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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Rangers 1-3 Motherwell | Scottish Premiership play-off final, first leg match report

Motherwell care little for whether Scottish football needs Rangers back in the top flight or not. The debate over the Ibrox club’s worth to the national game has certainly lasted the course – even if the armageddon predicted following their demise three years ago never quite came to pass.But whatever the answer, the discussion may be pondered for at least another season. Stuart McCall, who st

Worcester’s final win over Bristol adds to injustices of play-off system

Winner-takes-all approach offers no consolation to the loser, with teams like Northampton enjoying fine seasons only to end with nothing to show for it. Could such heartaches be lessened with a lesson from Super League?April the cruellest month? Make it May, the month of the play-offs. Last Saturday Northampton, long‑time leaders and the best team in the Premiership, had their season taken away

US to Russia: Fifa corruption inquiry has nothing to do with you

Officials say ‘Russia does not even figure’ in investigation after Vladimir Putin accuses the US of ‘blatant attempt to extend their jurisdiction into other states’The US embassy to Russia and the State Department have fended off criticism from Vladimir Putin about corruption charges against officials of Fifa, saying “this investigation has nothing to do with Russia”.Putin accused the US o

Swansea’s James Demetriou charged with multiple betting offences

• Striker has until Monday to respond to charge• Nineteen-year-old has yet to play for first teamThe Swansea striker James Demetriou has been charged with alleged “multiple breaches” of betting rules.A statement from the Football Association said: “Swansea City’s James Demetriou has been charged for alleged multiple breaches of FA Rule E8 in relation to betting. The player has until 1 June

Hull’s Abel Hernández gets three-game ban for punch on Phil Jones

• Uruguayan striker will be suspended for start of next season • Incident happened in draw with Manchester United as Hull were relegatedThe Hull striker Abel Hernández will be suspended for the start of next season after receiving a three-match ban for a punch on Manchester United’s Phil Jones which was caught on camera.The Uruguayan admitted an act of violent conduct, which was not seen by

Fifa in crisis: how the world's newspapers reacted – in pictures

Following the news that nine Fifa officials and four executives of sports management companies had been arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes totalling $100m (£65m), football’s governing body featured on front pages around the world Continue reading...

Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbregas undergoes successful surgery on broken nose

• Fàbregas suffered injury in clash with Stoke’s Charlie Adam last month• Midfielder should be fit for Spain’s matches with Costa Rica and BelarusThe Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas has undergone a successful operation to repair his broken nose.The Spaniard suffered the injury in a clash with Stoke City’s Charlie Adam in early April and was forced to play the remainder of the season wearin

Andy Murray unconcerned despite time violations in French Open win

• Murray cited twice in win over João Sousa• Scot will play Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in next roundThe umpires and players at the French Open are locked in a weird waltz – slow-slow, quick-quick slow – over the exasperating issue of time violations for tardy serving, and Andy Murray found himself at the centre of the debate on day five.Twice on Thursday the French chair umpire Pascal Maria w

England expectations buoyed by Lord’s but peaks and troughs await

With Ben Stokes – so inspirational against New Zealand in the first Test – likely to splutter among rocket-fuelled displays, patience is needed for this young sideIt would not do to get too carried away. The first Test at Lord’s was exhilarating, a triumph, the sort of advertisement for the game – at a time of some turmoil – that money could not buy. The new chatter has been about Ben Stokes (s

John Gosden wins Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown with Western Hymn

• Trainer’s runner just holds off Arab Spring in close finish• Royal Ascot next for National Stakes winner King Of RooksJohn Gosden warmed up for next week’s Derby, in which he has two fancied runners, by landing the Brigadier Gerard Stakes here on Thursday night with Western Hymn under James Doyle. The winner will now be aimed at Royal Ascot’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes, which Gosden won last y

Defiant Sepp Blatter vows to fix Fifa as pressure mounts to resign

President makes first public appearance since scandal broke, while North American football federation dismisses executivesFifa president Sepp Blatter has defiantly vowed to repair the rock-bottom reputation of world football’s governing body, refusing to quit over the worst corruption scandal in its 111-year history. His stand came as an emotional Uefa president Michel Platini refused to rule

Get rid of Blatter – but not Fifa | David Goldblatt

Broadcasters, players and fans should not stay on the sidelines if Fifa’s president wins another termSay what you like about Sepp Blatter, the man has chutzpah. This evening he will be running for a fifth term as Fifa’s president, on a ticket that he is the man to lead the organisation out of the cesspit of corruption he has presided over. His challenger, Prince Ali of Jordan, may yet defeat hi

One thing MPs can agree on: the game of football is beautiful and corrupt

Fifa is in the spotlight even in the Commons as scandal hits football’s international governing bodyJust about the only people who regularly refer to football as the Beautiful Game are those who have absolutely no interest in it. After Wednesday’s indictment of numerous Fifa officials on corruption charges, for an hour on Thursday the Commons could talk of nothing else but the Beautiful Game.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson expects World Athletics Championships medal

• World No1 heptathlete would be disappointed to leave Beijing without medal• The 22-year-old misses event in Götzis after injury curbed her preparationKatarina Johnson-Thompson says she would be disappointed not to win her first World Athletics Championships medal in Beijing in August. The 22-year-old is the current world No1 in heptathlon and took pentathlon gold at the European Indoor Champ

Fifa scandal: I cannot monitor everyone all the time, says Blatter - video

Sepp Blatter, president of Fifa, addressees delegates during the opening ceremony of the 65th Fifa congress in Zurich, Switzerland, on Thursday. In his opening speech, Blatter says that Fifa will cooperate fully with authorities, who are investigating the corruption scandal engulfing the game's governing body. Blatter plays down his responsibility for the actions of his officials, although he does

Heather Watson out of French Open after loss to Sloane Stephens

• Stephen beats Briton 6-2, 6-4• Watson wore strapping all down right arm during defeatHeather Watson exited the French Open at the second-round stage after a straight-sets defeat by Sloane Stephens.Watson, who was wearing strapping all the way down her right arm, lost out 6-2, 6-4 to the American. Continue reading...

Amir Khan fights Chris Algieri knowing boxing career is on the line

• Khan wants win to send message to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao• Both fighters meet weight before Barclays Center fightThis time last year Amir Khan was on the shortlist of candidates to meet Floyd Mayweather in a Saturday night pay-per-view blockbuster from Las Vegas, the sport’s most prestigious and lucrative platform. Now he’s fighting Chris Algieri on a Friday in Brooklyn on Spike

Andy Murray takes time past João Sousa to make French Open third round

• No3 seed Murray wins 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1• Brit handed two time warnings over slow serve by umpireIf this French Open was the football World Cup (providing such a concept is not rendered beyond parody after recent events), Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal would be in the group from hell. However, until they collide, all is going well enough for them, while Roger Federer, over in th

Fifa crisis: Blatter rebuffs Platini plea to resign and resolves to ride out scandal

‘I can’t monitor everyone all the time,’ says president of football’s world governing body The president of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, has denied responsibility for the corruption scandal engulfing football’s world governing body and has promised to clean up the organisation by pressing ahead with his bid for a fifth term. Blatter told the Fifa congress in Zurich on Thursday afternoon that he could

Alberto Contador extends Giro d’Italia lead as Philippe Gilbert wins stage 18

• BMC’s Gilbert comfortably claims second stage victory• Contador leads by over five minutes with three stages remainingAlberto Contador took yet more time out of his rivals on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia to move a step closer to locking up the pink jersey.BMC Racing’s Philippe Gilbert raced away to his second stage victory of the Giro but the real action was behind as Tinkoff-Saxo rider

Fifa: under-fire Sepp Blatter makes opening ceremony speech – as it happened

*David Cameron backs demands for Sepp Blatter to quit*How Blatter won the hearts and minds of Africa*Uefa: Fifa will ‘kill football’ if not reformed*Blatter faces calls to resign, as sponsors express ‘disappointment’*Johansson: England should host 2018 World Cup not Russia 5.52pm BST And that brings to a close the live blog for today. Here’s a brief summary of today’s events in Fif

Chicago Bulls cite lack of unity as they fire Tom Thibodeau

*Bulls reached playoffs every season under coach*Relationship with front office was under scrutinyThe Chicago Bulls fired Tom Thibodeau on Thursday, saying a change was needed from the strong-willed coach who took his team to the playoffs in each of his five seasons.Thibodeau went 255-139 with the Bulls, good for a .647 winning percentage that ranks seventh in NBA history among coaches w

Samu Manoa and Salesi Ma’afu among 10 Northampton player departures

• Phil Dowson, Alex Day, Joel Hodgson and Tom Ryder also leave club• Jim Mallinder: ‘The players who are leaving have all played their part’Northampton have confirmed the departures of 10 players from their squad this summer. Among those leaving Franklin’s Gardens are forwards Samu Manoa and Salesi Ma’afu to Toulon, while Phil Dowson (Worcester), Alex Day (Cornish Pirates), Joel Hodgson, Tom R

French Open 2015: Andy Murray v João Sousa – as it happened

Andy Murray reached the third round with a four-set win over Joao Sousa, while there were wins for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic 5.40pm BST Let’s wrap up the blog here. Andy Murray is through to the third round of the French Open and he will play Nick Kyrgios. See you tomorrow. Bye. 5.37pm BST Andy Murray is being interviewed by Fabrice Santoro. Who’s wearing a kilt. “I like it,” M

French Open: Sloane Stephens defeats Heather Watson – as it happened

*Stephens prevails 6-2, 6-4 for first career victory over Watson*American through to third-round meeting with Tsvetana Pironkova*Watson finishes with just seven winners versus 30 unforced errors 12.37pm ET Signing offStephens wins 6-2, 6-4 in 70 minutes to set up a third-round matchup with Tsvetana Pironkova, who advanced earlier today with a 6-3 7-6(2) win over Denisa Allertova. Th

Uefa president 'insulted and disgusted' by Fifa after bribery crisis – video

Speaking on Thursday following a meeting of Uefa delegates, Michel Platini expresses his disgust at Fifa, stating 'enough is enough'. He also reveals he has again urged Fifa president Sepp Blatter to resign following the arrest of a number of high profile Fifa executives on charges, including bribery and racketeering, and says that 'a very very very large majority' of european football association

Atlanta Hawks showed power of players over the front office

The Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks combined to win exactly one game in the conference finals. That shouldn’t take away from what they accomplished just by getting thereIt’s pretty safe to say that there won’t be any documentaries commemorating this round of the NBA playoffs, which ended on Wednesday night when the Golden State Warriors eliminated the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Wester

Fictional notions such as Big Foot, unicorns and Ukrainian sovereignty | The Fiver

Click here to have the Fiver sent to your inbox every weekday at 5pm, or if your usual copy has stopped arrivingAt the time of writing, Sepp Blatter is not in jail. Nor is he in an igloo or a space shuttle. No, His Holiness is exactly where he should be, still proudly astride his golden throne in Switzerland, contemplating ways to use another term as the hallowed father of Fifa to deliver even

Plymouth announce departure of manager John Sheridan for family reasons

• Former midfielder wants to relocate back to the north of England• ‘I have thought long and hard about the decision I have reached’Plymouth Argyle have announced the departure of John Sheridan as manager for family reasons, with the former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder now set to return to the north of England.Sheridan, who was appointed at Home Park in January 2013, guided Plymouth to th

New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum questions England’s approach

• Captain McCullum wonders if England ‘stumbled’ into Lord’s win• New Zealand making special plans to cope with Ben Stokes• McCullum’s relentless attack leaves England room for manoeuvreBrendon McCullum is not the type of man to express regrets – he holds none over New Zealand’s aggressive approach to Test cricket – but it appears the Kiwis’ captain is more than partial to a mind game or two.

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