19-10-2018 Online aggression skews debate over suspended West Ham youth coach | Jacob Steinberg

Disreputable or an individual’s right? Battle lines on social media have sent the temperature soaring regarding the actions of West Ham’s Mark PhillipsWhen Kick It Out contacted West Ham about the youth coach who went on the Democratic Football Lads Alliance march through central London last Saturday, football’s anti‑discrimination organisation was not trying to stir the pot. Its aim was not to land Mark Phillips in hot water. It had an obligation to act after receiving an anonymous report about Phillips appearing to align himself with an organisation accused of Islamophobia and of having links with far-right groups.Yet the temperature inevitably rose on Twitter as soon as the Guardian broke the story about Phillips on Tuesday morning. For people who see nothing wrong with the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, a group condemned by anti-racist campaigners, it was a case of political correctness gone mad. Because it had acted on an anonymous complaint against the coach of West Ham’s Under-18s, Kick It Out was accused of being snowflakes who wanted to shut down free speech and, even more bizarrely, of being the real fascists. Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Said & Done: Ronaldinho, marquee clubs and multiple defamations

The season so far – also featuring Fifa 2.0, a fined lion and football’s saddest lament Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Roma fan cleared of inflicting GBH on Liverpool supporter

Filippo Lombardi jailed for three years for violent disorder before Champions League tieA Roma fan has been cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a Liverpool supporter but has been jailed for three years for violent disorder.Filippo Lombardi, 21, from Rome, was found not guilty at Preston crown court on Thursday of assaulting Sean Cox, who suffered “catastrophic injuries” in an incident on Walton Breck Road before a Champions League semi-final in April. Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Raheem Sterling and England show value of fearlessness in Spain | Eni Aluko

The Manchester City forward looked almost carefree in Spain and Gareth Southgate’s team need to keep this upEngland delivered an impressive display against Spain on Monday and it was kickstarted by a fine opening goal from Raheem Sterling. I was delighted for him. Few, if any, players have had to put up with as much negative energy from the media in recent years as Sterling and this was his way of showing that despite it all he still has what it takes to score goals for England.A huge part of Sterling’s burden in an England shirt has been dealing with all the critics. That is part of being a professional footballer but the scrutiny on Sterling has gone too far. I’d now like to see those who have criticised Sterling about irrelevant things such as his tattoo and his Poundland purchases give him the praise that is due from a purely footballing point of view. Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Johanna Konta into Kremlin Cup semi-finals after battling win

British No 1 into second WTA semi-final of yearSimona Halep withdraws from WTA Finals The British No 1 Johanna Konta battled past Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three sets at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow to make just her second WTA semi-final of the year.After the first two sets were won 6-2, both players turned up the quality in the third but it was Konta who edged out the world No 31, 7-6 (7-2) in the decider. Konta will now play the Russian sixth seed Daria Kasatkina in the last four. The welcome win for 27-year-old comes a week after she split with her coach Michael Joyce. She is now working with Dimitri Zavialoff. Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Smith and Carlos embodied many African Americans' Summer of Love and Reckoning

Fifty years ago this week, two proud Olympians raised their fists to call attention to social injustices. Their gesture made my heart swell with prideIn the summer of 1967, 100,000 fashion-forward and social-forward youth gathered in San Francisco in what has famously been called the Summer of Love. Similar gatherings occurred throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, all in an effort to reject the Vietnam War, consumerism, and governments who had proven less than forthright, while promoting the ideals of love, kindness, and compassion. The Summer of Love has been branded and celebrated as a symbol of the 60s. African Americans had another name for that summer: the Long, Hot Summer of 1967. During that time, 150 black communities burned in riots, with 26 people killed in Newark, New Jersey, and 43 in Detroit. By the following summer, Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy, two guiding lights in civil rights, had been assassinated. Black people were not feeling the love. That’s the context for the 1968 Summer Olympics when, 50 years ago this week, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved fists from the podium in Mexico City, medals dangling from their necks, while the US national anthem played. To many African Americans, that was the Summer of Love – and Pride, and Reckoning. Related: Colin Kaepernick sounds the alarm against a re-emerging evil | Richard Williams Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Unai Emery urges Aaron Ramsey to keep focus despite contract position

• Midfielder set to leave at end of season or in January• ‘Individual things are not for now,’ Arsenal manager saysUnai Emery has challenged Aaron Ramsey to keep his performances up while his contract runs down. The midfielder, whose deal expires in the summer with negotiations frozen, is keen to see out the season at Arsenal rather than leave in January, and Emery’s only concern is that Ramsey’s performances and motivation stay on track.“I want his performance to be like another player,” the manager said. “At the last match he started on the bench, played 35 minutes. For Monday against Leicester if he starts in first XI or the bench his focus must be to help us in the match, the same as any player.” Continue reading...

19-10-2018 European club rugby surprises may offer barometer in World Cup year | The Breakdown

From next week international squad players in Europe will spend more time with their countries than with their clubs and lessons learned at highest level of club rugby could be vitalThe result of a weekend in Europe that kicked convention high into the stand came in Paris, where a Worcester side laced with academy players achieved a bonus-point Challenge Cup victory over Stade Français, who lie second in the Top 14.Europe, in the form of the Champions Cup, is regarded as being close to international standard, exemplified by teams such as Leinster and Saracens. But over the years it has not been that reliable a barometer for Test rugby, although the last three winners of the tournament have represented the countries that took the Six Nations title. Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Higgins, Robertson & Trump knocked out of English Open

Former world champions John Higgins and Neil Robertson and world number five Judd Trump are knocked out of the English Open.

19-10-2018 Scottish Premiership: Does Scotland have a title race this season?

One of four teams could be top of the Premiership this weekend but what can the table after eight games tell us about how it might end?

19-10-2018 England stun Spain, no Khan do and Gibraltar's rocks – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, John Ashdown and Hayley McQueen discuss the Nations League, Wembley, José Mourinho’s latest Chelsea return – and how to do a fitba cornerJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, John Ashdown and Hayley McQueen to run through all the biggest talking points from the Nations League, including England’s stunning first-half performance in Seville, which led to a 3-2 victory. Attention also has to be given to the behaviour of some away fans in the city. Continue reading...

19-10-2018 Hughes 'deeply regrets' tweet that led to additional ban, says England boss Jones

England number eight Nathan Hughes "deeply regrets" the social media post that triggered a further two-week ban says coach Eddie Jones.