespread damage and power cuts.

Hamilton to try Nascar?

Formula 1

Will Lewis Hamilton move to Nascar during his career?

TMZ reports that the British world Formula 1 champion told them he was "intrigued" by the idea and would ask for the help of former Nascar driver Jeff Gordon he was interested.

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images