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Live Reporting

Steve Canavan and Patrick Jennings

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good evening

    Right then. That's it from us for another Sportsday. Its been a dramatic one!

    Scroll back right up to 10:00 for the full hour of Sepp Blatter's cabaret of a news conference in Zurich. It really is all worth it.

    And make sure you head over here for build-up to this evening's humdinger of a match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates stadium - you'll also be able to listen to BBC Radio 5 live's commentary.  

    Until tomorrow, same place, 08:00 GMT, we will be seeing you!

  2. Livingston sack manager Burchill


    Livingston announce that Mark Burchill has been relieved of his managerial duties with immediate effect. 

    The Scottish Championship club are ninth in the table, and hadn't won a league game since October. 

    Mark Burchil
    Image caption: Burchill led his hometown club to Challenge Cup success last season
  3. Christmas is back on!


    How about this for good news? 

    Remember those rumours about Bournemouth calling a news conference on Christmas Day? At 08:00 GMT?

    Well we finally have the truth. Christmas is well and truly back ON ladies and gentlemen!

  4. Blatter and Platini banned for eight years


    BBC Radio 5 Live

    What about Michel Platini? Do you and the FA feel let down by him?

    Dyke: "We took an early decision to support Mr Platini, we thought he had done a very good job with Uefa, and we were clearly all very disappointed when all this came out. We didn't know.

    "I presume that he will now to go appeal as well, but I would think is the end for both him and Blatter."

    Who will the FA be supporting in February's presidential elections then? 

    "Having opted early for Mr Platini, we haven't decided who we are going to support yet. We'll look at all the candidates in January and make our minds up quite late I would think." 

    Greg Dyke and Michel Platini
  5. Blatter and Platini banned for eight years


    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Here's FA chairman Greg Dyke on his reaction to the news Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been suspended from all football-related activity for eight years. 

    Do you have sympathy for Sepp Blatter? Dyke: "For Blatter?Personally? No. It's interesting what he said. He just doesn't separate himself from Fifa. He thinks he is the same thing, and that's rather sad. I don't think he will recover from this.

    "He saw the attack on Fifa as an attack on him."

  6. Sports Personality of the Year

    Remember the brilliant Bailey Matthews, winner of the Helen Rollason award, from Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday? 

    It seemed he enjoyed himself backstage, getting pictures taken with various stars... 

    Bailey and his father with Jessica Ennis-Hill
    Image caption: Bailey and his father with Jessica Ennis-Hill
    Bailey with Rory McIlroy
    Image caption: Bailey with Rory McIlroy
    Bailey with Adam Peaty
    Image caption: Bailey with Adam Peaty
  7. Flashback

    Rugby Union

    England prop Kieran Brookes tweets photo of himself as a boy, getting Jonny Wilkinson’s autograph at the World Cup in 2003...

  8. Why Andy Murray's critics are wrong


    To all those people saying that Andy Murray has 'no personality' after his SPOTY win last night, BBC Newsbeat have brought you this: 

    16 ways Andy Murray's critics are wrong

    Disclaimer: It includes lots of his dogs. 

    Andy Murray
  9. Blatter and Platini banned for eight years


    BBC Radio 5 Live

    By this time if you're still not aware of today's massive news about Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini then you should be having a quiet word with yourself. 

    Fifa president Blatter and Uefa boss Platini have been suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation.

    Just to mark your card, we're expecting to hear from Football Association chairman Greg Dyke on BBC Radio 5 live, just after 18:00 GMT. You can tune in over here.

    Who will the FA be backing now?

    Blatter and Platini
  10. 'Why are people holding back on Sterling?'

    Arsenal v Manchester City (20:00 GMT)

    Jermaine Jenas

    Ex-Spurs & England midfielder on Football Focus

    "There was a lot of weight on Raheem Sterling’s shoulders with the way his move went. It wasn't done in a way that sat well with some people.8

    "But he’s done well since he’s been at Manchester City. I think he can score a lot more goals. Maybe that’s why people are holding back on all the plaudits. 

    "He’s been very mature with how he’s handled the move – he’s playing well and scoring goals. I know there’s loads more to come from him."

    Raheem Sterling
  11. Dagenham sack manager Burnett


    Dagenham and Redbridge have fired their managerWayne Burnett.

    The League Two club said "both Wayne and the Board of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club felt a change in manager was necessary in order to turn around the team’s fortunes". 

    Warren Hackett and Darren Currie will take care of first team affairs until a replacement is named. 

    Wayne Burnett
    Image caption: Dagenham had won just one of their last 16 games under the 44-year-old
  12. Is Christmas really cancelled?


    Erm, you what now?

    Surely this is just not true. It just makes no sense at all. For anyone! 

    Eddie Howe
    Image caption: It's not that I wouldn't want to spend Christmas Day with Eddie Howe but...

    The Cherries, who play Crystal Palace at home on Boxing Day, won't be winning over any neutrals this way...

  13. World Cup winner in alleged mafia links


    Vincenzo Iaquinta

    An incredible story this one. An Italian court has ordered more than 140 people to stand trial for alleged mafia links, including a member of Italy's victorious 2006 World Cup squad. 

    The court in Bologna indicted the defendants on charges of aiding, or being members of, the 'Ndrangheta, Italy's most powerful organised crime network.

    Vincenzo Iaquinta, a former striker for Juventus and Italy, was indicted for illegal possession of firearms, aggravated by intention to help the 'Ndrangheta. 

    His father Giuseppe, a businessman, was indicted on the more serious charge of mafia association, said Carlo Taormina, the lawyer for both of them.

  14. Guardiola to Arsenal?

    Arsenal v Manchester City (20:00 GMT)

    Gary Bowyer

    Former Blackburn manager on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Arsene Wenger has changed the way football was played in this country. There’s no better team to watch when they’re on form.

    "Pep Guardiola and Arsenal does seem like a perfect fit. It would be something maybe where Arsene Wenger was fully incorporated, moved upstairs. 

    "Guardiola could build on what Wenger has achieved already. Wenger is one of the greatest managers we've had in this league. 

    "People are quick to forget what he’s achieved. I've seen too much from him to say they can’t win the league again under him."

    Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola
  15. Arsenal v Manchester City (20:00 GMT)


    Will Pep be watching his future side tonight do we think? 

    This evening's match-up at the Emirates Stadium has got me pretty excited, which means it'll probably end up being a 0-0 draw...

    It's a chance for Arsenal to put a marker down in the race for the Premier League title, and for City to do the same. We'll have the live text from 18:30 GMT and BBC Radio 5 live commentary to follow.

    Which side worries fans of Premier League leaders Leicester more I wonder?

    Arsene Wenger
  16. Where next Pep?


    Pep Guardiola

    Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea... Middlesbrough? No thanks, we've got Aitor Karanka. 

    But where will Pep Guardiola be heading next? The mercurial Spaniard has already announced he'll be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of this season - he told them at their Christmas Party. 

    And now Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he knows where he is going. But he won't say. 

    Maybe if you slow down his speech and play it backwards there'll be a hidden message?

  17. Tear-jerker


    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Want to listen to what is very probably the most emotional and heartfelt football phone-in call you'll hear all season?


    Click right here to hear lifelong Leicester City fan Lee, who called BBC Radio 5 live's 606 to describe the feeling of his son looking him in the eye and saying, "Dad, this is amazing."

    It's fantastic stuff - we recommend you listen. Though you'd better get a tissue ready.

  18. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who?

    Nick Payne: Donald Trump's the obvious choice for Fifa president - I bet Putin would back him...

    Donald Trump
    Image caption: Yeah... Think I'm gonna let the photo do the talking here.

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  19. Boateng set for Milan return


    Remember this guy? 

    Image caption: He's without a club, but back in the game

    Former, Tottenham, Portsmouth, AC Milan and Schalke midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng looks set for a return to the San Siro. 

    On Sunday, Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said the 28-year-old would be joining on a free transfer in January. 

    The German-born Ghana international, who started his career at Hertha Berlin, first joined Milan in 2010 before leaving for Schalke three years later. 

    Boateng has not played since he was released by the German club in May for what the Bundesliga club said was a breakdown in trust between club and player...

  20. A quick mover...


    Gary Bollan has been announced as Forfar's new boss just hours after quitting Airdrie.

    The former Dundee United and Rangers defender replaces Dick Campbell, whose reign as the longest-serving boss in Scotland came to an end when he was axed last week.

  21. Platini can go to Euro 2016, but...

    Platini and Blatter get 8 year bans


    How about this for the ultimate kick in the teeth. Michel Platini will be able to attend matches at Euro 2016 in France next summer despite his Fifa ban - but only if he buys a ticket and goes as a fan.

    The Uefa president has - along with Sepp Blatter - been banned from all football-related activity for eight years by Fifa's ethics committee, which prohibits him accepting invitations as a VIP, or working for a television station as a pundit.

    "They can go to the matches but only as a private person," a source close to Fifa's ethics committee told PA Sport.

    "They can buy a private ticket but they cannot accept any invitations into the VIP area. They cannot work for TV stations making commentaries either."

  22. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who?  

    Pierluigi Collina

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  23. Euro football round-up


    As ever, Sunday evening was European football round-up time here on the BBC Sport website.

    This week's edition has a Massimo Maccarone update, the latest on Adel Taraabt at Benfica, and the inside track on a side that's even more dominant than Paris St-Germain in France and Bayern Munich in Germany.

    What are you waiting for?..

    Massimo Maccarone
    Image caption: Remember this guy Boro fans? He's still scoring...
  24. Cook and Root in fine nick



    Alastair Cook and Joe Root scored centuries and Alex Hales hit a timely 56 as England piled on the runs against South Africa A in their last warm-up game before the first Test.

    Cook reminded the hosts of his ability with a solid knock of 126, bringing up his century with a six over mid-wicket, while Root scored 117 as England amassed 414 for six before declaring late in the day.

    Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali then claimed a wicket each as South Africa A reached 35 for two in their second innings, 243 behind after the second day of the three-day match.

    Cook's opening partner Hales hit a half-century which should secure him a Test debut on Boxing Day, when England and South Africa begin their four-match series in Durban.

  25. Dutch footballer to appear in court


    Ajax defender Kenny Tete is to appear before a judge in January after being arrested earlier this month following a brawl in Amsterdam.

    Tete "is being charged with threatening police officers and resisting arrest," a spokeswoman for the prosecution service told the AFP news agency.

    According to Dutch media, the 20-year-old was held after a fight in one of the city's coffee-shops where marajuana is legally bought and consumed.

    Tete, who plays for Dutch league leaders Ajax, is due to appear before a judge on January 27.

    Kenny Tete
    Image caption: Tete here on the left in action against Celtic
  26. Cherries not safe yet - Howe


    What is going on? Leicester are top of the league, Watford are in seventh, and the Hornets' fellow promoted sides Bournemouth and Norwich haven't been doing too shabbily either... 

    The Canaries beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, while the Cherries won 2-1 at West Brom for a third win in a row after victories over Manchester United and Chelsea. Manager Eddie Howe isn't getting carried away though.

    "From my perspective, you can't be. That means you're going to be content, potentially sit back and think 'great, job done'," he said. 

    "We are still in the thick of it, we still have to pick up points and there is no relenting from our perspective. It is hard work and improving the players is key." 

    Eddie Howe
    Image caption: A sign that Bournemouth will look to spend in January?
  27. Srnicek in hospital


    The news Hislop is referring to is that his former Newcastle teammate Pavel Srnicek is in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a heart attack in the Czech Republic. 

    Pavel Srnicek
  28. 'It's not as bad as under Moyes'



    Plenty of speculation today that Louis van Gaal has just two games to save his job, with Jose Mourinho - according to the papers - waiting in the wings and ready and willing to step in.

    But there is support of a kind for Van Gaal from United defender Phil Jones, who believes the mood at Old Trafford is not as bad as it was during David Moyes' ill-fated reign.

     "I wouldn't say it's the lowest moment," said Jones, after Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Norwich. "I think it became pretty glum under David Moyes.

    "The manager (Van Gaal) is doing all he can and is doing a terrific job,"

  29. Torquay players were on 'minimum wage'



    Torquay United manager Kevin Nicholson claims former boss Paul Cox signed players to contracts worth less than the minimum wage.

    Cox resigned from the financially troubled club in September.

    Nicholson said: "He sold the dream of being a footballer to a group of young lads and then gave out contracts that they cannot survive on - many on way less than minimum wage."

    Cox replied: "I brought players in on wages that the budget allowed."

    Torquay faced huge cost reductions in the summer after millionaire owner Thea Bristow sold the club to a consortium of local businesspeople.

  30. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who?   


    A fine choice. Who would dare mess with Vinnie?

  31. Backing for under-fire Fabregas



    Pedro has backed Cesc Fabregas to stay at Chelsea and win over the Stamford Bridge fans who booed him in Saturday's win over Sunderland, 

    "It was difficult for him but he can get through this," Pedro told the Evening Standard.

    "Cesc is strong mentally and very competitive.He is a top player, a very good character in the team, he is a winner and it's good he plays for us."

    Asked about former boss Jose Mourinho, Pedro added: "Jose is a very good coach. It is a difficult situation for everyone."

  32. Struggling


  33. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who?

  34. End of play


    And another breakthrough at the end of a long but productive day two...

  35. Question of Sport teaser

    Remember when we asked you earlier to name the five clubs that have been top of the Premier League at Christmas but have never won the title?

    You do't? How dare you.

    To those who did, all is revealed...

  36. Seven points adrift 'but we'll stay up'


    Darren Jackson believes Dundee United are "guaranteed" to avoid relegation from the Premiership this season.

    United are seven points adrift at the foot of the table, having won just two league fixtures this season.

    But Jackson - who was part of former United manager Jackie McNamara's backroom team at Tannadice - is adamant they can escape the drop.

    "I think they'll stay up. I would guarantee they'll get out the situation," Jackson said.

  37. Man down


    And blow me, it's getting even better. Watch out South Africa on Boxing Day. Erm, are we getting a bit carried away. Perhaps...

  38. Root smashes another ton



    Another good day for the imperious Joe Root.

  39. Shot-shy



    You know those Man United fans that claim the football is boring and directionless under Louis van Gaal? Well, this rather startling statistic isn't going to help the manager's cause.

  40. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who? 

    Don't be daft Ben. Arsene will NEVER leave Arsenal.

  41. Keen named new Colchester manager


    League One strugglers Colchester United have appointed Kevin Keen as their new manager.

    The 48-year-old, who was previously caretaker boss at West Ham, sat alongside chairman Robbie Cowling during Saturday's 3-1 loss to Rochdale.

    The U's have been without a permanent manager since Tony Humes' departure on 26 November.

    Colchester, bottom of the table, have lost their last seven league games and have won just five times in 2015-16.

  42. Spoty catch-up

    BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    Did you watch the Sports Personality of the Year award ceremony last night?


    Andy Murray nabbed the top prize, but one of the biggest cheers of the night was saved for Northern Ireland football manager Michael O'Neill, who was given a standing ovation as he was presented with the Coach of the Year award. 

    He guided his country to Euro 2016, their first major finals for 30 years.

    But the real hero?..


    Very possibly the winner of the Helen Rollason Award, nine-year-old Bailey Matthews, who has cerebral palsy but recently completed his first triathlon unaided. 

    He captured the hearts of the crowd as he asked for them to stop cheering and gave a speech which went down a storm...

  43. Get Involved


    If you're lost, refer back to 14:20 and move on... nothing to see here. Unless...

    If you've got anything else to add on the quality of conserves available at primary school Christmas fetes, feel free to dive in...  

  44. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who?

    Tokyo Sexwale
    Image caption: I cannot fault your logic Sean

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  45. Seven games on seven continents


    Footballer, dad, and People magazine’s sexiest man alive 2015...

    David Beckham is back on BBC One this Christmas for a special documentary, David Beckham: For the Love of the Game - which charts the challenge of playing seven games across seven continents in 10 days...

    To mark the occasion, our TV colleagues have put together blog post showcasing the high-points of his BBC appearances over the years.

    Check it out over here.

    David Beckham
  46. Thornley on a mission



    Victoria Thornley says she will not let up in her bid for a 2016 Olympics spot in Rio after topping the rankings at Team GB's latest trial event.

    The Welsh rower's time of 14 minutes 28.4 seconds over two 1900m singles races ensured a repeat of her trials win in November.

    Five-time Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave said in November he was sure Thornley, 28, would go to Rio.

    "I want to win an Olympic medal, preferably gold," she said.

  47. Louis out, Jose in?

    Latest football gossip

    The Sun have just whacked up a juicy big exclusive, claiming Manchester United are set to appoint Jose Mourinho as their next manager...

    The paper says Louis van Gaal is on his way out, but could be given one last chance to change the club's mind in the Boxing Day fixture against Stoke though...

    Jose Mourinho
    Image caption: Could this man...
    Louis van Gaal
    Image caption: Be set to replace this man?
  48. "He knew the lifeblood of football was supporters"

    Jimmy Hill podcast

    Jimmy Armfield, Sir Trevor Brooking, John Motson, Paddy Crerand and Terry Yorath all join Jonathan Overend to pay tribute to Jimmy Hill, who died at the age of 87 on Saturday.

    I highly recommend you download the 5 live podcast, which also includes an interview with Jimmy's wife Bryony. 

    Bruce Forsyth and Jimmy Hill with Frankie Howerd
    Image caption: Not sure I get your meaning here Frankie...

    Although I never met the great man, I actually went to the same primary school as Jimmy Hill. Not at the same time. Any other Henry Cavendish alumni out there?..

  49. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who? 

    Pretty proud of myself that I had to look that one up, Peter. AKA Darth Sidious - is that the fella?

    Darth Vader
    Image caption: Not often you see this chap...
    Image caption: ... followed by these... things. Not sure which is greater force of evil

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  50. 'I dropped the ball'


    Image caption: A really honest assessment, this. Refreshingly so.

    Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan has admitted blame for his clanger that led to Watford's opening goal in their 3-0 victory over the Reds.

    Bogdan, who was standing in for regular number one Simon Mignolet, said: "I dropped the ball, of course. There's a mistake there.

    "After that I felt my hand was on the ball and I was going to bring it out. Obviously (a Watford player) knocked it out of my hand -- but we are talking about split-seconds.

    "Through the bodies of course it's hard for the referee to see. I'm not blaming anybody but myself to drop the first ball. Watford were really good but we - and myself - gave them a head start."

  51. Bale - and Real - go goal crazy



    It's not oftenGareth Balehas overshadowed Cristiano Ronaldo since joining the Portuguese superstar atReal Madrid.

    But he did just that on Sunday, scoring four goals as Real Madrid beat nine-man Rayo Vallecano10-2in a remarkable game.

    Real trailed 2-1 before Tito's red card - then Bale embarked on his goal frenzy, though Ronaldo - inevitably - chipped in with a couple himself.

    It was the first time Real had hit double figures in a La Liga match since 1960, when they beat Elche 11-2. 

  52. Blatter's rise and fall


    The Economist have re-published this brilliant info-graphic charting Sepp Blatter's time at Fifa up until June of this year... 

  53. And the next Fifa president is...

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who?   

    Jose Mourinho
    Image caption: Fancy it Jose? "Nah..."

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  54. How the votes were cast

    BBC Spoty


    Who did you vote for last night? 

    Andy Murray
  55. City in pole position for Pep

    Football gossip


    The Guardian is reporting that Manchester City are definitely the favourites to land outgoing Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola.

    But the paper says the Blues face competition from Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris St-Germain when Guardiola leaves the Bundesliga side at the end of the season.

  56. How sorry?


    Listening back to the opening minute of Sepp Blatter's earlier news conference, I'm struck by the amount of times he said the word "sorry". I think it reaches double figures. 

    How many do you make it? Watch the video here.

    Sepp Blatter
    Image caption: Sepp didn't say sorry in the context of accepting the charges against him though - he was sorry for a lot of other things...
  57. Who will be the next Fifa boss?

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday

    In a dream scenario, football's global governing body is led by... who? 

    We heard former FA chairman David Bernstein suggest Bill Clinton earlier today. Not sure about that one... 

    Which is why we'd like to hear from you. It could anyone. Cartoon characters, now seems to be the time for Star Wars references if you're into that? Or it could even be a real person!

    Bill Clinton

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  58. KP signed up in Pakistan Super League


    Kevin Pietersen will play for the Quetta Gladiators in the inaugural Pakistan Super League. He was the first pick for the club, and will play alongside former England teammate Luke Wright

    Meanwhile Ravi Bopara and James Vince will play alongside disgraced Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir, as he continues his comeback from a 5-year ban for spot fixing. 

    Chris Jordan and James Allenby have been selected by the Peshawar Zalmi. 

    The tournament takes place in February in Dubai and Sharjah. 

    Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen
    Image caption: Wright and Pietersen won the World Twenty20 with England in 2010.
  59. Who will be the next Fifa boss?


    Just a quick reminder of who those candidates are: 

    • Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa - 50, Bahrain, president of Asian Football Confederation;
    • Tokyo Sexwale - 62, South Africa, politician, businessman and former political prisoner;
    • Prince Ali bin al-Hussein - 39, Jordan, a former Fifa vice-president and 2015 Fifa presidential candidate;
    • Gianni Infantino - 45, Switzerland, Uefa general secretary and a member of Fifa's reform committee;
    • Jerome Champagne - 57, France, a former Fifa assistant general secretary and former French diplomat.
    Gianni Infantino
    Image caption: Is Gianni Infantino still the favoured European candidate?

    The election is due to take place on 26 February. So if Michel Platini still wants to stand, he'll have to clear his name (via appeal) in time...

  60. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years


    BBC Radio 4

    The World at One

    Of all the voices reacting to Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, there's been very few speaking out in their defence. Patrick Nelson,the Irish FA chief executive, has done so. 

    "We have to bear in mind that Mr Blatter and Mr Platini have a right to due process. The decision has come out today and both have been banned for eight years but both have ways forward in appealing. We need to give them that freedom. 

    "I think it's a complex matter. We haven't see what evidence the ethics committee has been able to review." 

    Nelson was also asked who his association would be backing in February's presidential elections...

    "We're still evaluating. We don't want to rush to judgement. There are five candidates out there who have been cleared by Fifa's electoral committee and we are considering our options."

    Platini and Blatter
  61. Get Involved

    Get involved: Use #bbcsportsday

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  62. Renault buys Lotus

    Formula 1


    Renault has completed its takeover of the Lotus team and will return to Formula 1 as a constructor in 2016.

    The French car giant has finalised the deal and its lawyers told an insolvency judge: "We have the keys, so to speak."

    The move ends months of speculation and secures the future of the team based in Enstone in Oxfordshire.

    They have won four F1 drivers' titles - two as Benetton with Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1995, and two as Renault with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006.

  63. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years


    The massive news of the day all wrapped up in 60 seconds. Go on and give it a whirl...

    Although I don't think it explains the Nelly tribute...

    Image caption: Did anyone apart from the US rapper think this was a thing? Even in 2001?
  64. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years


    Michel Platini is not one for pulling his punches.

    Here's more reaction to the Fifa executive committee's decision to ban him and Sepp Blatter from all football-related activity for eight years. 

    "This decision does not surprise me," the Frenchman said. 

    "I am convinced that my fate was sealed before the hearing of December 18 and that this verdict is just a pathetic cover-up for a desire to eliminate me from the world of football. 

     "On the football field and in the exercise of my mandates, my behavior has always been irreproachable."

    Image caption: The man who captained France to the 1984 European Championship will not be involved in the hosting of next year's expanded version in his home nation

    I've said it before and I'll say it again - Blatter was on similarly scintillating form this morning. 

    Scroll down to about 10:00 for the choice lines of a bizarre hour inside Sepp's mind.

  65. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years


    Asked if Fifa can reform itself, former Sports Minister Richard Caborn added: “We've had this with the International Olympic Committee. Seb Coe will be successful in setting the benchmark of governance of an international sporting body.

    "I’m convinced Seb will do that. I think the opportunity for Fifa is there.

    "What we need to look at is how we can make international governing bodies for sport accountable? They haven’t been but sport has a great opportunity to put that right.

    "Whoever takes the Fifa presidency will have that opportunity. They will have the eyes of the world on them. The rest of it will be history”.

    Blatter and Platini
  66. Platini to appeal ban


    A few more words coming in now on Michel Platini's reaction to his eight-year ban - confirming he will appeal Fifa's decision. 

    The Frenchman also said he is "at peace with my conscience". 

    Michel Platini

    We've already had a lot of reaction from Sepp Blatter today - who was also banned for eight years by Fifa's ethics committee. 

    Scroll down for the whole cabaret...

  67. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years


    Blatter Platini

    Reaction coming thick and fast to Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini's eight-year bans from football.

    The latest to air an  opinion is former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, who described it as "a good day for football".

    He adds: "All the rhetoric clearly shows that this Fifa is not fit for purpose.

    "It now has a great opportunity to elect a new president who is going to bring in a system that is transparent, accountable, democratically controlled and can deliver for the grassroots, the TV companies and the sponsors. That is the opportunity they've got.

    "Well over half of the executive committee have been expelled, you’ve got cases going on in the US and in Switzerland and the ethics committee have come out with the decision that they are guilty.

    "They [Blatter and Platini] can appeal, that’s absolutely right but the organisation is far, far bigger than one or two individuals. Football is important to a lot of young people around the world who want to see an organisation that is fit for purpose”.

    Richard Caborn
  68. Get Involved

    Text us on 81111

    Ronnie: Mr Blatter and Mr Platini should accept the decision and go gracefully. Whatever the outcome of an appeal they are tainted and are doing Fifa nothing but harm. Independent governance and sweeping reform is required. It will be a long time before the football world can trust this organisation to uphold the values that our beautiful game holds dear. 

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  69. Srnicek suffers cardiac arrest


    If you hadn't already seen the really sad news, former Newcastle goalkeeper Srnicek is in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest in his native Czech Republic.

  70. Platini to appeal ban


    We said we hadn't heard anything from Michel Platini on Fifa's decision to ban him and Sepp Blatter for eight years - well here he is now. 

    In a statement to Agence France Presse he described the decision as a "masquerade" intended to "dirty" his name. 

    "As well as going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, I am determined to apply to civil courts to obtain damages for all the prejudice I have suffered over these very long weeks," the Frenchman added. 

  71. Bolton launch investigation



    Bolton have launched an internal investigation after allegations were made about manager Neil Lennon's private life in the Sunday Mirror.

    Championship club Bolton - who earlier this month were served with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill and are without a win since September - have confirmed that they are looking into the reports.

    "In response to an article published in the Sunday Mirror, Bolton can confirm that the club are currently conducting an internal investigation regarding the matter concerned," a statement on the club's website.

    "The club will be making no further comment at this moment in time."

  72. Srnicek suffers cardiac arrest


    We've just had confirmation that former Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek is in critical condition in hospital after suffering cardiac arrest in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

    According to information received by his agent Steve Wraith, the 47-year-old collapsed while out jogging on Sunday.

    "I spoke to his sister-in-law in the Czech Republic who said his heart had stopped," Wraith told BBC Sport.

    "He is in critical condition in hospital and remains unconscious."

    Pavel Srnicek
  73. 'Fifa needs new leadership'


    Here's Clive Efford MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport, with his viewon the suspension of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini.

    “It is clear that there is no prospect of Fifa being reformed by anyone associated with the old regime," Efford said.

    “Fifa needs new leadership and should place itself in administration under a body led by someone with no history of involvement in its corrupt past to clean up its reputation.

    "This is the only chance left of restoring credibility to the governance of world football.”

  74. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Here's some more from former FA chairman David Bernstein on the news Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been banned from football for eight years.

    Asked if he is satisfied with the Fifa ethics committee's procedures, Bernstein says: “Not totally. There’s a bit of a kangaroo court feel about some of this. Perhaps more relevant for Platini than Blatter because there’s a distinction between the two.

    "Blatter has presided over a corrupt organisation for many, many years. The Swiss authorities and US authorities are after him… he’ll get what he deserves.

    "Platini is very different. He’s presided over a very straight organisation. Uefa is not mired by corruption. Platini has got wrapped up with Blatter, he’s got too close to him. What an amateurish way this payment has been handled. It makes you feel Platini has been naïve”.

    Sepp Blatter
  75. Is Ighalo on the move?..


    So good has Watford striker Odion Ighalo been this season that Hornets boss Quique Flores has been having to dismiss speculation he's set to move on in the January transfer window...

    "I think Ighalo is completely clever, he chose five months ago the option to stay here with Watford," said Flores. 

    "He chose to stay here because he imagined something special for him. He knew perfectly it was the best option for him. 

    "I think he'll finish the season with Watford, after that anybody knows."

    Odion Ighalo
  76. Shock for Klopp

    Watford 3-0 Liverpool

    Hang on a moment... we've not even mentioned Sunday's Premier League action yet.

    There were two games and there is no doubt which provided the biggest talking points. I watched it, and Liverpool were not good.

    Watford continued their impressive start to life in the top flight and gave Jurgen Klopp a nasty shock with a comprehensive 3-0 win over the Reds.

    Nathan Ake struck early after keeper Adam Bogdan - making his league debut - dropped a corner, and Odion Ighalo added two more.

    Defeat for Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, who are now without a win in their last three league games, leaves them ninth - four points behind Quique Flores' side up in seventh.

    Jurgen Klopp
  77. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Former FA Chairman David Bernstein has been talking to BBC Radio 5 live, giving his opinion on the eight-year bans handed to Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini - and specifically Blatter's earlier news conference. And what he says is pretty damning.

    “He knows all the tricks doesn't he," says Bernstein.

    "He’s a real performer and a real fighter but at the end of the day he’s either one of the world’s greatest cynics or he’s in some sort of denial. Perhaps a bit of both.

    "As always a master of confusion…..he throws so many things into it, some of them may be partly valid I don’t know, but it’s quite a performance.

    "He’s a drowning man really, there’s no coming back from this. He will fight but he is doomed. He is yesterday’s man.”

    Sepp Blatter
  78. Srnicek suffers heart attack - reports


    Some very sad reports coming in from the Czech Republic. 

    The former Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek has reportedly suffered a heart attack, and has been admitted to hospital in "critical condition", according to Czech media outlet iDnes.

    Newcastle paper the Evening Chronicle is reporting the same news. Our thoughts, too, are with Pavel and his family. 

    Pavel Srnicek
    Image caption: Srnicek, 47, made 150 league appearances for Newcastle between 1991 and 1998
  79. Exeter is Holmes sweet home

    Rugby Union


    Exeter have announced the signing of Australia international prop Greg Holmes.

    Holmes, 32, has agreed a two-year deal with the Premiership club and will join them in time for next season from Super Rugby side Queensland Reds.

    Holmes was part of Australia's 2015 World Cup squad and has won 24 caps.

  80. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday

    Remy, London: People are saying that ex-footballers should be in charge of reforming Fifa. Platini is an ex-footballer. I say we need independent administrative governance that will reform and then hold Fifa executive to account.   

    Let us know your reaction using #bbcsportsday on Twitter, or text us on 81111 (UK only, and please include a name).

  81. South Africa Invitational XI v England


    Henry Moeran

    BBC Test Match Special in Pietermaritzburg

    Alastair Cook has his 51st first-class hundred and has batted beautifully. 16 fours and a couple of sixes have been struck by the England captain who looks in imperious touch against a bowling attack that are struggling to create chances.

    The only question now is whether he’ll retire to give others an opportunity – no doubt he’d like to see the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali given the chance to find form.

    At the other end Joe Root is continuing to show why he’s rated as one of the top Test batsmen in the world with a measured but aggressive 30 from 35.

    England are 236-2 and leading by 100.

    Alastair Cook celebrates his hundred
  82. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years

    Uefa statement

    “Uefa has taken note of the decision of the Fifa ethics committee to suspend Michel Platini for eight years from all football-related activities.

    "Naturally, Uefa is extremely disappointed with this decision, which nevertheless is subject to appeal.

    "Once again, Uefa supports Michel Platini’s right to a due process and the opportunity to clear his name.”

    Michel Platini
  83. Platini and Blatter banned for 8 years


    If you're just joining in, the massive news of the day is Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Uefa boss Michel Platini have been suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation.

    We've had a lot of reaction from Mr Blatter - the only thing his news conference lacked was a karaoke round. 

    But we haven't heard anything from Platini in reaction so far. Perhaps not surprising given he boycotted Friday's Fifa hearing...

    European football's governing body has released a statement though...

  84. Sports Personality of the Year

    Helen Rollason award

    If you were watching  at Sports Personality of the Year last night, you may well have seen nine-year-old Bailey Matthews winning the Helen Rollason award.

    He then went and spoke to Radio 5 live - and comes up with a wonderful answer when asked what he wants to be when he grows up....

  85. The figures are in...

    BBC Spoty


    Were you watching last night?

  86. Question time


    A Question of Sport Teaser

    Right, time for a bit of light relief.

    Our colleagues at Question of Sport like you set you a daily teaser and today is no different.

    Name the five teams that have been top of the Premier League at Christmas but have never won the title?

    Good luck all - we'll give you the answer later.

  87. Channel 4 to take on BBC's F1 coverage

    Formula 1

    Now then. Other things have been happening today - honest!

    And first on the agenda, we've got some bad news to bring you if you're a fan of the BBC's Formula 1 coverage. 

    BBC Sport is to "reluctantly" end its Formula 1 television contract three years early as part of savings across the corporation.

    Channel 4 will take on the broadcast rights from next season.

    "The current financial position of the BBC means some tough and unwanted choices have to be made," said Barbara Slater, the BBC's director of sport.

    There is some good news though - BBC Radio 5 live has extended its commentary rights for F1 until the 2021 season.

  88. Sepp Blatter news conference



    Well done if you made any sense from that, what can you call it... performance? 

    Sepp Blatter was on fine form, denying all charges while getting all philosophical in German, French, Spanish and English...

    What we did learn though, is that he intends to fight the Fifa ethics committee's decision to ban him for eight years. He'll take it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and hopes to still attend the next congress in February - when a new president will be elected. 

    One of the most revealing lines for me: "It might have been wise to have stepped down after 2014..."

    Sepp Blatter
  89. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8 year ban

  90. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    "I have never lost my mind and they told me Mr Blatter, sorry to say but you are really nearby. I say no I want to go home," he adds.

    "But I am back. I am doing better. I have the support of my daughter and the support still from a lot of people inside Fifa, and also European members - they share with me that what has happened today is not the way it should be inside Fifa.

    "Thank you again thank you for supporting Fifa because they are working well all around the world."

    Then, Arnie-style, he stands up and says "I'll be back" - before shuffling off stage.

    Ladies and gentleman, it's all over.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger
  91. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    That was the last question but then Blatter - with his daughter holding his coat for him, as if really wanting him to leave - he launches into a monologue about his health.

    He was, of course, recently taken to hospital with what was described as a "small emotional breakdown".

    Blatter says he "will not speak about his health" but then, unprompted, does just that, suggesting he had some results on 1 November without which he "wouldn't be here today".

    "Thanks to the doctors to god, thanks also to my, let's say, inheriting a lot of good genes, thanks to my good heart," he says, as all the journalists are packing up.

    Blatter daughter
  92. Sepp Blatter news conference


    A big gulp of water from fine-looking crystal... and it's the "last question".

    Blatter: "Of course I have had a life, from time to time doing other things, but I am so closely tied to Fifa - for the last 40 years. The day I saw Fifa had been attacked - because what happened on the the 25 May of 2015, when it was was said Fifa is a mafia organisation - that was an attack - I took the responsibility to protect Fifa. 

    "Of course I should have stopped after the 2014 World Cup. That would have been perhaps the wise thing to do. Now we are in a situation we don't deserve to be in. I will fight until the end."

  93. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    Senior news correspondent at BBC News, Christian Fraser.

  94. Sepp Blatter news conference

  95. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Get involved using #bbcsportsday on Twitter

  96. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    BBC news reporter Imelda Flattery...

  97. Sep Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    It's fair to say Mr Blatter has looked better...


    Maybe his appearance reflects his mood.

  98. Sepp Blatter news conference


    "Two more questions", Sepp says. Not certain he'll stick to that...

    And the tie is becoming more and more dislodged from that top button...

    "They tried already in 2002 to get rid of me. I don't think the ethics committee has some links the United States. I would not say there is some pressure from somebody here but there is inside the Fifa.

    "I have never cheated with money. And now I should have given £2m to buy votes. Votes from whom? I always got votes from Europe.

    "I'm not the cleverest man in the world, but like they say in French: Je ne suis pas un imbecile [I'm not a fool]."

    Sepp Blatter
  99. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8-year ban

    Blatter, mid-answer to a question, goes off on a sudden tangent.

    "By the way to suspend the president of Fifa and to forbid him to go to a football stadium ... this is wrong because in the disciplinary court when this applies to players, coaches and refs, they do not go to stadiums but they can still practice with their teams.

    "To suspend the president of Fifa from a football match it is absolutely wrong when it does not apply to the other persons."

  100. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Send us your thoughts using #bbcsportsday

  101. Sepp Blatter news conference

    Fifa president given 8 year ban

    Blatter is asked what advice he has for whoever succeeds him at the forthcoming elections (assuming they want his advice, which, given what's happened today, is a major assumption).

    "You here present know me," Blatter says to the room.

    "I pass now more than 40 years. The average working time of a person should not be more than 40 years.

    "What was wrong with me is at the end of the World Cup in Brazil I should have stopped. I didn't do that because at that time Michel Platini had already decided to be a candidate president and five other confederations said to me 'stay as president'."

    Blatter then seems to remember the question he was asked, saying: "But I cannot express qualities or non-qualities to my successor. There will be one. We still have four in the pipeline.

    "But I am forbidden even to go to Fifa I have no access to books or whatever."