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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

  1. Goodbye!

    Gordon Strachan

    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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Get involved

    #bethevideoref

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

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Forster's Southampton stats

    Football

    Fraser Forster
  11. 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."

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Forster out for the season

    Football

    Southampton

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

  15. 'Fletcher is Scotland's leader'

    Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

    Darren Fletcher

    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."

  16. Get involved

    #bethevideoref

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

    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.

  17. FA proposals an excuse - Sakho

    Football

    West Ham

    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."

  18. 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.

  19. Countdown to kick-off

    Germany v Australia (19:30 GMT)

    Germany

    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....

  20. 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.

  21. Bale same as usual - Allen

    Israel v Wales (Sat, 17:00 GMT)

    Wales

    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.

  22. 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."

  23. Welsh players quizzed on Bale

    Israel v Wales (Sat, 17:00 GMT)

    Gareth Bale

    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....

  24. Hammer time

    Football

    Dion Dublin

    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.

  25. 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
  26. Gibson out for Republic

    Football

    Darron Gibson

    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.

  27. 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.

  28. Countdown to kick-off

    Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

    Gordon Strachan

    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...

  29. 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.

  30. England got a ticket to ride

    Football

    England

    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...

  31. 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.

  32. Bravo in line for Windies return?

    Cricket

    West Indies batsman Darren Bravo

    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.

  33. Somerset back Gayle to break records

    Cricket

    Chris Gayle

    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."

  34. Flower primed for Wigan return

    Rugby League

    Ben Flower is sent off in the 2014 Grand Final

    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.

  35. 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.

  36. Swanny gets quizzed

    #AskSwanny

    Graeme Swann

    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.

  37. 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.

  38. England captaincy and Countryfile - what a week

    Darts

    Scott Mitchell with the BDO trophy

    BDO world champion Scott Mitchell has been named as England captain for the upcoming home internationals in April.

    Mitchell, who won his first world title at Lakeside in January, told BBC Radio Solent: "I'm world champion and now England captain. It's the stuff dreams are made of."

    And the 44-year-old, a landscape gardener from Bransgore, revealed it was not the only proud moment of his week.

    He added: "I'm on Countryfile on Sunday as well, so what a week."

  39. 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.

  40. Jagielka: No England panic

    Football

    Phil Jagielka

    Phil Jagielka has been talking to the press ahead of England's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania on Friday.

    The Everton centre-back insists there is no reason to panic about the quality of players coming through the England system and believes the future looks promising for the national side.

    "If you look at the crop of young lads in this squad, in the under-21s and the under-20s, all I'm hearing is good things," he said.

    "It would be nice to have more English people playing in the Premier League all the time only if they are the level that we expect to be playing in the Premier League."

  41. Manager ruled out through injury

    Football

    Neal Ardley

    Now you've heard of players being unavailable for key league games through injury, but managers are a less common occurrence.

    AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley is likely to miss Saturday's trip to Tranmere Rovers as he is due to have a hip operation on Thursday.

    Dons assistant Neil Cox and first-team coach Simon Bassey will take charge if Ardley is not fit to travel.

    "It is doubtful I will be there on Saturday. It might be too much for me," the 42-year-old told the club website.

  42. Get involved - time to vote

    #bethevideoref

    Video Ref: Does Michael Owen dive to win a penalty?

    Right, it's time for you lot to get voting again in our #bethevideoref feature.

    Watch the Michael Owen clip and decide which of the following steps you would take:

    • Award a penalty
    • Book Owen for a dive
    • No action - wave play on

    Voting will will close at 16:00. The result will be announced on this page.

    Click here for the full terms and conditions.

  43. Hants skipper tests helmet redesign

    Cricket

    The new helmet design

    Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams says he hopes more county cricketers will try out a new helmet attachment designed following the death of Phillip Hughes.

    The 25-year-old Australian was struck on the top of the neck by a ball during a match in Sydney in December and died two days later.

    Adams has worn the new clip-on guard, made of honeycomb plastic and foam, on the rear of his helmet during practice.

    "It's there to dissipate contact, rather than brush it off like the rest of the helmet. If it provides a little bit of extra protection that is fine by me," he told BBC Radio Solent.

  44. Get involved

    #bethevideoref

    Should there be only one video referee or a panel of three? If there was a panel then how would a ruling be formed if there was a split decision? You have been telling us as part of our #bethevideoref debate.

    Peterwari Soberekon: A single ref will do. Decisions will be made faster. Who's going to wait anyone to start doing the maths for every incident

    Michael Kendall: Re split review decision. The on field ref makes a decision and if the panel are split then his decision stands.

    Dave: Invalid poll; you can't ask football fans to be rational about a decision on their team or rivals. You can expect refs to.

  45. Stat attack

    Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

    OptaJoe: Northern Ireland have now played 21 international friendlies without a victory, a run which began with a 0-0 draw vs Scotland

  46. The New One out for season

    Horse Racing

    The New One being ridden out on the gallops in Gloucestershire in February 2015

    The New One is out for the season with a spinal issue and will not defend his Aintree Hurdle title at the Grand National meeting next month.

    Third in last season's Champion Hurdle, the horse was fifth in this year's contest behind winner Faugheen.

    "He's got a 'kissing spine' but he'll be OK in time. He won't need an operation but we'll give him a break," said trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.

    A kissing spine effectively sees bones rubbing together, can cause pain and seriously affect a horse's performance.

  47. Croft's World Cup injury concern

    Rugby Union

    Tom Croft

    England flanker Tom Croft could be out for six months, according to Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

    The 29-year-old dislocated his shoulder during the Tigers' win over Newcastle earlier this month and faces a race to be fit for the World Cup, which begins on 18 September when England host Fiji.

    Cockerill tells BBC Radio Leicester: "He has had a bit of nerve damage as well.

    "We hope it is as quick as possible but it's likely to be six months or so."

  48. Was Owen fouled?

    #bethevideoref

    Michael Owen

    Watch the video clip and decide if Michael Owen is fouled or dives to win a penalty against Argentina at the 2002 World Cup?

    Have your say via #bethevideoref text 81111 (UK only) or visit the BBC Sport Facebook page.

    You can vote shortly by clicking the box on the right of your desktop screen, or the blue tab towards the top of your mobile page.

  49. Was Owen fouled?

    #bethevideoref

    Michael Owen

    Right, fingers at the ready? Hit the play button, then pause, then rewind, before hitting the play button again. And repeat as many times as necessary before you feel ready to make a judgement.

    We need an answer from you - the video referee - to this contentious decision. Does England striker Michael Owen deserve a penalty for this challenge from Argentina defender (and current Spurs boss) Mauricio Pochettino?

    Esteemed Italian referee Pierluigi Collina believed so - without the help of technology. But was he right?

  50. Video technology debate

    #bethevideoref

    Wayne Rooney penalty v Preston

    If you go with the majority in our vote then Wayne Rooney would not have been awarded a penalty - potentially setting up a nervy finish as Manchester United led 2-1 against FA Cup opponents Preston.

    Next up at 13:30 GMT is another dubious decision for you to analyse.

    BBC Sport is giving you the chance to be the video ref and decide whether England striker Michael Owen deserves a penalty against Argentina in the 2002 World Cup. Stay tuned...

  51. Video technology debate

    #bethevideoref

    So it appears that the introduction of a video referee to top-level football might not prove conclusive. Especially if our readers are sat in the television studio...

    Even with the aid of technology, you are split on the Wayne Rooney incident.

    Almost two thirds believe the Manchester United striker should have been booked, leaving a third undecided.

    So how should video referees be implemented (if at all)? Should there be only one person or a panel of three? If there was a panel then how would a ruling be formed if there was a split decision? Let us know using #bethevideoref on Twitter.

  52. Video technology debate

    #bethevideoref

    Here are the results of your decision in the role of video referee on the Wayne Rooney incident against Preston.

    *Drum roll please....*

    Book Rooney for a dive 65%

    Award a penalty 19%

    No action - wave play on 16%

  53. Video technology debate

    #bethevideoref

    Video Ref: Is Wayne Rooney tripped by the goalkeeper?

    On Sportsday today, we're putting the issue of introducing video technology for refereeing decisions in focus.

    It's an issue that's been in the headlines again recently with incidents of mistaken identity and referees chief Mike Riley saying its introduction would prevent mistakes in the future.

    So, we're giving you the chance to #bethevideoref and make a call on a series on difficult decisions.

    First up, we asked if Wayne Rooney dived against Preston in the FA Cup. The results have been counted and independently verified...

  54. Da ya think I'm...a GB star?

    Ice Hockey

    Rod Stewart

    Liam Stewart, the son of rock star Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter, is poised to make his senior Great Britain Ice Hockey debut after being named in the World Championship squad.

    Liam, born in London, has been included in new head coach Pete Russell's 23-man party for next month's tournament in Holland.

    The 20-year-old plays his hockey in America for Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League and has already represented Britain at Under-20 level.

  55. Skrtel banned for three matches

    Football

    David De Gea and Martin Skrtel

    Skrtel, 30, claimed the stamp on David De Gea had been unintentional and was not deliberate.

    However, the FA disciplinary panel disagreed meaning Skrtel will miss the Premier League games against Arsenal (4 April) and Newcastle (13 April), plus the FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn (8 April).

    Liverpool have refused to comment on the decision.

  56. Skrtel banned for three matches

    Football

    David De Gea and Martin Skrtel

    More on the breaking news of Martin Skrtel's three-match ban.

    The Slovakia international stood on Manchester United keeper David de Gea in the last seconds of Liverpool's 2-1 home defeat at Anfield on Sunday.

    The incident was missed at the time by referee Martin Atkinson.

  57. Skrtel to serve three-match ban

    Football

    Martin Skrtel stamps on David De Gea

    Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel will serve a three-match ban after an independent FA disciplinary panel rejected his appeal against a violent conduct charge.

  58. The 1 o'clock (sporting) news

    Been slogging away all day? Only just having a moment to catch-up on the day's sporting news? Here's your bitesized recap....

    Top story: Kevin Pietersen rejoins Surrey for the 2015 season as he steps up his bid to earn an England recall.

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

    Top video: One of the boats in the Volvo Ocean Race capsizes as water floods the deck.

  59. Get involved

    #bethevideoref

    There's still time to cast your vote on our opening #bethevideoref clip of Wayne Rooney against Preston.

    Voting closes at 13:00 and we'll bring you the result right here. So click quick!

    Meanwhile, a few of you have had your say on the incident on Twitter:

    GaryB: Rooney pushes ball too far, thus loses control. Keeper's attempt gives reason to dive...so he does! Clear booking.

    ThomasJHEdwards: The lack of contact means that ultimately he has dived. He goes down because it is more advantageous not because it's a foul.

    Simon Wakefield: Penalty. Contact isn't required to be a foul, just needs to be reckless & potentially dangerous which this was

  60. Crawley sign ex-Man Utd striker Cofie

    Football

    Crawley Town sign former Manchester United trainee John Cofie on a short-term contract.

    The 22-year-old striker, who did not make a senior appearances during his time with the Red Devils, has agreed a one-month deal at the League One side.

    Cofie had loan spells at Royal Antwerp, Sheffield United and Notts County during his time at Old Trafford.

    He was released by United in the summer of 2013 and has subsequently spent time at Barnsley and Norwegian side Molde.

  61. Barcelona declares three days of mourning

    Football

    Spanish club Barcelona declares three days of official mourning in memory of the victims of the Germanwings plane crash.

    One hundred and fifty people were killed when the flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday.

    The club says its Catalan, Barcelona City and Club flags are all being flown at half-mast as a sign of respect for the victims.

    The club's handball and roller hockey teams wore black armbands during their games yesterday and the basketball side will do the same for their Euroleague match against Zalgiris Kaunas this evening.

  62. Get involved

    #bethevideoref

    There's still time to cast your vote on our opening #bethevideoref clip of Wayne Rooney against Preston.

    Voting closes at 13:00 and we'll bring you the result right here. So click quick!

    Meanwhile, a few of you have had your say on the incident on Twitter:

    Jacob Davies: Wave play on should be the decision, but because you're the video ref it has to be 'no further action, drop ball to continue'

    Matt Ascroft: That is a clear dive from Rooney. Yellow card and free kick to Preston.

    Michael Nugent: The challenge from the keeper, although it doesn't make contact, forces Rooney to change stride and fall therefore penalty.

  63. India 'ready for anything'

    Cricket

    Rohit Sharma

    India will not be daunted by Thursday's World Cup semi-final against Australia whether the Sydney pitch favours pace or spin, says opener Rohit Sharma.

    South Africa's spinners took seven Sri Lanka wickets in last week's quarter-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    "We are confident of doing well on any surface," insists Rohit. "We have taken 70 wickets in seven matches and bowled out the opposition every time, so we know what we need to do. We are ready for anything we get."

  64. Gatlin secures Nike deal

    Athletics

    Matt Slater

    BBC Sport

    Justin Gatlin

    "Controversial sprinter Justin Gatlin has been given a new sponsorship deal by US sportswear giant Nike.

    "The 33-year-old American dominated the 100m and 200m in 2014, and is many experts' favourite to win a golden double at August's world championships.

    "But Gatlin has served two doping bans, including a four-year suspension between 2006-2010.

    "He was sponsored by Nike prior to his second ban but has been wearing Chinese firm Xtep's kit since 2012.

    "The BBC understands Gatlin's US teammate Tyson Gay, who has also recently returned from a drugs ban, will also be wearing Nike clothes and spikes this season, although the company denies this is a result of a formal tie-in."

  65. Bolt to make USA return

    Athletics

    Usain Bolt

    Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt will make his first appearance in the United States in five years when he competes in the Adidas Grand Prix Diamond League meeting in New York on 13 June.

    The Jamaican sprinter set his first 100 metres world record at the meeting in 2008 when he clocked 9.72 seconds.

    His only other appearance in the U.S. since then was to anchor a Jamaican 4x100 metres team at the 2010 Penn Relays.

  66. N.Ireland team news

    Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

    Paddy McNair

    Teenage Manchester United defender Paddy McNair is expected to make his Northern Ireland debut at Hampden Park later.

    Kyle Lafferty, Niall McGinn and Corry Evans have minor injuries and are unlikely to be risked ahead of Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Finland.

    See the full Northern Irish squad here.

  67. Scotland team news

    Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

    Scotland

    Scotland may ring the changes for the Hampden Park friendly against Northern Ireland, with manager Gordon Strachan saying he wants to use everyone in his squad.

    Fulham forward Ross McCormack withdrew at the weekend with a knee injury.

    See the full Scottish squad here.

  68. Countdown to kick-off

    Scotland v N.Ireland (19:45 GMT)

    British rivals Scotland and Northern Ireland renew acquaintances later for the first time in almost four years.

    The nations meet in a friendly at Hampden Park ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifying fixtures on Sunday.

    Over the next few hours we will be building up to the match, so let's start with some early team news from both camps...

  69. Kevin Pietersen reaction

    Cricket

    The Daily Mirror's cricket correspondent Dean Wilson on Twitter: KP to Surrey confirmed. Still think it is a huge leap from there to England team but the first big step has been taken

  70. Pietersen to focus on County Championship

    Cricket

    Kevin Pietersen will concentrate on playing County Championship cricket - but could also feature in Twenty20 and one-day matches for Surrey.

    "He will play predominantly Championship cricket to begin with, that's not to say we won't see him in the shorter versions of the game," says Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart.

    "The IPL situation means he's not going to be playing in the group stages. If his franchise get into the knockout stages they are entitled to call him back.

    "But otherwise he's here to concentrate on four-day cricket and we'll see what else there is to offer later in the summer."

  71. Get involved

    #bethevideoref

    Video Ref: Is Wayne Rooney tripped by the goalkeeper?

    A few of you have been having your say on our first #bethevideoref clip of Wayne Rooney against Preston.

    Malcolm Newbigging: At full speed it's a penalty, slowed down it's a dive. But I've seen much worse dives!!

    Jason Kelly: No contact, player dives and then looks for a penalty, free kick Preston, yellow card Rooney.

    Alan Forrest: No contact, Rooney trails leg to simulate contact, no pen and yellow for Rooney.

    Don't forget you can cast your vote on the decision on the top-right of the page and voting will close at 13:00. We'll bring you the result right here.

    Full terms and conditions here.

  72. Lee extends Hatters spell

    Football

    West Ham striker Elliot Lee has extended his loan spell with Luton Town until the end of the season, including the play-offs.

    The 20-year-old scored both goals for the Hatters in Tuesday's 3-2 home defeat by Wycombe, which left them sixth in League Two, but 13 points adrift of the automatic promotion places.

  73. Get involved

    #bbcsportsday

    Alan Simon: Pietersen will get tons of runs for a 2nd division county but he invented the word "self-centered". Not for England, please!

  74. Pietersen a huge asset - Stewart

    Cricket

    Kevin Pietersen

    Kevin Pietersen's return to Surrey is good news for the county, says director of cricket Alec Stewart.

    "A Kevin Pietersen with ambitions to play for England and a real determination to score big runs for Surrey will be a huge asset to us," adds former England captain Stewart.

  75. Surrey close to my heart - Pietersen

    Cricket

    Kevin Pietersen will be available for the opening game of the County Championship season on 19 April after rejoining Surrey.

    "I'm absolutely thrilled to be back at Surrey. It's a club very close to my heart and Alec Stewart, Graham Ford and everyone at the club has been exceptionally supportive," says Pietersen.

    "There is a fantastic group of lads here and hopefully we can deliver what the great Surrey fans want to see - lots of runs and comprehensive victories. "

  76. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Cricket

    Kevin Pietersen

    Kevin Pietersen joins former club Surrey ahead of the 2015 season.

    The ex-England batsman, 34, wanted a return to county cricket as he aims to win back his place in the national side.

  77. Voting time

    #bethevideoref

    Video Ref: Is Wayne Rooney tripped by the goalkeeper?

    We're asking you to get involved in a debate over video technology for referees today and now it's your chance to vote.

    Watch the clip of Wayne Rooney against Preston and cast your vote in one of three ways.

    • Award a penalty
    • Book Rooney for a dive
    • No action - wave play on

    The vote is open now and will close at 13:00. We'll bring you the results here.

    Full terms and conditions are available here.

  78. Unbeaten Jones named in GB squad

    Taekwondo

    Jade Jones

    Olympic champion Jade Jones is aiming to extend her unbeaten 2015 record when she competes at the WTF World Championship as part of Great Britain's 14-strong squad.

    The events takes place in Russian city Chelyabinsk between 12-18 May.

    Men: -54kg: Max Cater, -58kg: Josh Calland, -63kg: Jordan Gayle, -68kg: Ruebyn Richards, -74kg: Andrew Deer, -80kg: Damon Sansum, -87kg: Lutalo Muhammad, +87kg: Mahama Cho.

    Women: -49kg: Charlie Maddock, -53kg: Nicole Huntington, -57kg: Jade Jones, -62kg: Rachelle Booth, -73kg: Jade Slavin, +73kg: Bianca Walkden

  79. Germany evokes World Cup memories for Cahill

    Germany v Australia (19:30 GMT)

    Australia

    Injured Australia midfielder Tim Cahill: Good luck to the Socceroos against Germany. Been a while since the World Cup 2006, great memories in Germany.

  80. Chairboys boost promotion hopes

    Football

    Wycombe took a big step forward in their bid to secure automatic promotion from League Two on Tuesday night with a 3-2 win at fellow challengers Luton.

    All the goals came in the first-half at Kenilworth Road and the result helped Wycombe strengthen their grip on third place in the table by opening up a four-point lead over fourth-placed Bury.

  81. Vidic 'will stay' at Inter

    Football

    Nemanja Vidic

    Former Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic will not leave Inter Milan at the end of the season, claims his agent.

    The Serb, 33, has been strongly linked with a return to England after joining the Nerazzurri as a free agent last summer.

    Asked if Vidic would stay at Inter, his agent Silvano Martina told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I think he should, yes, because he has another two years left on his contract.

    "In fact, I want to reveal something. Last year he made a specific choice to come to Milan, even though Manchester United wanted to keep him and kept calling up to December."

    Vidic was dropped by the Nerazzurri earlier in the season, but has since re-established himself under Roberto Mancini.

  82. Get involved - video technology debate

    #bethevideoref

    On Sportsday today, we're putting the issue of introducing video technology for refereeing decisions in focus.

    It's an issue that's been in the headlines again recently with incidents of mistaken identity and referees chief Mike Riley saying its introduction would prevent mistakes in the future.

    So, we're giving you the chance to #bethevideoref and make a call on a series on difficult decisions.

    Video Ref: Is Wayne Rooney tripped by the goalkeeper?

    First up - we go back to the FA Cup fifth round and Preston against Manchester United.

    Watch the video clip and decide is Wayne Rooney tripped or does he dive to win a penalty?

    Have your say via #bethevideoref text 81111 (UK only) or visit the BBC Sport Facebook page.

    We'll also be putting the decision to a vote shortly right here.

  83. Swap shop for Boro and Fulham

    Football

    James Husband

    Some transfer news for your delectation as a couple of Championship clubs play swap shop.

    Promotion-chasers Middlesbrough sign Fulham centre-back Fernando Amorebieta on emergency loan until the end of the season, with young left-back James Husband travelling the other way.

    This also allows us to shameless plug a story about England's emergency loan system being extended by Fifa until the end of the 2015-16 season....

  84. Kane 'the real deal'

    Football

    Michael Carrick on Harry Kane

    England's Michael Carrick believes Harry Kane is the "real deal" and worthy of a place in the squad ahead of his first senior international against Lithuania this Friday.

    The striker, 21, has scored 29 goals for Tottenham so far this season and Carrick says Kane's progress has been "sensational", while Chelsea defender Gary Cahill says his confidence must be "sky high".

    Carrick also discussed the improvements England have made since the 2014 World Cup, saying the options available to coach Roy Hodgson are "frightening".

  85. Dion's new abode

    Football

    Dion Dublin on Homes Under The Hammer

    Now here's a story I didn't expect to be writing about today - Dion Dublin has signed a deal to join the presenting team of Homes Under The Hammer.

    The former Manchester United striker will be joining current duo Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander on the popular BBC One daytime show.

    Dion is a bit of an old hand at investing in bricks and mortar from his playing days so will be swapping the "Theatre of Dreams" for auction renovations.

  86. Ideye eyes QPR return

    Football

    Injured West Brom striker Brown Ideye is hopeful of returning for next week's Premier League home match against QPR.

    The Nigeria international, 26, missed the 3-0 defeat at Manchester City with a knee problem, which also forced him out of his nation's friendly against Uganda.

    "I thought I could be fit for Nigeria. I thought I could even be fit for the game at Manchester City," the Baggies' record signing tells the club's official website.

    "But I couldn't run and I have had to stay back instead of risking it by going to internationals.

    "I just have to rest. The pain is still there but the doctors and physios have been doing their best to make sure I'm fit for the QPR game."

  87. Salah and friends

    Football

    Mohammed Salah and Egypt team-mates

    It's international break and players are spread far and wide across the globe over the coming days.

    On-loan Chelsea striker Mohammed Salah has shared a picture on Instagram with his Egypt team-mates.

    Salah is currently enjoying a prolific loan spell with Fiorentina in Italy.

  88. Carlisle 'feeling well and slowly recovering'

    Mental Health Charter for Sport launch

    Clarke Carlisle says he is "feeling well and feeling good" as he continues his recovery following an attempt to take his own life in December.

    "Slowly, day by day, I'm making those small steps to change my approach to life and making sure I'm in full control of my mental health illness," he tells BBC Breakfast.

  89. I rationalised suicide - Carlisle

    Mental Health Charter for Sport launch

    Clarke Carlisle says he was suffering from the lowest depressive episode of his life when he attempted to kill himself in December.

    "There are many misconceptions about when you get to that point that attempting suicide and trying to take your own life is as an escape or to run away. That's not the truth," he says.

    "Depression clouds your judgement and your perspective. I actually rationalised suicide and death as the answer. It was logical and rational that everyone was better off."

  90. Landmark day for mental illness fight - Carlisle

    Mental Health Charter for Sport launch

    Clarke Carlisle believes today's launch of the first Mental Health Charter for Sport is a "landmark day" for the fight against mental illness.

    The 35-year-old former defender tried to take his own life when he was hit by a lorry in December.

    "It's incredibly difficult when you're going through depression in, not just an industry, a society which wasn't acknowledging it as the bona fide illness that it is," Carlisle tells BBC Breakfast.

    "The fact that we have made great strides as a society is very much helping people in sport and beyond.

    "I genuinely believe today is a landmark day for the fight against mental illness and the taboo and stigma around it."

  91. Cross-sport charter for mental illness

    Mental Health Charter for Sport launch

    Clarke Carlisle

    Clarke Carlisle spoke to BBC Breakfast earlier at the launch of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation at The Oval in London.

    The ex-QPR, Burnley and Leeds defender, who has suffered from mental illness, tried to take his own life in December.

    The charter has been signed by sports organisations including the Football Association, Lawn Tennis Association, Rugby Football Union, England Cricket Board and UK Athletics.

    Professional player associations including the Professional Footballers Association, Rugby Players Association and Professional Cricketers' Association have also signed the charter.

  92. News on and off the grid

    Formula 1

    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton has been taking time out ahead of this weekend's Malaysia Grand Prix, helping launch a youth project in Malacca.

    There's news of that and all the other happenings on and off the track in today's Formula 1 gossip column.

  93. Brett backs his boys

    Cricket

    Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee

    Former Australia pace bowler Brett Lee has been having a bit of pre World Cup semi-final natter with Michael Vaughan in Sydney Harbour.

    Lee has backed Australia to edge out India in Thursday's semi-final at the SCG.

    Australia have a good recent record against India and Lee says that reverse swing could be a key factor.

  94. Think we need a bigger trophy...

    Cricket

    Victoria win Sheffield Shield

    Staying with cricket and in other news from down under, Victoria have been crowned Sheffield Shield champions this morning.

    Australia's domestic four-day competition came to a close with the Bushrangers securing the draw they needed against Western Australia in the final in Hobart.

    Victoria - whose side included Test players Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle and James Pattinson - secured their 29th domestic title and the honour to take home one of the biggest trophies in existence.

  95. Spin to win - Aggers

    Cricket

    Ravichandran Ashwin of India celebrates a wicket

    At the Cricket World Cup meanwhile, we're just about catching our breath from the pulsating first semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa yesterday.

    Australia and India meet in Sydney on Thursday for the right to face the Black Caps in Sunday's final.

    BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew looks ahead to the SCG clash and feels India's spinners could hold the key to victory.

  96. 'We'll beat mediocre West Indies'

    Cricket

    Colin Graves

    Cricket now and incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves has said there will be "some enquiries" if England do not beat a "mediocre" West Indies in their upcoming Test series.

    Graves takes up his role in May and told BBC Radio Leeds he'd be disappointed if England don't win their three-Test series against the West Indies which begins on 13 April.

    In a wide-ranging interview, the outgoing Yorkshire chairman talked about the possibility of Big Bash-style Twenty20 franchises in England, captain Alastair Cook's slump in form and his aims to boost participation in the women's game.

  97. Woods keen on Ryder Cup return

    Golf

    Tiger Woods

    United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III says Tiger Woods is confident of qualifying for the 2016 team.

    Woods ruled himself out of contention for last year's match at Gleneagles, taking a break from golf due to injury.

    The 39-year-old, now ranked 96, has started only two events this year and is on another break to regain form.

    "He's expecting to make the team," Love told BBC Radio.

    "He and I keep in touch a lot more than we have. He still has a good attitude and is working hard."

  98. Irish capture Chief Symons

    Rugby Union

    Matt Symons

    Some domestic rugby union news now and London Irish have signed lock Matt Symons from New Zealand club Chiefs on a "long-term" deal.

    Symons, 25, moved from England to New Zealand to play amateur rugby before establishing himself with the Chiefs.

    Tom Coventry, Irish's new coach next season, is currently part of the New Zealand side's coaching team.

    "Matt is a very good second row forward now," said Exiles executive director Bob Casey told BBC Radio Berkshire. "I think he can be an international."

  99. Nico needs response

    Formula 1

    AP

    Formula 1 returns this weekend with the Malaysia Grand Prix live on the BBC.

    We're only one race down, but already it looks like being another straight title fight between Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

    BBC F1 analyst Allan McNish says Rosberg desperately needs to kick Hamilton's confidence in to touch and lay down his marker for the season ahead this weekend.

  100. 'England not clever enough'

    Rugby Union

    England rugby team

    More on that rugby story we just mentioned and speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie talked at length about the Six Nations post mortem.

    Ritchie told our rugby correspondent Chris Jones that "England should be winning more Six Nations championships."

    England were beaten on points difference by Ireland despite a thrilling climax to the championship.

    You can hear that interview on the Matt Dawson Rugby Show in full by downloading the podcast here.

  101. Today's back pages

    Rugby Union

    The Times back page

    A final look at the morning papers now and The Times has England new boy Harry Kane in training as its main picture, but leads on a rugby union story.

    England coach Stuart Lancaster has been told four successive second-place Six Nations finishes are not good enough and he must deliver at this autumn's World Cup.

  102. Today's back pages

    Football

    The Sun back page

    To The Sun back page now, which leads on a Manchester United exclusive.

    The paper reports that Angel Di Maria faced a ticking off from manager Louis van Gaal following a poor substitute appearance against Liverpool, while Radamel Falcao has hinted he needs a new club to ensure regular football.

  103. Today's back pages

    Football

    Daily Star back page

    The Daily Star also leads on Roy Hodgson's scribbled formation notes.

    There's also reports Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech will leave Stamford Bridge in search of a new club that will guarantee him a starting place.

    You can read more about that in the Gossip column.

  104. Today's back pages

    Football

    Daily Mirror back page

    On to the Daily Mirror now who lead with the picture which appears to reveal Tottenham striker Harry Kane will start up front alongside Wayne Rooney for England on Friday.

    The Mirror is one of a few papers to publish a picture which apparently showed Roy Hodgson's starting line-up scribbled on a piece of paper.

  105. Today's back pages

    Football

    Daily Express back page

    Time for a look through the morning's back pages and we'll kick-off in the Daily Express where Liverpool's Raheem Sterling takes main billing.

    The winger looks set to find himself at the centre of a club v country row with reports Roy Hodgson will release him back to his club after Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania.

    It means Sterling will be rested for the friendly against Italy next Wednesday in Milan.

  106. All the gossip

    Football

    Radamel Falcao

    Everyone loves a good transfer rumour first thing in the morning, so why not get yourself across all the latest from the gossip column.

    Top of the billing is Radamel Falcao saying he will leave Manchester United in the summer unless manager Louis van Gaal gives him a public show of support.

    Plus, if you've ever wanted to see Liverpool's Luis Enrique enjoying a swim with dolphins, that's your place to go.

  107. On the agenda....

    Gordon Strachan

    Here's a run-down of what you can expect to hear about today:

    • Wales will hold a training session from 11:00 ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier against Israel on Friday.
    • We'll hear from some of the Wales squad in their news conference from 14:00.
    • Joe Hart and Phil Jagielka will be speaking ahead of England's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania on Friday.
    • Liverpool's Martin Skrtel is expected to learn the outcome of an FA charge for stamping on Manchester United's David De Gea.
    • Scotland meet Northern Ireland in a friendly at Hampden Park tonight, kick-off 19:45.

    Got all that? Lovely....

  108. Morning and welcome

    Michael Carrick

    Welcome along to another day of rolling sports news on Sportsday from a sunny, if not slightly frosty Salford Quays.

    Have no fear, there'll be no keeping you in the dark today.

    We'll be here to bring you all the latest news ahead of this week's internationals and Euro 2016 qualifiers plus what's making the back pages this morning.

    Stay right with us.