13-12-2018 World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

13-12-2018 How Fifa's clampdown on loan deals may affect Premier League clubs

Fifa wants to prevent clubs from stockpiling young players and using the loan system for ‘commercial exploitation’By Gavin Willacy for Playing in the ShadowsReserve team football in England may start to look very different when Fifa introduce their new rules on loans. For the past few years, rather than having their true second squad play in Premier League 2, the richest clubs have sent youngsters on loan all over Europe. Those left to play in the Under-23s tend to be the Under-19 or 20s. The most extreme example is Chelsea, who not only have a dozen or so first-team squad members rarely playing for Maurizio Sarri, but also another 39 professionals out on loan and that is before you get to their Premier League 2 team, which you could argue is Chelsea’s sixth XI.If Fifa’s proposals go through, clubs may only be allowed to loan out six to eight pros from 2020-21 – although clubs are hoping that deals with domestic clubs and those involving young, homegrown players will not be affected by the new rules. Depending on the severity of the policy, it could have serious repercussions not only at Chelsea but also Manchester City, Wolves and others. Pep Guardiola says City will adapt accordingly. “We will have to bring the players back here and see where they are going to play and, if we can’t find anywhere, we will have to sell them.” Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Why should someone like Raheem Sterling be seen as ‘fair game’? | Daniel Taylor

Stan Collymore argues that nothing will be done about abuse of Sterling because nothing ever is, but if there was more diversity in the newsrooms it might shape the thinking differentlyBefore going into football journalism full-time I spent a few years on the news beat for various tabloid newspapers. That may surprise a few people because, outside the industry, there seems to be a perception you are either one or the other: broadsheet or red-top, luvvie or rotter. But it doesn’t actually work like that. I worked for a freelance agency in the Midlands, covering for virtually all the national titles, and there was no room for journalistic snobbery for a young reporter with a provisional driving licence and 40-words-per-minute shorthand.But it was definitely an eye-opener. One story was of a car being stolen in Leicester while, unbeknown to the thief, a baby was strapped into the back seat. The car was still missing and the police had organised a press conference for her mother, who had not been identified, to make a public appeal. It was a big story and there were a lot of national newspaper journalists in attendance. But I can still remember the awkwardness when she came in and the vibe from several reporters – not just the tabloids – that there was an issue, news-wise. The woman in question wasn’t white. She was Indian and that was a problem, I was told, because the relevant newspapers might no longer think it was a photograph, or story, their readership wanted. Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Bradford City 4-4 Peterborough: Toney's brilliant half-way line goal in FA Cup replay

Ivan Toney scores a free-kick from the halfway line during Peterborough's thrilling FA Cup second round replay win over Bradford City.

13-12-2018 The Breakdown | Neath’s sad decline laid bare as they face judgment day in court | Paul Rees

In dire financial trouble off the pitch, short of players and bottom of the Welsh Premiership, the famous club faces a winding-up order in court on ThursdayBack in the day spectators used to clamber up the floodlight pylons at the Gnoll to get a better view because the terraces were so packed. Now, as Neath faces a winding-up order on Thursday for failing to repay a £30,000 loan taken out to cover wages, the lights may go out for good on Wales’s oldest club.Neath are due to entertain Llanelli on Friday night, a fixture that not long ago would have been a highlight of any club weekend. It will be preceded by a bash for supporters in the clubhouse, but if the court hearing goes against a club whose nickname has long been the Mourners, it would turn into a wake. Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Rob Cross: ‘After the world darts final it was like I’d hit rock-bottom’

The world No 2 darts player went from winning £7 in pubs to winning the PDC world championship within 18 months, but, he says, quick success ‘drained me’“Do you ever get these feelings that something’s going to happen?” Rob Cross asks with surprise in his voice. “You don’t know where they come from but you can feel that something’s going to happen. I had that feeling when I won the worlds. I had that feeling when I won the Challenge Tour. They’re like premonitions.”Cross shakes his head and smiles at the mysterious force of the past two years. His life has been transformed from being an electrician who won £7 after victory in a pub tournament, to becoming the world champion of darts 18 months later. Cross won £400,000 on 1 January 2018 when, in the PDC world championship final, he crushed his hero, Phil Taylor, at the end of his first year as a professional. Since then, Cross put on five stone in weight and was disconcerted when the lives of his wife and three children were threatened by a crank who was offended by his stunning rise. Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Martin Glenn: FA chief executive to leave at end of the season

Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn is to step down at the end of the 2018-19 season.

13-12-2018 Champions League last 16: who’s hot, who’s not and potential match-ups

Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United face the prospect of daunting ties after the cream rose to the top in the groupsThe Premier League will supply a quarter of the teams in the Champions League last-16 draw, which will take place at 11am on Monday. Teams from the same country cannot be drawn against each other, and likewise teams who qualified from the same group. Group winners will be drawn against second-placed teams, with the top seed enjoying home advantage in the second leg. VAR will be used for the rest of the competition. Continue reading...

13-12-2018 NFL This Week: Could Amari Cooper send the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl?

After spending a first-round draft pick trading for wide receiver Amari Cooper, have the Dallas Cowboys found the missing piece to their team?

13-12-2018 Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

13-12-2018 Geraint Thomas has no regrets over new deal before Sky pulled team backing

• Tour de France winner confident new sponsor will be found• ‘It would be super-disappointing if this team was to stop’Geraint Thomas insists he has no regrets in signing a new deal with Team Sky in September – despite being in “shock” when he learned that Sky had pulled the plug on its sponsorship deal.This year’s Tour de France winner, who considered becoming team leader of the Polish team CCC before agreeing an improved £3.5m a year deal with Team Sky, is also confident that Sir Dave Brailsford will find a new title sponsor to keep the team together in 2020 because it is one of the most successful in any sport. Continue reading...

13-12-2018 What is the smallest football ground a European champion has lost at? | The Knowledge

Plus: the longest delay for any new stadium in history and the worst goal difference you can get away with and still qualify in the Champions League. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Real Madrid recently lost 3-0 to Eibar in a stadium that holds just 7,000 people,” begins Robin Tucker. “That got me thinking: have any former European champions lost a competitive match in a smaller stadium? This would be only counting results after their first European success, so games such as Liverpool’s 1959 defeat to Worcester City would not count.”A fine question, but it’s not even the smallest stadium a former European champion has lost in this season. The 1986 winners Steaua Bucharest, now snappily known as FCSB, have suffered plenty of turmoil recently, including a defeat earlier this month to Sepsi OSK. That was in front of an estimated 2,500 at the 5,200-capacity Stadionul Municipal. Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Anastasia Dobromyslova: ‘Being a girl, I’ve had to fight for my spot in darts’

Ellesmere Port-based Russian is one of two women who have qualified for the PDC event at Alexandra Palace from ThursdayAnastasia Dobromyslova smiles as she remembers the first time she played darts, as a 12-year‑old in her home city of Tver, just over 100 miles from Moscow, and realised she had an unerring knack for hitting trebles and doubles – and beating the older boys at her youth club. “I wasn’t very well liked,” she laughs. “I think that’s what toughened me up, because I’ve always had to be amongst the boys. Being a girl I have had to fight for my spot.”Not a great deal has changed in the intervening two decades. But having qualified for one of two new women’s spots at this year’s expanded PDC World Championship, which begins at Alexandra Palace on Thursday, the 34-year-old Dobromyslova intends to make the most of her opportunity. “You don’t realise how many emotions I have,” she says. “I’m excited, I’m nervous and I know playing in front of thousands of people will be challenging. But with a bit of luck, who knows what could happen?” Continue reading...

13-12-2018 ‘Creative’ AlphaZero leads way for chess computers and, maybe, science | Sean Ingle

Former chess world champion Garry Kasparov likes what he sees of computer that could be used to find cures for diseasesGarry Kasparov is not only humanity’s greatest ever chess player but its highest-profile victim of artificial intelligence. His loss to IBM’s super computer Deep Blue in 1997 made global headlines and left him feeling bitter and, well, blue. Yet there is a warm glint in his eye when he talks about AlphaZero, the game-changing chess program that took just four hours to teach itself to become the strongest in history. Related: Magnus Carlsen beats Caruana in tie-breakers to retain World Chess crown Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Mollie and Rosie Kmita: the twins 'breaking the mould' for women in football – video

Twitter UK has launched a new #WomenInFootball campaign with sisters Rosie and Mollie Kmita telling the story of how they ‘broke the mould’ to earn respect in their sport. Rosie, a professional footballer at West Ham, and Mollie who plays for Gillingham, believe ‘women’s football is going in the right direction’ and hope to inspire the next generation of female players. You can watch all four films in the series here.The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018 Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Jimmy Gressier retains Euro U-23 Cross Country title but faceplants on finish line – video

Jimmy Gressier successfully defended his men’s under-23 European Cross Country title in the Netherlands on Sunday, but the runner’s failed celebration are likely what will be remembered best. Continue reading...

13-12-2018 Team Sky: Chris Froome, Sir Dave Brailsford and Geraint Thomas react to sponsorship withdrawal

Chris Froome, Sir Dave Brailsford and Geraint Thomas react to Sky's decision to withdraw backing of Team Sky at the end of 2019.

13-12-2018 Formula E explained: Beginners' guide

Watch our guide to Formula E ahead of the new season, which gets under way in Saudi Arabia on 15 December live on BBC Sport.

13-12-2018 Advent calendar 2018: England's Ali Jawad celebrates winning Commonwealth bronze

Watch the moment England's Ali Jawad celebrates in style after winning bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the men's Para Powerlifting lightweight division.