Sport

Dear Luis, Michael and Prince (or can I call you Ali?): so you've taken on this challenge and you're drawing up your plans for how you're going to achieve the (near) impossible. May the best man win. In the meantime, here's some unsolicited advice. 1. Corruption Forget that word. Or, at least, use it very selectively. Because we've heard it all before: Michael Garcia, the Sunday Times inquiry, criminal investigations in the U.S. ... And guess what? It hasn't moved the needle. All it does is further anger the people who are already against Sepp Blatter for things that happened on his watch, while stiffening the resolve of the Blatter loyalists. Those in the middle? Well, they really don't care. In 1998, four FIFA vice-presidents and none other than Pele backed Blatter's rival,...
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To golf viewers, We are excited to have announced today a new broadcast model and a significant change in the way The Open will be covered from 2017. We believe this new arrangement, which will see The Open broadcast live on Sky with prime-time highlights on the BBC, will allow golf’s oldest championship to maintain its position as one of the world’s premier sporting events. I want to express my gratitude to the BBC, our trusted broadcast partner for 60 years. Our relationship developed through The Open’s renaissance in the early 1960s, golf’s boom years in the 1970s and 80s and more recently the height of its global appeal during the 90s and 2000s. We are delighted that the BBC remains a broadcast partner of The Open Championship for 2017 and beyond and, we hope, for a great...
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To Welsh rugby fans, It's going to be a busy year for Welsh rugby and we've all got a World Cup to look forward to in September. Apologies to our politicians regarding the forthcoming General Election, but there is no doubt that rugby will define 2015 for many of us in Wales. Of course, the formation of a new UK Government in May will make history, but rugby will create a buzz of excitement which will last well into the autumn. The Six Nations will deliver epic occasions, and the preparation of the players for the Rugby World Cup will capture our imaginations, as science and strategy combine to make our team better prepared than at any stage before. The story will unfold before our eyes here in Wales, as well as across Europe and the Middle East, as Warren Gatland takes his...
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To the football community, Another week, another race or sexism in football story. Or two. Or three. Is it getting worse, or are we just better at spotting and punishing it now? Dave Whelan has barely stayed out of the headlines, first appointing a manager under investigation for racism before coming under official scrutiny for racist comments himself. And then accidentally doubling down on those comments when he tried to defend himself. These shouldn't be the football stories that we see. Not because we should ignore these issues - entirely the opposite, issues like this should be tackled swiftly and taken seriously every time they raise their ugly heads. No, these shouldn't be the football stories that we see because this isn't how football should be. On the biggest stage,...
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Dear Sir Charles, Stephen A., Cris and other interested parties, Thank you for your recent outpouring of concern about my well being. In what has been a difficult time for my family, friends and fans, you — and those like you — have taken it upon yourselves to express just how much you care about me and my future. For that, I am truly appreciative. The thing is, though, you don’t even know me. Chuck, you have never so much as shook my hand, let alone exchanged a single word with me. Few of you have, to be honest. Respectfully, your worry over my “problems” with substance abuse and my twisting descent into darkness and, apparently, my impending death, is misplaced — mostly because you have very little idea what you are talking about. None of you do, even those of you who seem...
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Dear Mr Smurthwaite, Crewe will always be a small club – but we don’t have a problem with that. We thrive on being a small club – we’re not a massive club like Port Vale! You questioned the levels of our away support on Twitter. Well, we may have only taken 1,384 supporters to Vale Park but hopefully that will help you pay for the extra police and stewards. Many Crewe supporters don’t like the hatred before and after the derby. We have had coaches stoned on three of our last five visits there and now have problems getting companies to transport us to Vale Park. Plus, the £25 we are asked to pay to park each coach is the most expensive in League One. The highlight of the day was achieving the double over our neighbours, even though on Saturday the lads had to play on a...
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As Rose George writes, it is not only female athletes who face the “taboo” of menstruation (Let’s stop being so bloody-minded about menstruation, 23 January). Across the developing world women struggle during their periods. From not being able to afford sanitary pads or tampons to being hidden away while they bleed, the impact can be devastating. ActionAid often hears of girls being pulled out of school for a week at a time because their families cannot afford protection or even because there are not enough toilets. In refugee camps, a young girl or woman who has fled her home with few or no belongings has limited access to water or soap and has to travel long distances to communal toilets. When she gets her period, the chances are she has no sanitary products. She has to cope with...
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Dear David, I was surprised to hear some critics’ negative jibes at you revealing you would be donating all your wages from Paris Saint-Germain to charity. So what if they describe it as a ‘public relations stunt’, the number of people the £3.4 million is going to benefit and the fact that the generous gesture came without the usual case of footballers causing a scandal and paying their way out of it, is refreshing. Everyone is well aware how poor the ‘game that brings everyone together’ is at actually sharing its wealth. Players from all sorts of adverse backgrounds are given astronomical wages of over £200,000 a week, seemingly forgetting the poverty they have come from and are still reluctant to donate a significant amount to charity. So for you to donate a full contract’s...
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Dear David, I was surprised to hear some critics’ negative jibes at you revealing you would be donating all your wages from Paris Saint-Germain to charity. So what if they describe it as a "public relations stunt", the number of people the £3.4 million is going to benefit and the fact that the generous gesture came without the usual case of footballers causing a scandal and paying their way out of it, is refreshing. Everyone is well aware how poor the "game that brings everyone together" is at actually sharing its wealth. Players from all sorts of adverse backgrounds are given astronomical wages of over £200,000 a week, seemingly forgetting the poverty they have come from and are still reluctant to donate a significant amount to charity. So for you to donate a full contract’s...
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Dear Lance, I need to get a few things off of my chest. I’m conflicted. I am a fellow cancer survivor and was one of your biggest fans, supporters, and advocates. I read your two books. I continue to wear a LIVESTRONG wristband. But I’m conflicted. Our local YMCA is a LIVESTRONG YMCA. I am a board member there, and one of the LIVESTRONG liaisons. I have spoken to LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman on more than one occasion about LIVESTRONG and the legend of Lance Armstrong. We share a handful of friends in the multisport community. I am a triathlete and have followed your career where since the age of 16, you were giving some pros a run for their money prior to turning your sights to the sport of cycling. I understand a little bit about the sport of pro cycling. Probably not as much as I...
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