Today in Sport – as it happened
9.06am: Good morning and welcome to our new(ish) rolling sports blog. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, the idea is this: throughout the day we will update this page with news, links, and what’s expected to happen in the hours ahead. Time permitting, we’ll also try to wade in below the line, answering your questions and comments.
9.52am: Fernando Alonso and the Nelson Piquets have arrived in Paris for the FIA’s hearing into race-fixing at the Singapore grand prix last year. Owen Gibson is in Paris and will be providing updates on what’s happening throughout the day. It’s possible that the FIA will reach its verdict today, and although Renault are prepared for a fine, the FIA is unlikely to expel them from Formula One. PW
10.10am: Following our news meeting, here’s a taste of what’s on the agenda:
• Fall-out from the ‘Mad-chester’ derby: the item thrown by a United fan, presumably at Carlos Tevez, which instead struck Javier Garrido; and a potential police inquiry into Craig Bellamy’s altercation with an encroaching fan.
• Possible action in the wake of El Hadji Diouf allegedly racially abusing a ball boy during Blackburn’s 3-0 defeat at Everton.
• An injury update on Didier Drogba, who was carried off for Chelsea against Spurs, plus news on Sebastien Bassong and Ledley King, who both suffered injury at Stamford Bridge, leaving Tottenham with four key centre backs now on the treatment table.
• The FIA hearing into race-fixing at last year’s Singapore GP, at the World Motor Sports Council in Paris. According to our man at the hearing, Owen Gibson:
The WMSC could make an announcement on their verdict as early as this afternoon. It is likely Renault will be fined and possibly suspended from competing. A full expulsion from Formula One is, though, thought to be unlikely.
• Bobby Robson’s thanksgiving service takes place today. We’ll have audio from Paul Hayward at the service and a gallery.
• And blog-wise: Sid Lowe on La Liga; Paolo Bandini’s Serie A column; Raphael Honigstein on the Bundesliga; Rob Smyth’s weekend Premier League breakdown; plus Paul Rees reflecting on the weekend’s rugby union action. JD
10.25am: As much as the Manchester derby is covered elsewhere here on the site, one question does spring to mind: should Craig authorized canada goose outlet Bellamy have got involved with the encroaching fan at Old Trafford yesterday? Do you agree with Mark Hughes’s viewpoint?
“I seem to recall Brian Clough clipping someone around the ear once [after Nottingham Forest’s fans had invaded the pitch] and he was lauded as a national hero. Maybe it will be the same with Craig but I doubt it. I’m sure people will make a nuisance of it.”
10.45am: And while we’re on the subject of pitch invaders, here’s one from Saturn v Spartak Moscow in the Russian league over the weekend. Quite a tidy finish, we’re sure you’ll agree … JD
11.10am: At the end of last season, the Liverpool website published the results of a poll showing fans’ favourite centre-back pairing. Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher was first choice, followed closely by Agger and Martin Skrtel. This season, Liverpool have kept clean sheets only against Stoke, Burnley and Debrecen, and have conceded at least two goals in all their other games. A couple of seasons ago it would have been unheard of to drop Carragher from Liverpool’s starting line-up, but after some shoddy defensive displays this season – here’s Paul Doyle’s verdict on the match at Upton Park on Saturday – is it time for Rafael Benítez to turn to Agger, when fit, Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Daniel Ayala on a more frequent basis? PW
11.15am: Is Drew Brees the best quarterback in the NFL at the moment? Fox Sports certainly thinks so. Plus here’s a report on the Giants’ late, late result to spoil the day for the Cowboys at their new home, including an unusually frank admission of culpability from Tony Romo:
“Obviously my mistakes really put us in a hole. I really cost can i wash my canada goose coat us this one. It’s frustrating. I’m just really, really disappointed in myself right now.”
12.10pm: The Football League has confirmed it is investigating the recent takeover of Notts County by Munto Finance. Mystery surrounds who is actually behind the group with the executive chairman Peter Trembling fronting the consortium of investors. A Football League spokesman said:
“We have received fit and proper persons documentation. Discussions are ongoing with regard to the club’s ownership structure.”
Obviously, the club could face sanctions if they fail to identify the men behind the money being injected into the club. JD
1.05pm: We’re still waiting on an update regarding the condition of British Saxo Bank cyclist Jonny Bellis, who is in a critical condition at an Italian hospital in the wake of a suspected scooter crash. According to a report in Cycling Weekly:
The 21 year-old from the Isle of Man was found at the side of the road by a security guard at 3.30am on Saturday morning. He was bleeding heavily from the nose but was later found to have suffered serious head injuries. He was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to the specialist Careggi hospital in Florence. Great Britain Under 23 Academy coach Max Sciandri is with him and Bellis’ parents have also traveled to Italy.
According to [Italian newspaper] il Tirreno, Bellis was returning to his flat in Quarrata on his scooter. Police are investigating the accident but it is unclear if Bellis was the victim of a hit and run because no skid marks were found. Bellis was wearing a helmet. British Cycling’s Performance Director Dave Brailsford said in a statement: “All our focus and attention right now is on Johnny and his family and ensuring that they are looked after and given the best possible care at this time.”
1.10pm: Renault have been given a two-year suspended ban for Nelson Piquet Jr’s deliberate crash at the Singapore GP, canada goose coat 1000 calorie while Flavio Briatore has been banned from motor sport for life for his actions in Crashgate. The FIA said:
“At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held in Paris on 21 September 2009, the Renault F1 team admitted that the team had conspired with its driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, in breach of the International Sporting Code and F1 Sporting Regulations.”
You can read the FIA’s verdict in full here. JD
2.02pm: The first European football blogs of the day have landed. Paolo buy canada goose jacket uk Bandini ponders Sampdoria’s flying start to the season under Luigi Del Neri, and wonders whether a special offer from a local restaurant may have something best canada goose jacket womens to do with their success.
Raphael Honigstein concentrates on the bottom end of the Bundesliga this week, charting the decline of Hertha, ‘the shame of Berlin’, and revealing why Bochum have finally parted ways with their manager, Marcel Koller. PW
2.25pm: Nelson Piquet Jr has just issued a statement in the wake of Renault’s punishment:
“I am relieved that the FIA investigation has now been concluded. Those now running the Renault F1 Team took the decision, as I did, that it is better that the truth be known and accept the consequences. The most positive thing to come from bringing this to the attention of the FIA is that nothing like it will ever happen again. I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it.
“I don’t know how far my explanation will go to making people understand because for many being a racing driver is an amazing privilege, as it was for me. All I can tell you is that my situation at Renault turned into a nightmare. Having dreamed of being a Formula One driver and having worked so hard to get there, I found myself at the mercy of Mr Briatore. His true character, which had previously only been known to those he had treated like this in the past, is now buy canada goose jacket australia known.
“Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life. Now that I am out of that situation I cannot believe that authentic canada goose outlet I agreed to the plan, but when it was put to me I felt that I was in no position to refuse. Listening now to Mr Briatore’s reaction to my crash and hearing the comments he has made to the press over the last two weeks it is clear to me that I was simply being used by him then to be discarded and left to ridicule.
“As my final words on this matter, I would like to repeat that I am so sorry to those who work in Formula One (including the many good people at Renault) the fans and the governing body. I do not expect this to be forgiven or forgotten but at least now people can draw their conclusions based upon what really happened.”
3.06pm: A thanksgiving service for Sir Bobby Robson is taking place in Durham cathedral today, with the event broadcast live in St James’ Park and in Ipswich. We’ll have audio and news from Paul Hayward and Louise Taylor later on. In the meantime, here’s a gallery of the day’s events. PW
3.43pm: It’s this kind of story that makes you realise why the English game misses Jens Lehmann: the former Arsenal keeper has been dropped by Stuttgart for attending Oktoberfest – which starts in September for some reason – just a couple of hours after his team had lost 2-0 to Cologne. It wasn’t the only entertainment Jens had provided at the weekend either: he gifted Cologne their second goal when he raced out of his area only to lose possession and allow Wilfried Sanou to shoot into an empty net from 45 yards out. Ah Jens, Jens, Jens: our loss is Germany’s gain. TL
3.55pm: Fancy winning some Champions League tickets to see Arsenal take on Olympiakos next week? No? Then don’t enter this competition and answer a question so simple that even we got the right answer at the second attempt. TL
4.55pm: Paul Hayward gave a reading at Sir Bobby Robson’s memorial service today and spoke to Jon Dennis about the tribute to the former England manager. TL