Sports shorts: Sterling banned, F1 goes carbon neutral
Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 12 November
1. Sterling dropped after Gomez row
Raheem Sterling has been dropped from the England squad for Wednesday’s game against Montenegro after an altercation with Joe Gomez. The Manchester City star, who clashed with Liverpool defender Gomez during Sunday’s showdown at Anfield, reacted badly when the pair came face to face at St George’s Park the day after that game.
According to the Daily Mail Sterling “reacted aggressively after being greeted warmly by Gomez in the players’ canteen”. The paper says that Gomez had offered Sterling his hand but the response of the City star was an “attempt to grab his team-mate by the neck”.
Apparently the rest of the England squad initially thought Sterling was larking about but “it soon became clear that he had lost control and the pair were separated”.
Sterling has since issued a statement on social media and apologised to Gomez and the rest of the squad – a move that The Sun says saved him from being banished from the squad altogether, although it adds that boss Gareth Southgate is “fuming” that club rivalries have caused friction in the England camp.
3. Gatland snubs All Blacks
Former Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland has revealed he turned down the chance to apply for the vacant All Blacks coaching job because he is committed to the British and Irish Lions.
The New Zealander is returning to his homeland after 12 years with Wales to take charge of the Waikato Chiefs Super Rugby franchise, and told the Daily Telegraph: “I was asked to apply for the position now and I’ve gone back to them to say I won’t be putting my name forward, because at this point I’ve made a commitment to the Chiefs and I’ve made a commitment to the Lions.”
4. VAR ‘car crash’
One Premier League chairman has described the VAR system as a “car crash” ahead of a showdown with Mike Riley, head of the referees’ organisation, this week. Club bosses are “calling for answers over the inconsistent introduction of technology that they feel is damaging their league,” reports The Times. There are growing calls for referees to use pitchside monitors to review decisions, which at the moment they do not.
“The main concern is the damage to the global reputation of the Premier League, with talk more focused on VAR than on the quality of the football being played. There is also concern over the lack of communication to fans inside the stadiums,” says the paper.
5. Beardsley not invited to Wembley
Former England star Peter Beardsley has not been invited to Wembley for England’s 1,000th game on Wednesday after being banned from football for racist behaviour.
All former England captains, members of the 1966 World Cup winning squad and players with 50 or more caps have been invited to the match, with the exception of the former Newcastle and Liverpool man.
Beardsley was found guilty of racially abusing black players while he was coach of Newcastle United Under-23s and banned from football for 32 weeks – although he strenuously denied the claims.
An FA panel concluded that Beardsley was “not a racist” but that the incidents in question were “obviously racist and wholly unacceptable”.
“The ban expires on April 29, 2020 and it is understood that the FA decided on balance that it would not be appropriate for him to join his former international colleagues at this showpiece occasion,” says the Daily Mirror.
6. England hopefuls shine
England’s new look cricket squad continue to impress in New Zealand, with Test hopefuls Dominic Sibley and Zac Crawley hitting centuries in the warm up game against the hosts.
“Uncapped Sibley, who opened the batting with Rory Burns, reached three figures from 161 balls before retiring, as England posted 285-3,” says the BBC.
“Kent's Crawley, who is also uncapped, compiled 103 from 137 balls batting at three before retiring.
“England's first Test against New Zealand begins on 21 November.”
7. Vote of confidence for Emery
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been given what used to be known as the “dreaded vote of confidence” by Arsenal’s top brass.
The Gunners’ head of football Raul Sanllehi said: “We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season.
“Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season, and we firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job, together with the backroom team we have in place.
“We are all working intenstively behind the scenes to turn things around are confident we will.
“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”
8. Neil Warnock leaves Cardiff
Neil Warnock has stepped down as manager of Championship Cardiff, with Lee Bowyer the early favourite to replace him.
The 70-year-old announced his departure on Monday and leaves the Bluebirds 14th in the table following relegation from the Premier League last season.
Warnock took over at Cardiff in 2016 with the club languishing second from bottom of the Championship and won promotion to the Premier League, but also had to contend with the death of striker Emiliano Sala in January this year.
He had intended to retire at the end of this season so it is likely that he will now walk away from management after a 39-year career.
Lee Bowyer, Chris Hughton and Neil Harris are said to be on the shortlist to replace him.
9. Nadal loses at ATP Finals
Rafa Nadal suffered a shock defeat in his opening match at the ATP Finals on Monday. The world number one lost 6-2, 6-4 to defending champion Alexander Zverev, who became the first player to have recorded victories over Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the event.
“Zverev has much to look forward to. He has beaten Federer (in the semi-final last year), Novak Djokovic (in the final) and Nadal in sequence at this tournament, a statement of intent unlikely to be matched by any of his contemporaries,” says Kevin Mitchell in The Guardian.
10. Pep escapes punishment
Pep Guardiola will not be disciplined for his touchline meltdown against Liverpool on Sunday. The Man City boss was incandescent after his side had two penalty appeals turned down during the 3-1 defeat at Anfield and after the game appeared to sarcastically thank referee Michael Oliver.
However the FA have now said he will not face charges for his reaction.