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Summary

  1. Debate: Best and worst statues
  2. Get Involved: #bbcsportsday
  3. Spurs' Erik Lamela ruled out for rest of the season
  4. Pakistan ban bowler Irfan for one year
  5. Jo Pavey set for world bronze upgrade

Live Reporting

By Jack Skelton and Frank Keogh

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Farewell

That's all from Sportsday today folks.

Many thanks for your belting best and worst statue suggestions. There are some truly bizarre 'tributes' out there.

I'll leave you once again with this remarkable 'likeness' of Cristiano Ronaldo...

Cheers!

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Westie: A terra cotta Andy Murray. Apparently.

While this one is...quite something. Murray was presented with his likeness as a terra cotta warrior during the Shanghai Masters in 2011.

No idea if it's still standing...perhaps Murray took it home with him?

Andy Murray
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Howard Sherridan: The Tom Finney statue in Preston is glorious! 

This is a fitting tribute to Finney outside Deepdale...

Tom Finney
Getty Images

So that's nearly that for Sportsday today...just to point you in the direction of a couple of things.

There's more on the breaking news that Spurs' Erik Lamela has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hip injury here.

And here's a cracking read on the rise of Chelsea star N'Golo Kante ahead of a BBC Radio 5 live special  'Creating N'Golo Kante'  - which you can listen to tonight at 19:30 BST or on catch-up.

But let's finish with a couple more of your best and worst statues, shall we?

'Real enthusiasm' for equal opportunities for black managers - Hughton

Football

Chris Hughton feels there is a "real enthusiasm for change" to give equal opportunities for black managers in the English game.

The Brighton boss is one of three black first-team managers employed at one of England's 92 professional clubs.

He is keen for the change he says he has already seen at grassroots and in academies level to be replicated in first teams at the highest level.

Read more here.

Chris Hughton
Getty Images

Lions must go for 'all-out attack' against All Blacks

Rugby Union

This week's Rugby Union Weekly podcast is now available, as the team look ahead to the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand this summer.

Wasps' Kiwi fly-half Jimmy Gopperth says the Lions must adopt an "all-out attack" approach to beat the All Blacks - risky business or the best course of action?

There are also previews of this weekend's European Champions Cup quarter-finals and an interview with Saracens and England hooker Jamie George .

Read more here and download the podcast here.

British and Irish Lions coaching staff
Getty Images
Lions coaching team or unlikely boy band?

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Derek Elmore: The statue of Tony Adams at the Emirates captures him celebrating a goal perfectly, inexplicably wearing Roger Federer's head.

Is there a hint of the Swiss maestro's features in Adams' statue?

Tony Adams statue
Getty Images

Lamela out for the season

Football

More from Spurs on the injury to Erik Lamela that will keep the Argentina midfielder out until next season:

"[Erik Lamela] has undergone a comprehensive rehabilitation process following the injury in November. 

"The player has achieve​d a good level of function, however he has been unable to reach the stage required to make a full return to training.

"Therefore, following ongoing extensive consultation with specialists, surgery has been agreed by all as the best course of action." 

BreakingLamela out for the season

Football

In other Spurs news, they've just confirmed midfielder Erik Lamela is out for the rest of the season as he is set to undergo hip surgery...

View more on twitter

Spurs to play at White Hart Lane next season?

Football

Tottenham could continue playing at White Hart Lane next season, according to chairman Daniel Levy.

Spurs are having a new stadium built next to their existing home and had been expected to play at Wembley next season while the project is completed.

But Levy is seeking "greater certainty" over the delivery of the stadium in time for the 2018-19 campaign.

Spurs have until Friday to activate an option on Wembley after an application to host 27 games was approved.

Should Tottenham stay at their current ground next season, they would likely play home games at Wembley the following year before moving into the new 61,000-seater stadium in time for the 2019-20 campaign.

White Hart Lane
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Phil Dodsworth: Sir Stanley Matthews' statue has to be one of the best...

This fine tribute is outside Stoke City's bet365 Stadium.

Sir Stanley Matthews statue
Getty Images

'Argentina will struggle to qualify without Messi'

Football

BBC Radio 5 live

With Argentina falling out of the automatic qualifying spots and without banned captain Lionel Messi for four matches, the two-time champions face an uphill battle to make the 2018 World Cup.

That's the view of South American football expert Tim Vickery, as he joins BBC Radio 5 live's Football Daily.

The podcast also rounds up the rest of the international action and discusses Real Madrid's interest in Chelsea star Eden Hazard .

Download the podcast here.

Lionel Messi
Getty Images

O'Sullivan out of China Open

Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered a shock second round exit at the China Open after losing a final-frame decider to world number 51 Mark Joyce .

Despite producing two century breaks, the five-time world champion never led and was eventually knocked out 5-4 as Joyce set up a last-16 meeting with home favourite Ding Junhui.

Joyce made a 137 clearance in the seventh frame to move 4-3 ahead after O'Sullivan shot a break of 132, but the Rocket came back to level at four apiece to set up a decider, which Joyce then took 62-34.

Ding hit successive centuries of 109 and 127 in the opening two frames on his way to a 5-0 whitewash of Chinese compatriot Zhou Yuelong. 

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Ah yes, this statue of former Southampton player and manager Ted Bates was taken down a week after it was unveiled in 2007 because fans complained it looked nothing like the Saints legend.

Sam Arthur tweet
@sam_arthur

A new statue with a better likeness, made by a different sculptor, was unveiled a year later.  

Ted Bates
Getty Images

Ibrahimovic hints at United stay

Football

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has indicated he could prolong his time with Manchester United.

The 35-year-old striker has become a fans' favourite at Old Trafford, having so far scored 26 goals in 41 appearances in his debut season after joining on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain. 

Ibrahimovic, who has the option of another year on his contract, told the Manchester Evening News: "I'm a person when I go into something I put my head 200% and I do what I'm good at.

"I go in, I go for the kill and I go out. And when I go out, there is no complaints, that's what I do. I never leave a job unfinished."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
EPA

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

At least that Steve Ovett statue on Brighton beach is in better shape than his previous one in Preston Park, which was cut off at the ankle and stolen in 2007...

Steve Ovett statue
Rex Features

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Sophie Cook:  I'm sorry but it's got to be the statue of Steve Ovett on Brighton beach - it makes him look like an excited zombie.

Steve Ovett statue
Rex Features

Home nations seek new sponsors

Some more on news we brought you earlier that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will all be seeking new main sponsors, with Vauxhall ending a seven-year partnership with the home nations after the 2018 World Cup.

The car manufacturer has been the leading sponsor for all four nations since 2011, but revealed on Wednesday that the agreements would come to an end next summer.

There could still be scope for further sponsorships, with the Football Association hopeful of "a lower-level partnership". 

Vauxhall said in its statement that it had "agreed to explore other opportunities to continue its relationship with the FAs beyond the conclusion of the existing contracts".

Vauxhall
PA

Ranieri 'more shocked than bitter'

Football

Claudio Ranieri  says his sacking by Leicester last month gives him "the sense of surprise more than bitterness."

The 65-year-old was speaking to inmates at Rebibbia prison in a ceremony to honour regional football coaches in Italy. Because where else would he break his silence?

However, he also promised to reveal more when he appears on Sky Sports as a pundit for the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal on 10 April. 

For now, Ranieri said: "The biggest thing is I'm just a coach who has had the joy of winning a championship with a fantastic adventure and then to experience the sorrow of what happened next.

“I have been through a lot in my long career, but never anything like this. It was a shock, but in the end these things are part of football."

Claudio Ranieri
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

Burnley's Joey Barton is one of many to note that Cristiano Ronaldo's bust perhaps bears more resemblance to former Sunderland and Republic of Ireland striker Niall Quinn.

View more on twitter

And here is a picture of Niall Quinn from 2006, with Roy Keane, who is looking like a statue of Alan Hansen...

Niall Quinn with Roy Keane
PA

Wife blames China player's affairs for error

Football

A Chinese player's wife claims that his extra-marital affairs are behind his embarrassing mistake in a World Cup qualifying defeat to Iran on Tuesday.

Jiang Zhipeng put in a disastrous display in Tehran, during which his mis-placed header set up the home team for the only goal of the game.

Jiang's wife revealed on social media that he had filed for divorce.

"For three-and-a-half years out of our four-year marriage, he was sleeping with other women," said Zhang Zhiyue.

"Now he is trying to drive me to an early grave."

Jiang Zhipeng
Getty Images

South Africa saved by the rain

Cricket

South Africa sealed a 1-0 series win in New Zealand after rain washed out the final day of the third Test.

The tourists had faced defeat,  80-5 at the start of the day and 95 runs short of making New Zealand bat again.

But the hosts were denied the chance to seal a series-levelling victory as play was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Hamilton.

"It's a real fair assessment to say we got saved by the rain," said South Africa captain Faf du Plessis (picking up the series trophy below).

Faf du Plessis
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Michael Jackson statue
Getty Images

Elliot Leaver: Surely the worst sporting statue is Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage? 

Dan Fookes: The worst HAS to be Fulham's Jacko tribute.

The statue is no longer outside Fulham's ground, but can be viewed by visitors to the National Football Museum in Manchester.

An appropriately-named winner

Coincidence backers will be counting their winnings after the opening race of the afternoon was won by 9-2 shot Treaty Of Rome.

View more on twitter

You can check out all the latest racing results on the BBC Sport website.

If it's Dutch, it ain't much

Football

Things got increasingly Grim for the Netherlands last night - as they were beaten 2-1 by Italy in a friendly at home.

The hosts, led by interim manager Fred Grim after the sacking of Danny Blind, even took the lead, only to concede the equaliser a minute later before Leonardo Bonucci got the winner.

The Dutch slumped to fourth in their group following Saturday's defeat against Bulgaria.

They still have to play all three teams ahead of them - including Bulgaria and Sweden at home - but it's looking touch and go whether swathes of orange-clad fans will make their way to Russia next year.

Wesley Sneijder
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday

Colin Barton:  The Ronaldo statue outside his museum in Funchal is awful. It is a dead ringer however of Joe Hart.

As Colin reminds us, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the victim of a statue with a questionable likeness before...

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Best and worst statues

#bbcsportsday or text 81111

After Cristiano Ronaldo's bust was unveiled at, ahem, Cristiano Ronaldo Airport (see entry 13:07 BST), we've been asking for your thoughts, plus best and worst sporting statues.

Statues
Andrew Pollard

Irfan was 'under stress'

Pakistan's anti-corruption unit chief Mohammad Azam says fast bowler Mohammed Irfan admitted he was twice approached by bookmakers during the PSL, but did not inform anti-corruption officials in time.

Irfan, 34, said he failed to report the approaches because he was under stress following the death of his parents. 

Pakistan ban Irfan

Six months of the one-year ban for Mohammed Irfan will be suspended if he satisfies a number of conditions specified by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The PCB has also provisionally suspended four other players Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed for alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the Pakistan Super League.

Mohammed Irfan
Rex Features

BreakingPakistan ban Irfan for a a year

Pakistan have suspended fast bowler Mohammad Irfan for one year after he admitted failing to report approaches by bookmakers linked to spot-fixing.

Ronaldo or bust

...and as part of the ceremony, a bust of Cristiano Ronaldo has been unveiled.

It's an, er, interesting likeness...

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images

Which brings us to the big question - what are the best and worst sporting statues?

Send in yours via #bbcsportsday or text 81111 (please leave your name and location).

Ronaldo grounded

Football

What do John Lennon, JFK, Robin Hood, Nikola Tesla and Cristiano Ronaldo have in common? Well, as of today, they all have an airport named after them.

The airport on Ronaldo's home island of Madeira is to be renamed in his honour, with the Portugal star attending a naming ceremony on Wednesday.

The Real Madrid forward is not the only footballer to have this honour - as anyone who's travelled through George Best Belfast City airport will know.

But it's not been much of a homecoming for Ronaldo so far - Portugal squandered a two-goal lead to lose to Sweden in a international friendly last night.

Cristiano Ronaldo airport
Getty Images

Walsh eyes Grand National ride

Leading jockey Ruby Walsh says he is likely to choose Pleasant Company as his mount for the Grand National on 8 April, and will be hoping the Willie Mullins-trained horse is just that.

"I would be leaning towards riding Pleasant Company in favour of Alelchi Inois," he told Racing UK.

"He won the Bobbyjo Chase in good style from Thunder And Roses and the pair were well clear. I also like how he is a lightly-raced horse – he has run just 13 times under Rules."

Pleasant Company is about a 16-1 chance for the big race at Aintree.

You can check out all the Grand National entries here.

Ruby Walsh
PA

Video technology - for or against?

#bbcsportsday or text 81111

Jamie Colley: Video tech will finally shut up those managers who blame every loss on the ref, sick of Wenger & Mourinho after every game.

Nik Stewart:  They should perform video evidence like tennis when a team gets two challenges per half.

Pete Garrett:  Video technology should also be used for serious foul play, as in rugby. TMO can review and only stop play if an offence seen.

Rugby players 'burnt by 3G pitch'

A Welsh rugby coach has posted photographs on social media of burns his players received playing on an artificial pitch.

Merthyr RFC coach Lee Jarvis said seven players suffered the friction burns to their legs and arms after their match at Sardis Road, Pontypridd.

Merthyr were playing RGC 1404 in the National Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Read more on this story here.

Player burns
Lee Jarvis

Look away now if you are of a sensitive disposition...

New sponsor needed

Vauxhall Motors has announced it is stepping down as lead sponsor of the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland football teams after the 2018 World Cup.

Pavey set for world bronze upgrade

Saj Chowdhury

BBC Sport

Britain's Jo Pavey is finally set to receive a 10,000m bronze medal from the 2007 World Championships in Osaka after Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse had her results voided.

The IAAF released the latest list of athletes sanctioned for a doping offence which included silver-medallist Abeylegesse who returned a positive sample for an in-competition test during the competition in Osaka, Japan.

American Kara Goucher is set to be upgraded to silver position.

Jo Pavey
Getty Images

Time to start crying for Argentina?

Football

There was more joy for Brazil as their rivals Argentina endured a chastening day.

First, captain Lionel Messi was given a four-match ban for abusing an official, before his side lost 2-0 to Bolivia.

That means Argentina are now out of the automatic places in fifth place and 11 points behind the already-qualified Brazil.

Could Messi and co miss out on Russia 2018? Or will they have to scrape through thanks to a play-off against the winners of the Oceania group in a two-legged play-off?

Argentina
Getty Images

Video technology - for or against?

What should we say to all the people who are against video technology when their teams miss out on a title or are relegated because of a decision that could've been corrected using it? "Serves you right" comes to mind.

Tom, Rugby

Offsides are a good thing as they are quick and easy and clear cut! However very much against going much further as worries about slowing the game down! We've seen in TV studios that people disagree on certain decisions.

Michael, Luton