19-12-2018 Qatar World Cup: What will it be like for fans in 2022?

It is four years until the 2022 World Cup final takes place in Qatar - Richard Conway finds out what a winter tournament could be like for fans.

19-12-2018 NFL: Carolina Panthers stun New Orleans Saints with trick play

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey throws a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints, before the Panthers fall to 12-9 defeat that puts a huge dent in their playoff hopes.

19-12-2018 The Spin | Ed Smith avoids brickbats by proving to be a Test-class England selector | Vic Marks

Former Kent batsman has been a breath of fresh air, challenging traditional thinking and not afraid to give youngsters a chanceChairmen of selectors are a bit like wicketkeepers. We only really notice them when they make terrible mistakes. Yet the incumbent, Ed Smith, has threatened to buck the trend. He has been in the post for nine months yet his appointment has been heralded as a significant reason for England’s resurgence as a Test side.From the start Smith has challenged traditional thinking and by and large this has worked well. Jos Buttler had not played any red-ball cricket for months so how could he possibly be considered for Test matches? But hang on, he is an incredibly gifted cricketer, just think what we might be missing. Adil Rashid had withdrawn from all red-ball cricket. But why not invite him back? There are far greater threats to the integrity of county cricket to be found within the ECB’s own ranks than in the recall of Rashid. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 David Squires on ... José Mourinho's United exit and Southampton's spirit

Our cartoonist on Emo Mourinho’s last stand, festive cheer at St Mary’s and Roy Hodgson cooking up a Crystal Palace winView all of David’s cartoons here Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

19-12-2018 What happened next? How the World Cup brought in a new era for Alex Scott – and women in football

She had already earned 140 caps for England, but Scott became one of the breakout stars of the men’s tournament this year as the first woman pundit taken to a World Cup by the BBC. She reveals why it wasn’t all plain sailing Alex Scott is not alone in looking back at the long hot summer of 2018 with a pronounced sense of nostalgia. But for the former Arsenal right back, who herself won 140 caps for England, it holds particularly cherished memories: she became the first female football pundit ever taken to a World Cup by the BBC.The Champions League winner and six-time Premier League champion saw a fearless England side ride a wave of uncharacteristic national optimism to the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City (1-3 pens)

Holders Manchester City edge through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals by beating Leicester City 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

19-12-2018 British surfer Tom Butler conquers potential world record '100ft tall wave' – video

Briton Tom Butler believes he may have broken the world record for surfing the biggest ever wave after successfully riding a huge swell at Nazaré in Portugal on 14 December.The 29-year-old says the wave was estimated to be more than 100ft tall. The current official record is 80ft, which was set last year by Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa also at Nazaré.Butler said surfing the wave was like 'running away from a raging bull'. It is likely he will have to wait for the WSL Big Wave Awards in April 2019 for official confirmation on whether he broke the world record.Surfing and skateboarding receive huge Olympic boost from UK Sport Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Talking Horses: Arc £3m prize-money cuts start to bite at Southwell

The reduction in prize money is a response to the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on FOBT machines in betting shops from £100 to £2The all-weather Flat card at Southwell on Tuesday afternoon has more runners per race than either of the jumps meetings at Catterick or Fakenham, but the lowest prize money per race by a long way, £7k on the Fibresand at the Midlands track versus £9k for Catterick and £10k at Fakenham. And it is a situation that can only get worse as the winter goes on after the Arena Racing Company (Arc), which operates four of the five all-weather venues, announced on Monday that it will cut its contribution to prize money by £3m in 2019. The reduction, Arc says, is a response to the government’s decision to cut the maximum stake on FOBT machines in betting shops from £100 to £2, a move which – according to the bookies – could lead to the closure of as many as 4,000 of the country’s 9,000 or so shops. This, in turn, would lead to a huge drop in the media rights payments to racecourse operators, which are calculated on a “per-shop” basis. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 The Dozen: the weekend's best Premier League photos

Our picture editors select their favourite images from around the grounds Continue reading...