F2Tekkz: How winning the Fifa FUT Champions Cup changed his life

Four months after enrolling at college, Donovan Hunt's life changed when he won a major Fifa eSports tournament.

23-01-2019

The Fiver | Cardiff City's Sala confirmed as being on board missing flight

Last Saturday, just three days ago, Emiliano Sala agreed to join Cardiff City. His £15m transfer from Nantes generated much excitement: the 28-year-old striker from Argentina had scored 12 goals in 16 matches this season in France, a record bettered only by Nicolas Pépé and PSG’s front three, and would become the Bluebirds’ record signing. Nantes waved off a much-loved talent with their blessing. “The management and the whole of FC Nantes thank warmly Emiliano Sala, and wish him much success for the rest of his career,” read one official tweet. “Forever yellow and green,” promised another. Then on Monday he bade farewell to his former team-mates, posting a snap of himself on social media, arms around old buddies, warmth radiating from the screen. Alongside yellow and green hearts read one simple message: “La ultima ciao.” The last goodbye. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Maurizio Sarri questions Eden Hazard’s ability to be a leader for Chelsea

• Manager claims star player is ‘more an individual’ • Sarri calls incoming Gonzalo Higuaín a ‘strong striker’Maurizio Sarri has risked straining his relationship with Eden Hazard by suggesting the Belgian is “more an individual player than a leader,” ahead of the second leg of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, a game for which Gonzalo Higuaín will not be available.Sarri had accused his players of being “extremely difficult to motivate” after Saturday’s meek defeat at Arsenal, and has since spoken twice with his squad as a group about how to reinvigorate their approach. Higuaín’s arrival on loan from Juventus, a deal which should be announced on Wednesday afternoon after he flew to London to sign, may help but the player failed to complete the paperwork by the midday deadline to feature against Spurs. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Seething Sarri, Liverpool win again and a slide-tackling fan – Football Weekly

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Dominic Fifield and Ed Aarons discuss Chelsea, Liverpool’s win over Palace, Claude Puel’s future at Leicester, Spurs’ dramatic win and the Charlton fan who slide-tackled his own playerJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.We start by discussing Saturday’s London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri questioning his team’s motivation following their 2-0 defeat. We then move on to Liverpool’s wild win over Crystal Palace, before turning our attentions to the potentially differing futures of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Claude Puel. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Fearless esports racers blur lines between games and the real thing | Andy Bull

McLaren are investing in sim racing which, they think, could lead to an F1 champion in the next decadeLast Saturday afternoon a 23-year-old Italian called Enzo Bonito won a car race at the Foro Sol in Mexico City, and when he did it, motorsport shifted, just a little bit, towards a strange new future. Bonito was competing in the Race of Champions (RoC), racing head-to-head in a heat against Lucas di Grassi, a 34-year-old who won the Formula E championship just a couple of seasons back. And then, just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, Bonito did it again the next day. This time he beat the 2012 Indycar champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay. The thing is, Bonito is a sim racer. He learned everything he knows from playing computer games.“It wasn’t much of a surprise for me at all, if I’m honest,” says Ben Payne, who is the director of esports at McLaren. “But I know it raises eyebrows for a lot of other people.” McLaren are investing a lot of time, effort and money in esports. Bonito is part of their team, along with Rudy van Buren, who won three races at last year’s RoC, in Riyadh. Van Buren was working as a kitchen salesman when he won McLaren’s World’s Fastest Gamer competition, which earned him a year-long job as their simulator driver. Later this year, Payne says, Van Buren will probably make the switch from being a virtual racing driver to a real racing driver. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Owen Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland in England’s Six Nations opener

• Fly-half has undergone minor surgery on his thumb• Johnny Sexton also set to play in Dublin on 2 FebruaryOwen Farrell is confident he will be available to face Ireland in England’s opening match of this year’s Six Nations, against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on 2 February.The Saracens fly-half recently underwent minor surgery on a thumb injury. Commenting on his progress since, Farrell said: “It is good. I should be training towards the end of this week and I am confident I will be able to play against Ireland.” England’s head coach, Eddie Jones, added: “I’m confident Owen is going to play. We have got George Ford so we are well-stocked at No 10.” Continue reading...

23-01-2019

David Beckham to become shareholder of National League club Salford

Former England captain David Beckham is set to become a new shareholder at National League club Salford City.

23-01-2019

'They were happy tears,' says Kvitova after beating Barty – video

Petra Kvitova has advanced to her first grand slam semi-final since surviving a brutal knife attack by a burglar in her home town in the Czech Republic two years ago. The World No 6 beat Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open - ending home hopes of quelling a 41-year singles title drought.Following her win, Kvitova said: 'It wasn't really easy to see myself in the semi-final of a grand slam' after everything she has been through. The two-time Wimbledon champion was told she would likely never play again after having her left playing hand seriously injured.Reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka and sixth seed Elina Svitolina, who clash in the quarter-finals and fellow Czech Karolina Pliskova, who faces Serena Williams in the last eight, are the only players who can stop Kvitova from climbing to world No 1 for the first time.Kvitova sets up Australian Open last four clash with unseeded Danielle Collins Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Russia avoids further Wada sanctions despite missing data deadline

• Russia missed deadline by more than a fortnight• ‘We will not be deterred from this mission,’ says ReedieRussia has avoided further sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency despite missing by more than a fortnight a 31 December deadline to provide doping data from its Moscow laboratory.However, Russia has been warned it faces being banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and prohibited from hosting international sporting events if there is any evidence that the lab data – which was retrieved last week – has been tampered with. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Scott Pollock's EFL move is Hashtag United's next step into real world

The football team born online are top of the Eastern Senior League Division One South and one of their former number has joined NorthamptonWhen any 17-year-old makes his debut for his boyhood club, jangling nerves are to be expected. But Scott Pollock – who made his Northampton Town debut in front of 4,849 people last Saturday – is no stranger to the spotlight after starring for Hashtag United, a team born online that, until recently, played matches in an imaginary league, watched on YouTube by millions. In fact, less than 18 months ago Pollock was man-marking Steven Gerrard in front of almost 35,000 against Tekkers Town in the Wembley Cup and taking home the man of the match award. Related: Hashtag United, Wimbly Womblys and the virtual gamers striking it rich Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Masters Snooker 2019: Watch five great flukes

Watch five great flukes from the 2019 Masters, including shots from Ding Junhui, Judd Trump and Luca Brecel.

23-01-2019

Rise of the TV rules analysts shows the NFL has a problem

Former officials were picking over controversial decisions on Championship Sunday, a sign that things had gone badly awry for the leagueHere is one statistic you won’t find in the official game book from Sunday’s AFC Championship Game: it took 59 minutes in real time to complete the last eight minutes and 39 seconds of the fourth quarter. All the more time for ad breaks selling pickup trucks and building drama with men who have become central to NFL broadcasts, the “rules analysts.”The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots combined to score 31 points in that span, but the game was also stopped four times so critical plays could be reviewed by the replay official. The longest stretch came when play grinded to a halt for seven minutes while officials reviewed New England receiver Justin Edelman’s apparent muffed handling of a punt, which the Chiefs, trailing 17-14 at the time, recovered at the New England 28-yard line. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Petra Kvitova beats home favourite Barty to enter Australian Open last four

• Czech secures first Melbourne Park semi-final in seven years• The world No 6 will play American outsider Danielle CollinsSentiment counts for little in sport but what there is left in Melbourne this week will be split in the semi‑finals between a former champion, Petra Kvitova, and Danielle Collins, a 25-year-old American who had dreams of being a lawyer and has defied all expectations except her own.The 28-year-old Kvitova, one of the nicest people in tennis, is in her first semi-final here in seven years, after killing Bambi – the hometown favourite, Ashleigh Barty – 6-1, 6-4. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Emiliano Sala, the humble forward who enriched everyone's lives

Argentinian striker’s move to Cardiff was a natural progression as his goal-scoring record steadily improvedBy Adam White for Get French Football NewsOutside of Paris, goals can be rare in Ligue 1. But since joining Nantes, Emiliano Sala has scored more than most. He was outstanding in the first half of this season and attracted interest from abroad. Having travelled to Wales twice to agree a potentially career‑defining transfer with Cardiff, he returned to Nantes to say goodbye to his teammates on Monday night.“The last goodbye” was the caption Sala put on a social media post of himself surrounded by them at the club’s training ground before he was driven to the airport for his return to Wales and Premier League football by Nicolas Pallois, a Nantes defender and close friend. Sala was due in Cardiff by 9pm but never arrived after the plane in which he was travelling disappeared over the Channel. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

CBS refuses to run Super Bowl ad for medical marijuana

Acreage Holdings ‘disappointed but not surprised’ by newsMarijuana now legal in some form in 33 US statesCBS has rejected a Super Bowl television ad calling for the legalization of medical marijuana sponsored by one of the largest cannabis investment companies. Related: Tom Brady was already the greatest QB of all time – now he's just rubbing it in Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Nick Timothy fails at politics so walks straight into British sport’s blazer class | Marina Hyde

Having stormed it with the Windrush scandal and dementia tax, Theresa May’s former chief of staff is now in place to look after the 2022 Commonwealth Games in BirminghamApart from the rude ones, there is only one word for the fact that Theresa May’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy has been made a board member of the organising committee of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Inevitable. This is simply how stuff works. I’m only sorry our denuded empire means Nick can’t be given an Indian province or something. Or at least a go on Malaya.The ways Timothy’s latest appointment were inevitable are many and various, and we’ll come to them shortly. But we must begin with a recap of how we got here. Because, of course, Nick wasn’t always the crayonner of red lines, the taxer of dementia, the shitter of the electoral bed. And, in one potential timeline, the parliamentary-maths-destroyer that ends up causing no-deal Brexit. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Serena Williams knocked out of Australian Open by Karolina Pliskova after holding match points

Serena Williams misses four match points before succumbing to Czech Karolina Pliskova in a dramatic Australian Open quarter-final.

23-01-2019

Usain Bolt gives up on football dream, saying his 'sports life is over'

Bolt trialled with Australian side Central Coast Mariners32-year-old says he ‘really enjoyed just being in a team’Usain Bolt has given up on his dream of becoming a professional footballer, saying “the sports life is over” for him.The eight-time Olympic gold medallist was unable to agree a contract with Australian side Central Coast Mariners late last year after a trial. Continue reading...

23-01-2019

Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

After Lewis Hamilton won his fifth world title on Sunday, BBC Sport is asking you just who is the greatest F1 driver ever?

23-01-2019