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Football transfer rumours: Marseille or Lyon to land Olivier Giroud?

Today’s fluff came to the party on my own

The front page of this morning’s L’Equipe carries a large picture of Olivier Giroud cupping a hand to his ear. “Giroud,” reads the headline, “Le chant de retour.” He is hearing, they say, a siren song that is leading him back home, where Lyon and Marseille both hope to complete what would be “un superbe coup pour la Ligue 1”. The paper explains that the French domestic championship has become increasingly attractive given the number of highly-rated coaches currently working there. “All that remains is to launch the second stage of the rocket,” they write, “by attracting the players capable of propelling Ligue 1 to rarified heights. And what better signal than to bring Olivier Giroud, the international team’s centre forward, back home?”

Like L’Equipe, the Mill can think of no better signal than that. Other than buying a younger and/or better player instead, obviously. The French paper also write that Arsenal want Monaco’s Thomas Lemar “at any price”, which isn’t much of a negotiating position but should, in the end, let them get their man. The Telegraph had reported that the failure of their initial offer had prompted the Gunners to look again at Riyad Mahrez, but it sounds like the Algerian shouldn’t get too excited just yet.

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Barcelona host Chapecoense in friendly at the Nou Camp on 7 August

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Barcelona will host Chapecoense in a friendly on 7 August to pay tribute to those who died when the Brazilian team’s plane crashed last November.Only th…

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Barcelona host Chapecoense in friendly at the Nou Camp on 7 August

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Barcelona will host Chapecoense in a friendly on 7 August to pay tribute to those who died when the Brazilian team’s plane crashed last November.Only th…

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Michael Downey: I should have spent more time trying to talk to Andy Murray | Donald McRae

The LTA chief executive has regrets but will leave the role this month after launching the largest grassroots investment in the history of British tennis

Michael Downey has almost reached the end, both of this interview and his three-and-a-half-year tenure as the chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association, when he slips on his peach jacket and twirls his umbrella for old times’ sake. He leaves his job on Friday and returns home to Toronto to be reunited with his family and resume working in the equivalent position at Tennis Canada – a role he filled previously for nine years.

I am about to switch off my recorder when Downey says “I’ll tell you one final story” in his avuncular way. He begins by explaining that when he first joined Tennis Canada in 2004 he was asked to show Mark Miles, then the chief executive of the ATP, which runs the men’s tour, around a new stadium in Toronto. “I’m on month one of my new job and we walked around,” Downey remembers. “We get to the parking lot where the players are dropped off and Mark starts kibitzing with one of the players. He introduces me but he doesn’t introduce the player. I walk away with Mark and ask, ‘Who was that?’ He goes, ‘Roger Federer.’”

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Michael Downey: I should have spent more time trying to talk to Andy Murray | Donald McRae

The LTA chief executive has regrets but will leave the role this month after launching the largest grassroots investment in the history of British tennis

Michael Downey has almost reached the end, both of this interview and his three-and-a-half-year tenure as the chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association, when he slips on his peach jacket and twirls his umbrella for old times’ sake. He leaves his job on Friday and returns home to Toronto to be reunited with his family and resume working in the equivalent position at Tennis Canada – a role he filled previously for nine years.

I am about to switch off my recorder when Downey says “I’ll tell you one final story” in his avuncular way. He begins by explaining that when he first joined Tennis Canada in 2004 he was asked to show Mark Miles, then the chief executive of the ATP, which runs the men’s tour, around a new stadium in Toronto. “I’m on month one of my new job and we walked around,” Downey remembers. “We get to the parking lot where the players are dropped off and Mark starts kibitzing with one of the players. He introduces me but he doesn’t introduce the player. I walk away with Mark and ask, ‘Who was that?’ He goes, ‘Roger Federer.’”

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Jockey Michelle Payne admits taking banned substance – video

Jockey Michelle Payne speaks to reporters in Melbourne after being suspended for four weeks for taking a banned appetite suppressant. Payne, who returned a urine sample this month containing traces of phentermine, admitted guilt at a Racing Victoria in…

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Contrite Michelle Payne banned from racing for four weeks after positive test

  • Melbourne Cup-winning jockey pleads guilty at stewards inquiry
  • Payne ‘embarrassed and sorry’ after phentermine found in urine

Michelle Payne’s racing career will be briefly put on hold after the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey was handed a four-week suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

Payne, who returned a urine sample this month containing traces of phentermine, admitted guilt at a Racing Victoria inquiry on Thursday and said she had made a mistake.

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Contrite Michelle Payne banned from racing for four weeks after positive test

  • Melbourne Cup-winning jockey pleads guilty at stewards inquiry
  • Payne ‘embarrassed and sorry’ after phentermine found in urine

Michelle Payne’s racing career will be briefly put on hold after the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey was handed a four-week suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

Payne, who returned a urine sample this month containing traces of phentermine, admitted guilt at a Racing Victoria inquiry on Thursday and said she had made a mistake.

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Lions’ Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell start in second All Blacks Test

• Sam Warburton returns as captain for second Test against New Zealand
George North and Robbie Henshaw ruled out of remaining matches

Warren Gatland has chosen both Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell in his starting lineup for the do-or-die Test against New Zealand on Saturday as the British & Irish Lions seek to inject fresh energy into the best-of-three series. Sam Warburton also returns as captain, with Maro Itoje to partner Alun Wyn Jones in the second row.

With the Lions having little option but to take the game to the All Blacks and get on the front foot, Gatland has sacrificed Ben Te’o’s power at inside-centre for the 10-12 combination of Sexton and Farrell that has already shown flashes of promise on this tour. George Kruis and Peter O’Mahony drop out of the starting XV but otherwise Gatland has kept faith with the side beaten 30-15 by the All Blacks last Saturday.

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Serious Fraud Office probes Fifa World Cup bidding report

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The Serious Fraud Office is reviewing a Fifa report into controversial bids to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

A 2014 report by former Fifa ethics investigator Michael Garcia had only been published as a 42-page summary but was leaked in full on Monday.

It was published by Fifa on Tuesday and revealed details of “improper” actions by bid teams, including England’s.

The Serious Fraud Office, which has the power to prosecute, confirmed it is now scrutinising the full publication.

Confirmation of the SFO’s interest comes 20 months after its director David Green told MPs of potential money-laundering offences, including a payment of 500,000 Australian dollars (£270,000) made by the Australia 2022 bid committee to Jack Warner – then a senior Fifa official but since banned from the game and under investigation – which may have gone through London.

At the time, Green, who was giving evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said Fifa could not be prosecuted under the 2010 Bribery Act as the alleged offences took place before then.

In October 2015, Green’s team was scrutinising 1,600 documents provided by the Football Association relating to England’s failed 2018 bid.

Garcia was asked by Fifa to investigate the nine bids to stage the tournaments, including England’s for 2018.

He quit his role at Fifa in protest when his report was condensed, saying it was “erroneous”. But his investigation prompted follow-up inquiries by the governing body, primarily into members of its executive committee.

Fifa subsequently cleared Qatar, who will stage the 2018 tournament and 2022 hosts Russia, of any wrongdoing.

The publication of the full document alleged wrongdoing by the Football Association in the way it tried to to “curry favour” with Fifa officials who were set to vote on who should host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

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George North and Robbie Henshaw ruled out of remaining Lions Tests

• Both backs suffered injuries in 31-31 draw with Hurricanes
• Players to fly home following Lions’ second Test with All Blacks

George North and Robbie Henshaw have been ruled out of the rest of the British and Irish Lions’ tour of New Zealand after sustaining injuries in Tuesday’s 31-31 draw with the Hurricanes.

Both backs will fly home following the second Test against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday to undergo further treatment.

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Tour de France demands apology after Jan Bakelants’ podium girls remark

• Former yellow jersey wearer in dock for making derogatory remark
• AG2R La Mondiale say it was meant to be humorous but was in bad taste

The Tour de France organisers will contact Jan Bakelants’ AG2R La Mondiale team to ask him to apologise after the Belgian rider was reported to have made derogatory comments about the race’s podium girls in an interview with the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

Asked what he would take with him for his free moments during the Tour, the former wearer of the yellow jersey in the event allegedly said: “A packet of condoms, for sure. You never know where those podium [hostesses] hang out.”

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UK Sport faces revolt from 11 sports governing bodies over funding cuts

• ‘Disenfranchised’ sports criticise obsession with medal targets
• Governing bodies of badminton, basketball and fencing among critics

A mass rebellion is set to put UK Sport under further pressure to reform, with 11 national governing bodies of sports calling for a major overhaul in how the funding agency allocates lottery and exchequer money.

The Guardian understands the governing bodies will claim the spirit of sport has been obscured by what is seen as UK Sport’sgrowing obsession with medal targets over the past decade.

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County Championship roundup: Cook and Browne pile on pain for Middlesex

• Middlesex 246 & 27-0; Essex 542-3dec
• Essex in control after openers put on 373

Essex have the champions on the rack thanks to a remarkable opening stand of 373 between Alastair Cook and Nick Browne.

By the time Cook edged a turner from Ollie Rayner to slip for 193, two shy of his highest Championship score, the record books were dog-eared and relieved: this was Essex’s largest ever opening stand (surpassing Graham Gooch and Paul Prichard’s 316 against Kent here in 1994), and the largest partnership in any game between them and Middlesex.

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Claudio Bravo saves three penalties to send Chile to Confederations Cup final

• Chile 0-0 Portugal (aet); Chile win 3-0 on penalties
• Goalkeeper denies Ricardo Quaresma, João Moutinho and Nani

In his pre-match press conference the Chile manager, Juan Antonio Pizzi, predicted “it is going to be a beautiful semi-final”. He was right. Breathtaking attack and staunch defence failed to separate Chile and Portugal over 120 minutes before Claudio Bravo saved three penalties to send the South American champions into the Confederations Cup final.

This was a match between ascendant football powers. Before 2015, neither Portugal nor Chile had won a major international competition. In the 18 months that followed, Portugal won the European Championship in Paris and La Roja twice won Conmebol’s Copa América. For both sides, Russia 2017 was a debut at this peculiar World Cup warm-up event and each manager had spoken of a desire to win the often-derided tournament.

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Bravo saves three penalties as Chile beat Portugal in shoot-out

Claudio Bravo

Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was the hero as Chile reached the Confederations Cup final by beating Portugal on penalties.

Bravo denied efforts from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani as Chile converted all their spot-kicks.

It was perhaps justice for Chile, who had a strong claim for a penalty denied deep in extra time and also hit the post twice in quick succession.

They will play either Germany or Mexico in Sunday’s final in Kazan.

Arturo Vidal, whose shot hit the post in closing stages of extra-time before Martin Rodriguez’s follow up also hit the woodwork, was successful from the spot for Chile along with Charles Aranguiz and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

The dramatic finale lit up an otherwise dull encounter, with both sides looking tired after playing their fourth game in just 10 days at the tournament in Russia.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Portugal

  • 1Rui Patrício
  • 21SoaresBooked at 114mins
  • 6FonteBooked at 96mins
  • 2Bruno AlvesBooked at 111mins
  • 19Eliseu
  • 10Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forQuaresmaat 83′minutes
  • 14CarvalhoBooked at 31mins
  • 23Adrien SilvaSubstituted forJoão Moutinhoat 102′minutes
  • 15André GomesSubstituted forBatalha Martinsat 116′minutes
  • 9Valente SilvaBooked at 43minsSubstituted forNaniat 76′minutes
  • 7Ronaldo

Substitutes

  • 4Novo Neto
  • 8João Moutinho
  • 11Cabral Semedo
  • 12Malheiro de Sá
  • 13Danilo
  • 16Afonso Fernandes
  • 17Nani
  • 18Batalha Martins
  • 20Quaresma
  • 22Beto

Chile

  • 1Bravo
  • 4IslaSubstituted forFuenzalidaat 120′minutes
  • 17Medel
  • 18JaraBooked at 23mins
  • 15Beausejour
  • 20Aránguiz
  • 21Díaz
  • 10HernándezBooked at 51minsSubstituted forSilvaat 112′minutes
  • 11VargasSubstituted forRodríguezat 86′minutes
  • 8Vidal
  • 7Sánchez

Substitutes

  • 2Mena
  • 3Roco
  • 5Silva
  • 6Fuenzalida
  • 9Sagal
  • 12Toselli
  • 13Díaz
  • 14Gutiérrez
  • 16Rodríguez
  • 19Valencia
  • 22Puch
  • 23Herrera
Referee:
Alireza Faghani
Attendance:
40,855

Match Stats

Home TeamPortugalAway TeamChile
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home14
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Portugal 0, Chile 0(3).

Penalties over

Posted at126′

Penalty Shootout ends, Portugal 0, Chile 0(3).

Posted at126′

Penalty saved! Nani (Portugal) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

Goal!

Posted at125′

Goal! Portugal 0, Chile 0(3). Alexis Sánchez (Chile) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Posted at124′

Penalty saved! João Moutinho (Portugal) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Posted at124′

Goal! Portugal 0, Chile 0(2). Charles Aránguiz (Chile) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Posted at123′

Penalty saved! Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Posted at122′

Goal! Portugal 0, Chile 0(1). Arturo Vidal (Chile) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalties in progress

Posted at

Penalty Shootout begins Portugal 0, Chile 0.

Posted at120’+1′

Second Half Extra Time ends, Portugal 0, Chile 0.

Substitution

Posted at120′

Substitution, Chile. José Fuenzalida replaces Mauricio Isla.

Posted at119′

Corner, Chile. Conceded by José Fonte.

Posted at119′

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Chile) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Charles Aránguiz.

Posted at119′

Martín Rodríguez (Chile) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Posted at119′

Arturo Vidal (Chile) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Francisco Silva.

Posted at118′

Foul by Arturo Vidal (Chile).

Posted at118′

William Carvalho (Portugal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at117′

Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Chile) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Arturo Vidal.

Substitution

Posted at116′

Substitution, Portugal. Gelson Martins replaces André Gomes.

Booking

Posted at114′

Cédric Soares (Portugal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at114′

Alexis Sánchez (Chile) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at114′

Foul by Cédric Soares (Portugal).

Posted at113′

Foul by Francisco Silva (Chile).

Posted at113′

William Carvalho (Portugal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Posted at112′

Substitution, Chile. Francisco Silva replaces Pablo Hernández.

Booking

Posted at111′

Bruno Alves (Portugal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at110′

Pablo Hernández (Chile) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at110′

Foul by Bruno Alves (Portugal).

Posted at107′

Pablo Hernández (Chile) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at107′

Foul by Cédric Soares (Portugal).

Posted at

Second Half Extra Time begins Portugal 0, Chile 0.

Posted at105’+1′

First Half Extra Time ends, Portugal 0, Chile 0.

Substitution

Posted at102′

Substitution, Portugal. João Moutinho replaces Adrien Silva.

Posted at101′

Attempt blocked. Nani (Portugal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cédric Soares.

Posted at100′

Attempt saved. Arturo Vidal (Chile) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Charles Aránguiz with a cross.

Posted at98′

Corner, Portugal. Conceded by Arturo Vidal.

Posted at98′

Corner, Portugal. Conceded by Gonzalo Jara.

Booking

Posted at96′

José Fonte (Portugal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at96′

Alexis Sánchez (Chile) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at96′

Foul by José Fonte (Portugal).

goal

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Usain Bolt claims ‘health issues’ after limping to narrow Ostrava win

• Jamaican runs 10.06sec and is pushed to the limit by Yunier Perez
• Mo Farah cruises to 10,000m win but personal best out of reach

Usain Bolt’s preparations for the world championships this summer received a worrying and unexpected jolt on Wednesday night as he struggled to win his penultimate race before defending his 100m and 4x100m titles in London – and then admitted to having “some health issues” afterwards.

The giddy crowd at the Golden Spike in Ostrava had come expecting the full Bolt. The poses, the smiles, the selfies – and, most of all, the raging afterburners applied halfway down the home straight. Yet when the muscular Cuban Yunier Perez came alongside him at the midpoint of the 100m, Bolt, 30, pressed on the accelerator and found very little.

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Alexandre Lacazette: Arsenal in negotiations to sign French striker from Lyon

Arsenal have had a bid rejected for 26-year-old French striker Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, but negotiations are still ongoing. However, the Gunners are less likely to sign Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, 21, having also had a bid turned down. Meanwh…

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Dave Brailsford defends Team Sky credibility and says ‘I’m going nowhere’

• Brailsford dismisses talk of his future before Tour de France
• Sky manager denies team’s reputation is tarnished

Sir Dave Brailsford has attempted to brush away questions about his future and the credibility of his Team Sky squad three days from the start of their attempt to win a fifth Tour de France in six years.

Brailsford was also forced to deny that his team have a credibility issue. “I’m very focused on the race,” he said. “I’ve been involved in this sport for a long time and I’ve tried to do it absolutely the way I’ve always thought it should be done and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved in this sport. I’m proud of this team and I’m proud to be sitting here.”

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Biggest hit worn in Bachar Houli episode has been to credibility of AFL | Russell Jackson

The league has effectively labelled their own tribunal a kangaroo court and exposed flaws they themselves engineered into the rules

Regardless of the outcome of Thursday night’s appeal hearing regarding Bachar Houli’s two-week suspension, the AFL has made a mockery of its own judicial process with an unprecedented vote of no confidence against its own tribunal. In scenes that bring to mind the pantomime of WCW wrestling, tribunal members themselves must wonder whether their positions even remain tenable.

This situation, and many more like it, are sadly inevitable when every tier of the game’s administration is more intent on reacting to murmurs of discontent and reasserting their own inflated sense of importance than they are establishing the clear and irrefutable regulatory processes required to run a billion-dollar sporting organisation.

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