Daily Briefing

The Decathlon: ten things from the world of sport on 23 April

Celtic mourn ‘greatest ever captain’ McNeill and Joshua’s next opponent will be named in the coming days

1. Tributes paid to Celtic icon Billy McNeill

Scottish football giants Celtic have paid tribute to club legend Billy McNeill who has died at the age of 79.

McNeill spent his whole playing career with Celtic and was captain of the “Lisbon Lions” team that beat Inter Milan 2-1 to win the European Cup in 1967. Sky Sports reports that McNeill had an association with Celtic which spanned more than 60 years.

The club said in a statement: “The Celtic Family is mourning the death of Billy McNeill, the club’s greatest ever captain and one of the finest men to have played and managed the Hoops.

“Billy McNeill was a Celtic player, manager and ambassador. First and foremost, however, he was always a Celtic supporter and his love for the club was evident throughout his life.”

As well as the 1967 European Cup McNeill captained Celtic to nine successive Scottish titles and also won eight trophies in two spells as the club’s manager. He also managed Clyde, Aberdeen, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

2. Joshua hits out at Miller

Anthony Joshua hopes to reveal his next opponent within the next 48 to 72 hours, Sky Sports reports, following Jarrell Miller’s reported drug test failures. The 1 June fight between Joshua and Miller is now off and the race is on to find a new contender for the New York bout. British fighter Joshua said American Miller “does not deserve to be in a ring with me or any other heavyweight”.

3. Khan not ready to quit

British welterweight Amir Khan is not ready to hang up his gloves despite losing the WBO title fight against Terence Crawford at the weekend. Khan, 32, was forced to stop after a low blow in the sixth round but in an interview with the Independent he said: “I know it hurts my wife and children, but I’m not ready to quit boxing.”

4. Murray: Fed Cup should be on free to air TV

Great Britain’s women’s tennis team secured a dramatic victory to come from behind to beat Kazakhstan in the Fed Cup on Saturday. The win means the GB women have been promoted to the World Group. Former Fed Cup captain Judy Murray told The Daily Telegraph that the next set of ties should be screened on free-to-air TV. Murray said: “Team tennis is such a wonderful way to engage fans and showcase our sport and our players. Let’s hope that the World Group Fed Cup ties are on free-to-view television so that many more people can see the girls in action and be inspired by their fighting performances.”

5. Season over for Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea’s Premier League top-four hopes were given a double blow on Monday night. The Blues drew 2-2 with Burnley at Stamford Bridge and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was taken off with a ruptured Achilles tendon. The England star, who is now expected to sit out the rest of the campaign, tweeted: “Really gutted to end my season with a ruptured Achilles, gotta work hard and try and come back stronger for next season!”

6. Folau hearing date set

Israel Folau’s code of conduct hearing with Rugby Australia will take place on 4 May, the BBC reports. The governing body wants to terminate the full-back’s contract after he sent social media posts saying that “hell awaits” gay people.  

7. Ex-UFC fighter killed after ‘rideshare dispute’

ESPN reports that former UFC fighter Rodrigo de Lima was killed on Sunday following an argument with a rideshare driver in the Brazilian city of Belém.

8. Horner praises ‘remarkable’ Verstappen

Max Verstappen has been praised by Red Bull boss Christian Horner for his start to the 2019 Formula 1 season. Verstappen is currently third in the drivers’ standings behind Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas but ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. Horner told Sky Sports F1: “He’s done a remarkable job. During the course of last year, he really selected another gear and pretty much since Montreal onwards. He’s very much at the top of his game and enjoying the position he’s in.”

9. Fowler lands Brisbane job

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has been named as the new head coach of Australian A-League side Brisbane Roar. The 44-year-old said: “For me it’s a massive opportunity, coming over here, coaching a top club in a country I’ve always loved. I’ve worked hard getting this job. I wanted people to take me seriously, that’s why I went down the route of doing all the badges because I know people would take me serious then. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time… I think I’ve shown people how passionate and committed I am.”

10. Afghanistan name World Cup squad

Afghanistan have named their 15-man squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. They start their campaign against Australia in Bristol on 1 June and chief selector Dawlat Ahmadzai said the team’s mission is to play “inspirational cricket”, the BBC reports.

Afghanistan World Cup squad
  • Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman 
  • Reserves: Ikram Alikhil, Karim Janat, Sayed Shirzad

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