Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: Barbie miss a trick by not selling its Dina Asher-Smith doll and seven F1 teams object to FIA’s Ferrari settlement

Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 4 March

1. Barbie’s Dina doll is not for sale 

British athletics star Dina Asher-Smith was overjoyed to unveil her one-of-a-kind Barbie yesterday, but fans were left disappointed to find out that the doll will not be available for general sale.

On Twitter the sprinter said: “So it’s finally out... @Barbie have made me into a one-of-a-kind Shero doll. When I was told they wanted to do this I honestly screamed, jumped up + down and ran around my house!!!

“When I was growing up there wasn’t many dolls that looked like me full stop, let alone one that represented what I wanted to be without compromising musculature and smaller features like make up + jewellery.

“The level of detail and care is incredible. I want to say a humongous thank you to the entire Barbie team for this effort and honour. This is going straight in my trophy cabinet.”

In response many fans asked where they could buy the Dina doll, but the official Barbie Twitter account said: “The doll was a one-of-a-kind gift, made to honor Dina. It will not be available for purchase.”

One fan, Kerrin McIntosh, said: “Barbie are missing a trick. Even I would buy one of these, never mind the millions of children/people that Dina inspires. Go Dina! You deserve this and we’re all behind you!”

Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion, will be one of Team GB’s biggest medal hopes at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

2. Liverpool lose again 

First Atlético Madrid, then Watford and now Chelsea. Liverpool’s losing streak is now three games out of four as the Reds were beaten 2-0 by the Blues at a swinging Stamford Bridge last night. 

Goals from Willian and Ross Barkley dumped Liverpool out of the FA Cup and added to Jurgen Klopp’s woes.

Last night’s other fifth round ties saw Newcastle United win 3-2 away at West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United beat Reading 2-1 after extra-time. 

FA Cup reactions: Lampard impressed by Chelsea’s display against Liverpool

3. Tonight’s FA Cup fixtures 

There are three FA Cup fifth round fixtures this evening. Leicester City face Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday host holders Manchester City and Tottenham take on Norwich City.

FA Cup fifth round results and fixtures 
  • Monday: Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 2  
  • Last night: Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0; Reading 1 Sheffield United 2 (AET); West Bromwich Albion 2 Newcastle United 3  
  • Tonight: Leicester City vs. Birmingham City (7.45pm, live on Facebook); Sheffield Wednesday vs. Manchester City (7.45pm, live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer); Tottenham Hotspur vs. Norwich City (7.45pm, live on BBC iPlayer)  
  • Tomorrow: Derby County vs. Manchester United (7.45pm, live on BT Sport)

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4. Southgate backs Pickford 

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford came in for some criticism after his error led to Manchester United’s goal in Sunday’s Premier League clash at Goodison, but despite the mistake the England No.1 has been backed by national team boss Gareth Southgate. 

Three Lions head coach Southgate said: “His performances for us throughout have been outstanding. I think he has been a key part of some big results we have had. I think that is clear to everybody but in goal, if you are the England goalkeeper, you are under the spotlight. I am expecting him to bounce back. 

“The weekend goal is one he would want to do better with but then he had some outstanding saves at the end of the game. That is the life of a goalkeeper.”

Southgate is confident Kane and Rashford will be fit for Euro 2020

5. Equal prize money in The Hundred 

The men’s and women’s teams in The Hundred will have an equal share of prize money for this summer’s inaugural competition which starts in July. 

Sky Sports reports that the total prize budget of £600,000 will be split 50-50 between the men’s and women’s tournaments and is a “step towards the ECB's long-term commitment to make cricket a gender-balanced sport”.

Ferrari’s emblem outside the team garage at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

6. F1 teams object to FIA Ferrari settlement

Seven Formula 1 teams have issued a joint statement expressing their “shock and surprise” to the FIA’s confidential “settlement” with Ferrari over their 2019-spec power unit. 

Signed by McLaren, Mercedes, Racing Point, Red Bull, Renault, Alpha Tauri and Williams, the joint statement said: “We, the undersigned teams, were surprised and shocked by the FIA’s statement of Friday 28 February regarding the conclusion of its investigation into the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Power Unit. 

“An international sporting regulator has the responsibility to act with the highest standards of governance, integrity and transparency. After months of investigations that were undertaken by the FIA only following queries raised by other teams, we strongly object to the FIA reaching a confidential settlement agreement with Ferrari to conclude this matter. 

“Therefore, we hereby state publicly our shared commitment to pursue full and proper disclosure in this matter, to ensure that our sport treats all competitors fairly and equally. 

“We do so on behalf of the fans, the participants and the stakeholders of Formula One. In addition, we reserve our rights to seek legal redress, within the FIA’s due process and before the competent courts.”

7. Vettel admits he could leave Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel maintains that he wants to continue driving in Formula 1 but the German admits it could be away from Ferrari. 

After stating “there are no signs and no reason why I couldn’t or shouldn’t continue”, he added he could follow in the footsteps of Michael Schumacher and drive for another team.

When asked if that was possible, he said: “It is. I think there is even an example of a German who went somewhere else after Ferrari, if I remember correctly.”

F1: Brawn warns over coronavirus restrictions

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8. RIP Nico

The world of cycling is in mourning today following the death of Team Ineos sporting director Nicolas Portal. The Frenchman, aged 40, died at his home in Andorra yesterday. 

Team Ineos said in a statement: “It is with the greatest sadness that we announce the passing of our much loved team-mate, colleague and friend Nico Portal, who died suddenly this afternoon at his home in Andorra. 

“We are all overcome with grief at this terrible news and would ask everyone to respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time. RIP Nico - your spirit will always be with us on the road and you will forever be in our hearts.”

9. New date for City vs. Arsenal

Manchester City’s Premier League home clash with Arsenal has been rearranged for next Wednesday (11 March) and will be live on Sky Sports

The original fixture on 1 March was postponed because of City’s involvement in the Carabao Cup final, which they won 2-1 against Aston Villa

Next week’s match will see Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta return to the Etihad Stadium, where he was previously assistant to City boss Pep Guardiola.   

10. Back pages: Vunipola virus confusion 

“Mako virus shock” is the headline on the back page of today’s Daily Express, which is one of several newspapers to relay the latest misfortune to befall England rugby player Mako Vunipola. 

The Saracens prop has been stood down from the England squad for this Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Wales and is self-isolating after he travelled through Hong Kong last weekend, which is considered a hotspot for coronavirus.

Today’s back pages

Mako Vunipola virus shock for England rugby and a howler by ‘Adriaaaan’ gifts Chelsea FA Cup win

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