23-02-2019 'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

23-02-2019 Manchester City’s Demi Stokes eyes glory in familiar Continental Cup final

Left-back is confident her side can exact revenge on Arsenal in repeat of last year’s League Cup showpieceDemi Stokes sounds slightly surprised. “I didn’t actually know they’d won it that many times,” says the Manchester City and England left-back. “But you can’t think about the past – it won’t matter on Saturday.”Stokes is talking about the Continental League Cup final at Bramall Lane where City, twice winners of the eight-year-old competition, face Arsenal, who have lifted the trophy five times. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 Chelsea to appeal after being hit with transfer ban for two windows by Fifa

• Sanction relates to dealings with foreign players under 18• Chelsea deny wrongdoing and announce they will appealChelsea have been banned from the transfer market for two windows after Fifa found them guilty of a serious and systemic breach of the rules regarding their dealings with overseas players under the age of 18. The club swiftly said they would appeal.The governing body announced the sanction on Friday at the end of a lengthy investigation into Chelsea and how they have registered players at their academy over a number of years. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 I never feared sack at Manchester City like Sarri does at Chelsea, says Guardiola

• Catalan draws contrast with Chelsea’s short-term approach• Sarri’s side will be keen to avenge 6-0 loss, warns GuardiolaPep Guardiola has highlighted Chelsea’s short-term approach by stating he enjoyed Manchester City’s backing in a way Antonio Conte never did and suggested Maurizio Sarri may encounter the same lack of support.Guardiola struggled during his first season but never felt any sense he would be removed. He cited this when saying his experience was different to that of Sarri, who is under severe pressure during his opening campaign at Stamford Bridge. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 The NFL's Kaepernick settlement should just be the start of making amends | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Hopefully the league can now support the values of the US constitution rather than pandering to those who mistake parochialism for patriotismIn one of my favorite sports movies, Vision Quest, the varsity wrestling coach tells his students they can challenge the best wrestler in any weight class if they want to take his place.“Fairest thing in the world,” he smugly tells them. As soon as one kid raises his hand to make that challenge, the coach quickly dismisses the team, pulls him aside, and says: “You’re out of your mind!” Continue reading...

23-02-2019 Chelsea’s transfer ban forces club to make major decisions on recruitment | Dominic Fifield

Chelsea could reconsider contract policy or, at long last, lean more heavily on academy graduates and give youth its chanceChelsea had been braced for Fifa sanction for some time and swiftly announced they would appeal against the two-window transfer embargo imposed by world football’s governing body. The case will go to the Fifa appeals committee and, if necessary, the court of arbitration for sport and could drag on for a considerable time, with the enforcement of Fifa’s ban almost certainly stayed pending the appeals process. That buys the club time.They can then target how best to proceed in the market and, indeed, with a long-term squad-building policy. Chelsea have a number of players out of contract this summer – including David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Olivier Giroud, albeit they have the option to extend the Frenchman’s deal by 12 months – and, just as significantly, plenty more in 2020. Deals with Willian and Pedro, both in their 30s, are up next year, along with those for Callum Hudson-Odoi and, of course, Eden Hazard. The Belgian may be beyond persuasion to stay, with his heart apparently set on Real Madrid. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 Chess: England to take on superpowers at world team championship in Astana

China, Russia and United States are the favourites for next month’s showdown in KazakhstanEngland have been confirmed as one of the 10 finalists in next month’s world team championship in Astana, Kazakhstan, where China, Russia and the US are expected to fight it out for the gold medals. Last year, England finished fifth, the squad’s best performance since 1998, at the 184-nation Batumi Olympiad which was a qualifier for the world teams. Related: Magnus Carlsen pays for poor start as Daniil Dubov wins World Rapid Chess Continue reading...

23-02-2019 WGC-Mexico Championship: Dustin Johnson leads by two at halfway

Dustin Johnson leads by two at the WGC-Mexico Championship, with Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar sharing second place.

23-02-2019 The Fiver | Staring us in the face, in plain sight, giving us the big do-you-want-some

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Yesterday evening, Barcelona took 25 shots against Lyon but none of them went in, so they drew for the fourth time in five matches. At Anfield, Naby Keïta had a pass completion rate of 74%. But apart from those two examples of things that are brimful of pretty attacking promise but aren’t quite clicking at the moment, there was very little to talk about in Big Cup. The needle on the Fiver’s patented Entertainmentometer™© got stuck halfway between Mildly Diverting But Only Because There’s Nothing On Any Of The Other Channels and Intriguing But Only Because You’re Trying Way Too Hard. Bah. As a banner displayed in the Bayern end and applauded by the Liverpool fans noted, you had to pay £48 for a ticket to watch this stuff. One day a real rain will come. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 Weakened Scotland bidding to expose self-belief of unpredictable France

Despite missing a cluster of key players Scotland believe they can win in Paris for the first time since 1999Having failed to win in Paris so far this century, Scotland will attempt to end that trend on Saturday with something akin to a second-string side. Of the team’s key quartet, only the captain, Greig Laidlaw, is in the squad, Finn Russell having joined Stuart Hogg and Willem Nel on the injury list this week.Factor in other absentees such as Huw Jones,, Ryan Wilson and Hamish Watson, and it may seem that this game is France’s to lose. But that also appeared to be the case at half-time in their last home game, before they went on to surrender a 16-0 lead to Wales. Given such an ignominious collapse was followed by a heavy defeat at Twickenham, it is evident self-belief is in short supply in the French ranks, as Jacques Brunel implied when asked if, by naming his team two days early, he were not giving the Scots an advantage. “After seeing our performance against England, Scotland must be pretty confident anyway,” the head coach said. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 Wales v England in the Six Nations: 'A sporting occasion like no other'

A Wales v England Six Nations match in Cardiff attracts fans from all corners to sample a unique atmosphere, says chief sports writer Tom Fordyce.

23-02-2019 Cardiff 1-5 Watford: Neil Warnock laments 'bizarre' penalty call

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock feels the "bizarre" first-half decision not to award his side a penalty affected his players in the second half where they went on to lose 5-1 to Watford.

23-02-2019 Super League Triathlon: World Champion Vicky Holland - 'It is brutal'

World Triathlon Series Champion Vicky Holland discusses the Super League Triathlon format with BBC's Louise Minchin ahead of Saturday's eliminator races in Singapore.

23-02-2019 Maurizio Sarri heads to Carabao Cup final as Chelsea’s dead man walking | Dominic Fifield

Wembley appearance will do little to kill the sense of inevitability over the Italian’s future at Stamford BridgeMaurizio Sarri strides out at Wembley a dead man walking. He can cling to football’s capacity to shock, and even convince himself an appearance in the Carabao Cup final will shrug Chelsea out of their slump in form. Theirs should be the greater motivation, after all, given the wounds are raw from the six-goal pummelling inflicted by Manchester City only a fortnight ago. Yet, in truth, there is a sense of inevitability about where this is heading.Passage was negotiated safely, in the end, beyond Malmö in the Europa League on Thursday, with Dynamo Kyiv to come in the last 16, yet the respite seems temporary. The home support, so vociferous in their dissent a few days previously as the team’s FA Cup defence petered out against Manchester United, had barely acknowledged their head coach, instead joyously latching on to Callum Hudson-Odoi’s rare start or the welcome distraction of the cameos delivered by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu off the bench. It would be a surprise if any of that trio start on Sunday. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 Talking Horses: Glen Rocco can grab the bookies’ cash at Kempton

A winning pointer in Ireland with a big jump in him, Glen Rocco showed promise around Kempton on Boxing Day when chasing home a talented sort who got first runTen runners is a disappointing turnout for the steeplechase formerly known as the Racing Post, which has been through several sponsors in recent years and is now the 888Sport Handicap Chase. But that is all to the good for connections of Glen Rocco (3.35), who has fewer rivals to beat at Kempton on his way to fulfilling the promise he has been showing this winter.A winning pointer in Ireland with a big jump in him, Glen Rocco showed promise around this track on Boxing Day when chasing home a talented sort who got first run. He then stormed home when returned to Kempton and stepped up to this distance last month. The handicapper has had his say but there is more to come from Nick Gifford’s chestnut. Rather Be has had a frustrating season but the memory of his narrow defeat at last year’s Cheltenham Festival sustains the sense that he can go close here. Continue reading...

23-02-2019 England in West Indies: Hosts claim dramatic 26-run victory

West Indies produce an inspired fightback to claim a thrilling 26-run victory over England and level the one-day series at 1-1.

23-02-2019 West Ham 3-1 Fulham: Manuel Pellegrini pleased with reaction to going a goal down

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is unsure why his team started so badly but is happy with the way his players reacted to going a goal down, to then beat Fulham 3-1.