Sky set to retain live Football League rights in £180m-a-year deal

Sky set to retain live Football League rights in £180m-a-year deal

Broadcaster understood to have entered into exclusive talks, after winning bidding war with rival BT. Sky is set to retain the rights to the Football League in a blockbuster bidding battle with BT that has seen the price as much as double to £180m a season. The Football League is understood to have entered into exclusive talks with Sky for the live rights, in a three to five-year deal worth between £500m and £900m. The official announcement, which could come as soon as Wednesday, will scupper any hope that the…

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FA’s increased drug testing to focus on Premier League players

FA’s increased drug testing to focus on Premier League players

Drug testing in football will increase to unprecedented levels this season, with the Premier League coming under the greatest scrutiny. The Football Association, in conjunction with UK Anti-Doping, conducted more than 3,250 tests on professional players last season, and there were two positive results with two further cases under review. But the game’s governing body has promised to raise that total to more than 5,000 over the coming year. Football has the highest anti-doping budget in all of UK sport and also a far higher number of athletes to test….

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Van Impe: last Belgian winner of Tour de France suffers heart attack

Van Impe: last Belgian winner of Tour de France suffers heart attack

Lucien Van Impe, the last bELGIAN winner of the Tour de France, suffered a heart attack. VTM Nieuws announced this on Monday.The former cyclist was immediately operated upon in a hospital in Alost. The same source added, Van Impe, aged 70, is out of danger but he is not yet stable. Lucien Van Impe won the Tour de France in 1976. He is the last Belgian to feature in the rankings of the major race. He scooped the mountains classification six times and landed nine stage victories. Apart from his…

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Women could cycle the Tour de France route, so why give them La Course?

Women could cycle the Tour de France route, so why give them La Course?

Anyone who watched Annemiek van Vleuten’s sickening, bone-crunching crash as she was heading for gold in the women’s road race at the Olympics last summer will have been roaring her over the line in the concluding stage of La Course on Saturday. Van Vleuten was a worthy winner, having battled back to fitness after suffering three spinal fractures and a severe concussion in Rio. Her victory means a Dutch rider has won the race in three of the last four years. The previous three editions of La Course took place…

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Tim Wellens becomes the first Belgian to drop out of the Tour de France

Tim Wellens becomes the first Belgian to drop out of the Tour de France

Belgian Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) has had to drop out at the 15th stage of the Tour de France, which is between Laissac-Sévérac l’Eglise and Le Puy-en-Velay. The 26 year old athlete is suffering from an allergy to the sun, which has been affecting him over the past few days. The Belgian team made an official announcement on Sunday. Wellens was classed 169th, 2hr41:55 away from the leader, Brit Chris Froome (Sky). He is the first of the 16 Belgians competing to drop out. The Lotto Soudal team has 8…

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José Mourinho open to re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Manchester United

José Mourinho open to re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Manchester United

José Mourinho has admitted re-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an option, with the Manchester United manager also refusing to rule out a move for Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic. Ibrahimovic is recovering from a serious knee injury at United’s Carrington training base and is a free agent after being released by the club in the close season. The Swede, 36 in October, was United’s top scorer last season with 28 goals. Of a new deal, Mourinho said: “Possible, it’s open. There was not a new contract [to allow] time for everybody to think,…

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Rangers suffer humiliating loss to Luxembourg side in Europa League qualifying

Rangers suffer humiliating loss to Luxembourg side in Europa League qualifying

Rangers suffered a humiliating defeat in the first round of Europa League qualifying on Tuesday night when they were eliminated by Luxembourgian club Progrès Niederkorn, losing 2-1 on aggregate to the side who finished fourth in their National Division last season. Rangers led 1-0 from the first leg in Glasgow, but fell behind after 66 minutes at the 8,000-capacity Stade Josy Barthel when the forward Emmanuel Françoise converted the captain Sebastien Thill’s corner. The Luxembourg international Thill added a free-kick nine minutes later and Progrès resisted a period of late…

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Transfer window: which European clubs have made the best signings so far?

Transfer window: which European clubs have made the best signings so far?

The window officially opened on 1 July but most clubs have been busy for weeks, so catch up with the deals you may have missed from Europe’s top five leagues. The summer transfer window is now officially open and from Chelsea to Chievo, every top-flight team is looking to strengthen. In reality, deals have been going through since the end of last season, with more than £1bn spent already in England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Our transfer interactive covers all the latest deals but here are the biggest moves…

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Confederations Cup: Germany reach semi-final after video replay confusion

Confederations Cup: Germany reach semi-final after video replay confusion

The world champions, Germany, reached the Confederations Cup semi-final on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over a Cameroon side reduced to 10 men after further confusion with experimental video replays. Germany were leading through Kerem Demirbay’s strike when a case of mistaken identity halfway through the second half – which replays were meant to eradicate – left Cameroon bemused and irritated. Sebastien Siani was dismissed for a foul on Emre Can after referee Wilmar Roldan inspected a pitch-side monitor. It then took furious protests from the Cameroon players, including Siani…

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Gianni Infantino faced investigation by Fifa ethics committee for alleged malpractice

Gianni Infantino faced investigation by Fifa ethics committee for alleged malpractice

Gianni Infantino, the Fifa president, was under investigation by the organisation’s ethics committee for more than one separate alleged instance of malpractice when he organised the sudden removal of the committee chairmen and members last month. The Guardian has learned that the Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbély, who was chairman of the ethics committee’s “investigatory chamber”, had begun examining complaints that Infantino and the Fifa general secretary, Fatma Samoura, improperly sought to influence the election in March of their favoured candidate for president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad…

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