Listen to the latest episode of The Footballer's Football Podcast on BBC Sounds.West Ham's Michail Antonio and Newcastle's Callum Wilson have backed the decision to stop taking the knee before every Premier League match.Premier League captains decided to reduce the anti-racism gesture after consulting with players.It will still take place before certain games, including the 26 December fixtures and cup finals, as well as the last matches of the 2022-23 campaign. All teams took the knee on the opening weekend of the Premier League season."Doing it week-to-week, just because it's something we've been told to do, I think it's probably faded and lost its impact," said Newcastle forward Wilson on the latest episode of the Footballer's Football Podcast."It's definitely good that it's not getting completely stopped," said West Ham striker Antonio, "but it'll have more of an impact at big games."There will also be dedicated No Room For Racism match rounds in October and March, but Wilson believes gestures within football can only make a limited change."I think it comes down to the government doing more, too," he said. "Everyone loves football. Football brings people together, but it can't just be us trying to make that change."Antonio believes actions like taking the knee can help to educate young people."I wouldn't say we should completely stop it," he said. "It still has impact. As kids are going to games, they always say, 'why do they do that?' - I know for a fact that kids are asking the question. They're getting educated." 'City defeat was a masterclass' - AntonioBoth players discussed their opening games of the new season, too. Antonio was substituted in the second half as West Ham fell to a 2-0 defeat by an impressive Manchester City, with both goals scored by their new striker Erling Haaland."Their system is liquid," said Antonio. "It can't be contained. They're rotating everywhere. Cancelo is popping up in midfield, Grealish will be out wide, Bernardo will be inside him. It was a masterclass."On Haaland, Antonio said: "You can definitely see the quality that he has. I do believe that he's going to be up there for the golden boot."I'm going to have to eat my words from last season, when I was saying I wasn't sure he would fit in with Pep Guardiola's system, because he's used to using number tens."
Manchester United have signed France defender Aissatou Tounkara on a two-year contract.The 27-year-old joins the Women's Super League club after spending four years at Atletico Madrid.Tounkara has made 35 appearances for France, scoring three goals, and helped Les Bleues reach the semi-finals of Euro 2022."I am very happy and honoured to join such a prestigious team as Manchester United," she said.United manager Marc Skinner added: "She will offer vital Champions League and European competition experience to our younger players, and a real maturity to our all-round defensive play."The club's first WSL match of the 2022-23 season will be on 10 September at Tottenham Hotspur.
"You've seen one of the worst performances ever at this football club."Those were the words of Luton Town manager Nathan Jones after his side were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by League Two Newport County on Tuesday.But the Hatters were not the only Championship team on the end of a shock.Of the nine second-tier sides to face lower-league opposition on Tuesday, all nine lost.And with Cambridge United having beaten Millwall last week, that took the total to 10 out of 10 - meaning that, at most, only 10 Championship sides will compete in the second round, beating the previous low of 12 in 2006-07 and 2011-12.Why were there so many upsets and were all the managers as unhappy as Jones?Were changes to blame?Higher-level teams are known to make plenty of changes to their line-ups in the early stages of the competition to give squad players game time and help build match fitness in the early weeks of the season.And in all but one of the upsets, each of the Championship sides made more changes than their opponents.Wigan Athletic named a completely new 11 as they were beaten by League One Fleetwood Town, who made five changes and won 1-0 with their only shot on target.In the crowd was former Liverpool and England centre-back Jamie Carragher, who was there to see his son James makes his first appearance of the season for the Latics.Like Wigan, Luton's 11 changes proved too many as Newport twice came from behind to dump the Hatters out with a 3-2 win at Kenilworth Road.Cardiff retained just one player from the side beaten 2-1 at Reading on Saturday, and only mustered one shot on target as they lost 3-0 to Portsmouth, for whom bringing in six players on the night made little difference. Stoke City dominated their tie against a near full-strength Morecambe despite making eight changes, having 21 shots, forcing 10 corners and playing the final half an hour against 10 men - only to tumble out on penalties.Seven changes were the order of the day for Blackpool, Hull City, Swansea and Reading, and all four also lost.The Tangerines were beaten on penalties by Barrow, who made only three alterations to their line-up, while both the Royals and Tigers bowed out 2-1 to League Two opposition in Stevenage and Bradford respectively.Among Stevenage's seven changes were match-winner Danny Rose, while the Bantams' two-goal hero Andy Cook was one of three to come in for the hosts.Oxford were the exception as they made eight changes, one more than Championship opponents Swansea.Things did not look to be going the U's way as the Swans took a 2-0 lead only to flounder, conceding an injury-time leveller and ultimately sink 5-3 on penalties.Elsewhere, with 10 minutes to go QPR boss Michael Beale must have thought his decision to make six changes from Saturday's win over Middlesbrough on Saturday was going to pay off as Tyler Roberts' debut goal put them ahead at Charlton.However, teenager Aaron Henry's 90th-minute strike sent the tie to penalties, and the Addicks edged through after Eoghan O'Connell - one of three players retained from the previous match - scored the decisive spot-kick.'I'm embarrassed' - what the losing managers had to sayGoing out in the first round to lower-league opposition was clearly not the plan for some Championship managers, even if they sent out much-changed sides."Credit to Newport, they came here and played well and not many people score three goals at Kenilworth Road," Luton boss Jones told BBC Three Counties Radio."But you've seen one of the worst performances ever at this football club."I'm embarrassed, not by the team, I'm embarrassed by a certain individual who has had possibly one of the worst games I've seen in my life."We're one of the best sides in the Championship out of possession but today one or two were very naive."Hull City boss Shota Arveladze was no happier with his side's display at Bradford."It's over and it's painful," he told BBC Radio Humberside. "We changed seven players but no-one who hasn't played that role before."Collectively I wanted the players to have the character to respond to being behind, but we didn't."By contrast, Stoke manager Michael O'Neill felt a little aggrieved by their outcome."I was pleased with the performance," he told BBC Radio Stoke. "We made a lot of changes but we had control of the game. "Second half, we just couldn't find the goal but the goal we did score was a good goal - it's onside."Some of the tackling was disgraceful. We're disappointed to go out of the competition, but we're pleased to get out without a player being seriously injured." 'The consequences were minimal' - the thoughts of winning managersSpeaking to the media after the games was a more pleasurable experience for the managers of those sides who made it through."Once we dusted ourselves down after going behind, I think we really understood what was required, got on the front foot and put the opposition under pressure," Bradford boss Mark Hughes told BBC Radio Leeds."Goals came at the right time. Hull weren't able to sustain any pressure against us."It was a different type of game for us. Usually we are the side passing the ball around playing possession football. But we showed a different side of our game and that's a real positive. It shows we can step up a couple of gears."Barrow manager Pete Wild was delighted with his side's application in their win at Blackpool."When you play a Championship side away, you've got to defend well, and I think after about 20 minutes when we were able to get to grips with their rotations in midfield we defended well," he told BBC Radio Cumbria."We had limited chances going forward, but that's football, and we were playing away at a Championship club."We just had to take our chances when they came and I think we did that. I'm thrilled for the lads, they stood strong, I'm so pleased for them."Tonight was a chance for us to go and express ourselves, to push ourselves and play with freedom knowing the consequences were minimal."After coming out on top against Swansea despite making more changes, Oxford boss Karl Robinson told BBC Radio Oxford: "If you look at the team we started, it was Ed McGinty and James Golding's first professional start, Alex Gorrin hasn't played for 10 months, Lewis Bate hasn't started for six months, Jodi Jones hasn't played a competitive game for five years and Tyler Goodrham's first start in a game of this quality."I think we did OK in the first half, but the second half we went up against people and were up for it - I was pleased with that."
Published13 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, PA MediaRyan Giggs' ex-girlfriend has told a court she became "a slave to his every need and every demand".The former Manchester United star and ex-Wales manager, 48, is on trial accused of controlling behaviour and assaulting Kate Greville and her younger sister Emma.During cross-examination, she told Manchester Crown Court: "He made me feel like I had to do what he said otherwise there were consequences".He has denied all the charges.Ms Greville agreed she made a number of witness statements to police following the alleged assault in November 2020, including two in the last week.Giggs threw ex out of hotel room naked, court toldRyan Giggs headbutted ex-girlfriend - court hearsChris Daw QC, representing Mr Giggs, asked: "In the course of those statements, did you tell the police the whole truth?".She replied: "100%".She also rejected claims an argument between the couple in Dubai in September 2017 "were completely manufactured".Ms Greville claims Mr Giggs dragged her naked across the floor of a hotel room and threw her and her belongings into the corridor, bruising her arm in the process.'I was in a vulnerable position'The barrister also questioned Ms Greville about her relationship with the former footballer and how they got together."I was in a vulnerable position and he played on it," she said.Mr Daw asked: "This was not just two consenting adults, both equally married at the time, who embarked on an affair?"The witness replied: "There was a degree of imbalance on my side because of the situation I was in with my ex-husband."Ms Greville told the court she was not happy and in a "controlling marriage", and noticed Mr Giggs was interested in her.She said Mr Giggs used her name a great deal, a technique she had read about from the psychology book How to Win Friends and Influence People.Mr Daw suggested she was implying there was some sort of "clever psychological game" in play.He said: "The impression you give is you only really had an affair with Ryan because you were unhappy and he basically reeled you in?"'Complete fiction'Ms Greville replied: "I'm not saying it was all one-sided. I was fully involved in that. There was things about him that definitely were luring me into a relationship."Mr Daw said: "The truth is it's a complete fiction Ryan was using psychological techniques on your vulnerabilities. It's just rubbish?"But Ms Greville responded saying: "Absolutely not. I felt like he was using techniques. I was vulnerable, that's a fact. I was in a controlling relationship. That's a fact."She told the court Mr Giggs' alleged controlling behaviour also affected her friendships and that "he isolated me from certain people", adding he also "interfered with my ability to interact with my family".Ms Greville told the court violence by Mr Giggs was "not regular" and he would use aggression more as a form of control.Mr Daw asked: "Do you say he undermined your confidence, your self-esteem and was disparaging to you generally in those ways?"'Not constantly awful'She said: "Yes, on the whole he was, but on the other side it was like two extremes. Other times he would give me confidence."He was not constantly awful, not constantly horrible. It was hot and cold. Two different people. The result of his behaviour... undermined my self-confidence."She said he had also undermined and damaged her business.The court heard Ms Greville gave a statement the day before the start of the trial in which she said she had felt like "a slave" to the defendant.Image source, PA MediaShe said: "That is what it felt like. When Ryan said do something, I would do it."There was resistance sometimes but he made me feel like I had to do what he said, otherwise there would be consequences."Ms Greville said she is "really into psychology" and during the relationship she Googled what was happening in her relationship.'Relationships with eight other women'"The thing that came up was not coercion, there was narcissistic personality disorder," she added. "And what I was experiencing was very similar to that."She also denied she was looking for compensation when the case ends.Mr Daw asked if for the majority of the time the couple were together, he was kind and loving to her.Ms Greville said: "To begin with, yes. I would say for four-and-half years he was nice and for a year-and-a-half he was not. Near the end it was much pretty much relentlessly awful."She said things "ramped up" during the first Covid-19 lockdown when they lived together but had noticed a "significant change" when she returned to Manchester in January 2018.Ms Greville said the abuse was verbal but became written in messages and emails towards the end of the relationship because "I was standing up for myself".The jury previously heard Mr Giggs grabbed her by the shoulders and headbutted her in November 2020 after she earlier confronted him about his alleged serial cheating.She said in the lead-up to the alleged assault, she had learned he had "full-on relationships" with eight other women while they were together.The discovery of messages "going back years" on his iPad prompted her to decide to leave him, she said.Mr Giggs is charged with controlling and coercive behaviour against Ms Greville between August 2017 and November 2020.He is also charged with assaulting Ms Greville, causing her actual bodily harm, and common assault of Emma Greville at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, on 1 November 2020.The trial continues.More on this storyGiggs threw ex out of hotel room naked, court told19 hours agoRyan Giggs headbutted ex-girlfriend - court hears1 day agoGiggs resigns as Wales manager20 JuneRyan Giggs' trial adjourned over court space18 JanuaryRyan Giggs charged with assaulting two women23 April 2021
Coco Gauff and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu react to Serena Williams' imminent retirement, with 18-year-old Gauff saying the 23-time Grand Slam champion is the reason she picked up a tennis racquet. READ MORE: A look back at Serena Williams' iconic momentsREAD MORE: American great 'evolving' away from tennisWATCH: I'm getting closer to the light - Williams
By Amy LofthouseBBC SportLast updated on 4 hours ago4 hours ago.From the section TennisIt is almost the end of an era.Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, one of the greatest tennis players of all time and a sporting icon, is set to retire.It is difficult to imagine tennis without the American legend, who has won all there is to win during her 27-year career.From a purely sporting point of view, Williams will be remembered as one of the game's greatest competitors, an athlete who possessed the purest serve in the women's game and a never-fading desire to win.She will also be remembered for speaking out against racism, pushing for gender parity and equal prize money, and about her experiences of the healthcare system as a black woman.World number 11 Coco Gauff, 18, said Williams was "the reason why I play tennis" and her legacy can "inspire many more generations", while British number one Emma Raducanu, 19, said she "changed the game"."Tennis being a predominantly white sport it definitely helped a lot," said Gauff. "Because I saw somebody who looked like me dominating the game. It made me believe that I could dominate too."Here, BBC Sport looks at the big moments from an iconic career.First Grand Slam win - US Open 1999 Aged just 17, Williams produced a fine run to lift her first Grand Slam singles title in New York. She beat world number four Monica Seles in the quarter-finals, then second-ranked Lindsey Davenport before meeting world number one Martina Hingis in the final. Williams claimed a straight-set victory to become the first African-American woman in the Open Era to win a singles major. Just for good measure, she and Venus then won the doubles title together in the same weekend.Addressing racism - Indian Wells 2001 Both Williams sisters have spoken about the racism they experienced throughout their career in a traditionally white sport and the issues their father, Richard, faced.The sisters were set to meet in the semi-finals of Indian Wells - one of the biggest events outside of the Grand Slams - in 2001. However, when Venus withdrew with injury, accusations of match-fixing were pointed towards Richard and the sisters. Serena was then heavily booed when she came out to play Kim Clijsters in the final, and both Richard and Venus said they were racially abused by the crowd.Serena won and instantly hugged her father in the stands. She and Venus then boycotted the event for many years, with Serena not returning until 2015 and Venus a year later.Completing the 'Serena Slam' - Australian Open 2003 Williams arrived in Melbourne on the back of an amazing Grand Slam streak, having won every major since the 2002 French Open. Only the Australian Open trophy was absent from her cabinet.She had to do it the hard way in Melbourne, saving two match points and overturning a 5-1 third set deficit against Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals to reach the final. She then beat Venus for her fourth consecutive major singles triumph. It also secured a career Grand Slam and a non-calendar year Grand Slam for Williams at just 22 years old.Double triumph at SW19 - Wimbledon 2012 & London OlympicsWilliams' triumphs on the Wimbledon grass were the start of a resurgent few years that saw her win another nine major singles titles.She followed up her Wimbledon title run with a dominant performance to claim Olympic singles gold. Williams thrashed Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-1 in just 62 minutes on the same court where Sharapova had so memorably beaten her in 2004. It was the heaviest defeat for Sharapova against Williams, with the American winning 22 of their 24 meetings over 15 years.Another 'Serena Slam' before US Open heartbreak - 2015Williams started and ended the 2015 season as world number one, winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon to go with her 2014 US Open title and secure yet another 'Serena Slam'.She was on course for the calendar Grand Slam in New York and faced Italy's Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals, who she had beat four times in a row. She won the first set and led 2-0 in the decider before the unseeded Italian came back to stun Williams and the crowd. Williams later described the loss as one that broke her heart.Winning number 23 at eight weeks pregnant - 2017 Australian OpenWilliams found out she was expecting her first child shortly before the first Grand Slam of the year. At eight weeks pregnant she clinched her eighth Australian Open title and passed Steffi Graf in the all-time list of major winners in the Open Era, with only Margaret Court ahead of her. She did not drop a set in Melbourne and, to underline her dominance, returned to the top of the world rankings before going on maternity leave.The 'superhero catsuit' - French Open 2018Williams has spoken extensively about the struggles black women in the United States experience in healthcare, particularly in regards to complications in pregnancy or childbirth. Williams herself almost died after giving birth to Olympia because of an embolism.She made her Grand Slam return at Roland Garros eight months after giving birth and wore a black catsuit which, as well as making her feel like 'a queen from Wakanda', helped her cope with blood clots. Two months later, she would reach the Wimbledon final, where she lost to Angelique Kerber.The controversy in New York - US Open 2018Williams said several times that breaking Court's record was "the only reason" she still played following her daughter's birth and it seemed fitting that she could equal it on her home turf after reaching the US Open final.Williams was the heavy favourite against maiden finalist Naomi Osaka. However, Williams' outburst at umpire Carlos Ramos, where she called him a liar and thief after being docked three points, divided opinion and led to a hostile New York crowd. Osaka triumphed but both players were in tears by the end.The long-awaited return - Wimbledon 2022With rumours swirling of retirement, it felt cruel that the last time Wimbledon would see the American great would be when she limped off in tears in the first round in 2021 after injuring her ankle.However, her surprise decision to compete in singles through a wildcard led to a late-night thriller against France's Harmony Tan. Williams thrilled the crowd and showed all her competitiveness before going down in three sets.As she left to a standing ovation, she stood and twirled one last time on the stage that has brought her and the fans so much joy over the years.There will, quite simply, never be another Serena.
Andy Murray lost in straight sets in the first round of the Canadian Open but fellow Briton Cameron Norrie progressed at the tournament in Montreal.Three-time champion Murray was beaten 6-1 6-3 by American Taylor Fritz.British number one Norrie, who lost in the final of the Los Cabos Open to Daniil Medvedev on Sunday, beat American Brandon Nakashima 6-4 6-4.There were also wins for Britain's Jack Draper and Dan Evans.After a 24-hour delay because of rain, Fritz - world number 13 and a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last month - produced a dominant performance that several times reduced Murray to smashing his racquet against the court in frustration.It took Norrie just took just 73 minutes to beat Nakashima. The world number 11 will face Botic van de Zandschulp in the second round.Draper set up a meeting with Greece's world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas after beating France's Hugo Gaston 6-2 6-3.Evans defeated Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-2 1-6 6-0 either side of a rain delay and will now play Russia's Andrey Rublev, who had a bye in the first round.Nick Kyrgios, who claimed his first ATP Tour title since 2019 at the Citi Open on Monday, is through to the second round after a 6-4 6-4 win over Argentina's Sebastian Baez.The Australian, ranked 37th in the world, will face world number one Medvedev in the second round.In the women's event in Toronto, British number one Emma Raducanu lost in straight sets to the Italian defending champion Camila Giorgi.
World number one Scottie Scheffler says it is "frustrating" to see three players from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series suing the PGA Tour so they can play in the FedEx Cup Play-offs.A court will decide whether Australian Matt Jones and Americans Talor Gooch and Hudson Swafford can take part in the lucrative three-tournament event.The FedEx Cup Play-offs start at TPC Southwind, Memphis, this week."I definitely am surprised to see some guys now suing us," Scheffler said.A hearing has been set for later on Tuesday."Those guys kind of made their decision to go join another tour and they broke the rules and regulations of our tour, and now they're trying to sue us, which is definitely a bit frustrating," Scheffler added.The three are seeking a temporary restraining order from a US District Court judge against a ban on their participation.The PGA Tour has suspended members for taking part in the breakaway LIV series."If they win, come out here and play, that's something that's up to the courts, I can't control what's going to happen in a court case," Scheffler continued."Definitely interested but at the end of the day it has no effect on my preparation for the week."The three are among 11 players - including Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter - contesting their suspensions with an anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA Tour."It's kind of part of it now," said Scheffler. "Guys are going to leave. There's another tour going on and now they're suing us, so there's a lot going on."Reports in Australia have claimed Open champion Cameron Smith and Australian compatriot Marc Leishman will be among those players joining LIV Golf in the near future.Scheffler, though, has ruled out being among their number, despite the $25m (£20.72m) purse on offer at its events, saying it was never his "dream" to chase "financial benefits". "I'm not going to speak about the guys that are going to LIV and all that speculation. If that's what they want to do, that's what they want to do."The PGA Tour is where I want to play and it continues to be the place where the best golfers in the world play."
- Advertisement -