In Brief

Sport shorts: ex-Wales backs coach Rob Howley is banned for betting breaches and the draw is made for the Europa League last 32

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 16 December

1. Howley handed 18-month ban

Former Wales backs coach Rob Howley has been given an 18-month ban by World Rugby for breaching anti-corruption and betting regulations.

Nine of the 18 months are suspended and the punishment has been back-dated to when he was sent home from the Rugby World Cup.

This means the 49-year-old will be free to return to coaching on 16 June next year. 

Howley admitted to making 363 bets on rugby union involving 1,163 matches - some of which Wales were playing in.

2. Champions League last-16 draw

Premier League sides Liverpool and Manchester City will face Madrid clubs in the Uefa Champions League round of 16. Holders Liverpool have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the first knockout stage while Man City take on Real Madrid.

Tottenham and Chelsea both have German opposition in the last 16. Last season’s beaten finalists Spurs are drawn against RB Leipzig and Chelsea have a huge tie against Bayern Munich. 

First legs will take place on 18-19 and 25-26 February 2020 and the second legs are on 10-11 and 17-18 March. 

Round of 16 draw in full 
  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint-Germain  
  • Real Madrid vs. Manchester City  
  • Atalanta vs. Valencia  
  • Atlético Madrid vs. Liverpool  
  • Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich  
  • Lyon vs. Juventus  
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. RB Leipzig  
  • Napoli vs. Barcelona

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3. Europa League last-32 draw 

The draw for the Uefa Europa League round of 32 was also made today.

Manchester United have been drawn against Belgian side Club Bruges while Arsenal face Olympiakos and Wolves take on Espanyol. Celtic will play Copenhagen and Rangers face Braga. 

First-leg ties take place on Thursday 20 February and the return matches are on Thursday 27 February.

Europa League last-32 draw in full
  • Wolves vs. Espanyol  
  • Sporting Lisbon vs. Istanbul Basaksehir  
  • Getafe vs. Ajax  
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs. Porto  
  • Copenhagen vs. Celtic  
  • APOEL vs. Basel  
  • Cluj vs. Sevilla  
  • Olympiakos vs. Arsenal  
  • AZ Alkmaar vs. LASK  
  • Club Bruges vs. Manchester United  
  • Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Inter Milan  
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Red Bull Salzburg  
  • Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Benfica  
  • Wolfsburg vs. Malmo  
  • Roma vs. Ghent  
  • Rangers vs. Braga

4. Fury makes coaching changes

British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury has split with his trainer Ben Davison and announced that he will now work with Javan “Sugar” Hill. Fury, 31, is set to face WBC champion Deontay Wilder in a rematch in February.  

5. Jordan tips Hamilton and Wolff to join Ferrari 

The “Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari” speculation is building up yet again with Eddie Jordan saying he’s “absolutely certain” the Formula 1 world champion will join the Italian team in 2021. F1 pundit Jordan said: “It would be the right time for Lewis to go to Ferrari [in 2021]. He’s coming to the end of his career, but he still wants to win his seven or more titles.”

Vettel: 2019 season was a six or seven out of ten

6. Stokes wins 2019 SPOTY

Ben Stokes became the first cricketer to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 when he was rewarded for his heroics in England’s memorable Cricket World Cup victory. 

In a ceremony in Aberdeen last night, the 28-year-old fulfilled his billing as the bookies’ favourites with Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton second and Team GB sprinting star Dina Asher-Smith third.

SPOTY 2019: how Ben Stokes reacted to winning the public vote

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7. Woods leads Team US to Presidents Cup win

Captain Tiger Woods led from the front as Team United States lifted the Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia. 

Going into the final day of the competition Team International held a two-point advantage but in the singles matches Team US won eight of the 12 points on offer to win the trophy 16-14. 

Woods, who beat Abraham Ancer 3&2 in the first match, said: “We did it together. We came here as a team. My team-mates and my boys all played well, the captains did an amazing job. It’s been one of the more amazing challenges but all the guys believed in one another and relied on one another.”

8. Ancelotti is Everton’s No.1 choice

Sky Sports News reports that Carlo Ancelotti is Everton’s first choice to become their next manager. The Italian, who was fired last week by Napoli, previously managed in the Premier League at Chelsea. Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson will remain in charge for the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Leicester City on Wednesday. 

9. Reds march on at the top 

Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to ten points after they strolled to a 2-0 win against bottom side Watford and Leicester City were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich City. “It was not the prettiest game but I am more than happy with that,” said manager Jurgen Klopp. “At this stage you have to show resilience and I believe we did that.”

Premier League highlights and reactions

10. Arteta meets with Arsenal

Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta has reportedly met with Arsenal to discuss the vacant manager’s job at the Emirates Stadium. Former Arsenal captain Arteta was on the Man City bench yesterday as the defending champions beat the Gunners 3-0 in the Premier League. 

Today’s back pages

Decision time for Arsenal as Ljungberg urges board to hire new boss quickly

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