Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: Emiliano Sala’s family still seek answers a year after his death and Pep Guardiola wants League Cup scrapped

Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 21 January

1. Sala’s family seek answers 

On the one-year anniversary of Emiliano Sala’s death, Sky Sports reports that the Argentine’s family is still waiting for answers surrounding the plane crash which claimed his life. 

The 28-year-old had completed a £15m deal to join Cardiff City from French club Nantes. But on 21 January 2019 the Piper Malibu N264DB aircraft he was travelling on to the Welsh capital from northern France went down in the English Channel. 

Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage but pilot David Ibbotson is still missing. 

In August last year a report found that Sala was exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide before his death. However, his family remain desperate for answers from authorities. The official inquest is yet to take place and the final report has also not yet been published. 

Sala’s family will mark the anniversary in “private, quiet contemplation of their loss”. Speaking to the BBC his mother Mercedes said: “I can’t say I found peace, unfortunately. I’m still fighting. I am practically dead while living. It’s been a terrible, terrible year. I loved him so much. I would tell him every day.”

In an interview with Sky Sports News, his ex-girlfriend Berenice Schkair added: “Emiliano deserves to be remembered because he didn’t have an explanation for his death. His friends and family miss him here in Argentina. 

“It was an absurd and inexplicable tragedy. Emiliano Sala will be remembered forever by all of us as a beautiful person and excellent player.”

2. Pep: League Cup should be scrapped

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes the Football League Cup should be scrapped in order to help fixture congestion. 

The Spaniard said: “Eliminate competitions, take out this competition. So less games, less competitions, less teams, more quality, less quantity. People can live without football for a while. It’s too much.”

3. Tonight’s EPL matches

This evening’s Premier League fixtures see second-placed Manchester City travel to Sheffield United (7.30pm, live on BT Sport 2) while Chelsea host Arsenal in a London derby at Stamford Bridge (8.15pm, live on BT Sport 1). 

Premier League fixtures (7.30pm unless stated)
  • Aston Villa vs. Watford 
  • AFC Bournemouth vs. Brighton & Hove Albion  
  • Crystal Palace vs. Southampton  
  • Everton vs. Newcastle United  
  • Sheffield United vs. Manchester City (live on BT Sport 2) 
  • Chelsea vs. Arsenal (8.15pm, live on BT Sport 1)

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4. NBA star’s career in doubt after car crash

The lawyers of Chandler Parsons say the Atlanta Hawks star’s NBA career could be over after he suffered a “traumatic brain injury” after being involved in a car crash.

Lawyers Morgan & Morgan released a statement on Twitter stating that the small forward had “suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries”.

5. Solskjaer defends Rashford selection

Under-fire Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended his handling of Marcus Rashford, The Daily Telegraph reports.

United are facing months without the England striker after he suffered a double stress fracture in his back.

Solskjaer said: “He’s not had that injury before, no. He complained a little bit after Burnley, he felt it the first time, and we managed him as well as we could then. He had some days off for treatment, taken off in games and suddenly this was a new injury. He didn’t have any injuries before then.”

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the ‘big three’ of men’s tennis

Scott Barbour/Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

6. Big three progress to round two

The “big three” in men’s tennis - Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer - are all safely through to the second round of the Australian Open. 

This morning in Melbourne world No.1 and top seed Nadal cruised into the next round with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien. 

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career records and grand slam titles

7. Evans though, Edmund and Konta out 

British No.1 Dan Evans is also through to the Australian Open second round after battling back from two sets down to beat American Mackenzie McDonald. 

While Evans is rewarded with a second-round clash against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, it was a bad day for fellow Brits Kyle Edmund, Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter who were knocked out of the Melbourne grand slam. 

8. Mbappe: Zidane was my idol 

French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe has given a wide-ranging interview with the BBC in which he discusses his future at Paris Saint-Germain and his admiration for Premier League leaders Liverpool. 

The 21-year-old was also asked about his idols, to which he replied: “As a kid, it was [Zinedine] Zidane. If you’re a kid and you’re French, your idol is Zidane. After, it was Cristiano [Ronaldo], who I had the luck to go up against, and then the Brazilians for their way of playing.” 

Mbappe on his PSG future, Liverpool and trophy ambitions for 2020 

9. Jones vows to make England the greatest team

A new era was opened in English rugby yesterday as Eddie Jones unveiled his 34-man squad for the Six Nations and vowed to make England “the greatest team the world of rugby has ever seen”. 

Asked to define great rugby, Jones replied: “Great rugby to me is dominant rugby, where you see a team play with such control and precision and power that you remember that game.”

Six Nations 2020: squads and fixtures  

10. Today’s back pages 

Many of the newspapers report that Chelsea and Manchester United are tailing Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani. 

United were linked to the Uruguay ace yesterday but Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has also expressed an interest in the 32-year-old, who has reportedly handed in an official transfer request at PSG.

Today’s newspaper back pages

Chelsea and Man Utd target PSG striker Edinson Cavani and Ollie Pope stars for awesome England

Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring for Paris Saint-Germain

Sebastian Salom-Gomis/AFP via Getty Images

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