12-12-2018 Can Sumo survive? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never beforeYokozuna, controversies and a 'Dump Truck': a sumo history – in pictures Continue reading...

12-12-2018 England’s Joe Cokanasiga faces battle to prove Six Nations fitness after knee injury

• Wing damaged medial ligament in loss to Leinster• Eddie Jones due to name squad on 16 JanuaryThe England wing Joe Cokanasiga is set to be out of action until the new year and faces a battle to prove his fitness for the Six Nations after Bath confirmed he has suffered a torn medial knee ligament. Related: Joe Cokanasiga has power and pace to add to England’s strength in depth Continue reading...

12-12-2018 British Cycling coaches 'jealous' of athletes' success, says BMX champion

Liam Phillips claims body denied cyclists lucrative deals at tribunal for girlfriend Jess VarnishBMX world champion Liam Phillips has claimed that British Cycling denied athletes a chance to capitalise on their success via sponsorship deals at an employment tribunal for his girlfriend, the Olympic cyclist Jess Varnish.Varnish has accused British Cycling of exercising “extreme control” over her and other athletes in her long-running legal attempt to sue the organisation for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Klopp says £67m Alisson ‘worth double’ after save puts Liverpool through

• Alisson keeps out Napoli in stoppage time• Carlo Ancelotti says Van Dijk deserved red cardJürgen Klopp said he would have paid double for Alisson after the £65m “lifesaver” secured Liverpool’s place in the Champions League knockout with a crucial stoppage-time save against Napoli. Related: Salah and Alisson heroics ensure Liverpool qualify at Napoli’s expense Continue reading...

12-12-2018 The Breakdown | Neath’s sad decline laid bare as they face judgment day in court | Paul Rees

In dire financial trouble off the pitch, short of players and bottom of the Welsh Premiership, the famous club faces a winding-up order in court on ThursdayBack in the day spectators used to clamber up the floodlight pylons at the Gnoll to get a better view because the terraces were so packed. Now, as Neath faces a winding-up order on Thursday for failing to repay a £30,000 loan taken out to cover wages, the lights may go out for good on Wales’s oldest club.Neath are due to entertain Llanelli on Friday night, a fixture that not long ago would have been a highlight of any club weekend. It will be preceded by a bash for supporters in the clubhouse, but if the court hearing goes against a club whose nickname has long been the Mourners, it would turn into a wake. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Herman Ouseley to stand down as chairman of football’s Kick It Out

• Respected leader of anti-racism campaign to go after 25 years• ‘Kick It Out is well positioned to keep the momentum afloat’Lord Herman Ouseley is to stand down as the chairman of football’s anti-racism campaign Kick It Out after 25 continuous years in that position since the organisation was established in 1993.The 73-year-old is understood to have informed Kick It Out’s trustees some time ago that he intended to retire at the end of this season and the announcement is not related to the resurgence of alleged racist incidents in the game. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Sunderland ‘Til I Die shows all that is right and wrong in English football | Barry Glendenning

A sense of loss is all-pervading in a Netflix series chronicling Sunderland’s relegation into League One but, throughout, a sense of optimism shines out from most fansIt’s the hope that kills them, Sunderland fans can handle the despair. And it is a prevailing sense of hope that percolates throughout all eight episodes of a new behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling the club’s relegation to the third tier of English football last season. Throughout a preposterously chaotic campaign, even by the standards of a club long considered utterly dysfunctional, Sunderland’s fans remain surprisingly upbeat, despite having grown wearily accustomed to coping with apparently bottomless levels of crushing disappointment. Related: Sunderland's hall of shame: club's (mostly bad) signings under Short Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Manchester City v Hoffenheim: Champions League – live!

Champions League updates from the 8pm GMT kick-offDavid Squires on … the mistreatment of Raheem SterlingAnd you can email Michael or tweet @michaelbutler18 6.58pm GMT Hello world, come on a journey with me. Manchester City have just 15 players fit, anything less than a win and they could be toppled as Group F winners by Lyon – who travel to Shakhtar tonigh – and Raheem Sterling, apparently the Premier League’s best player in November, will be playing. 3️⃣ goals3️⃣ [email protected] Player of the Month for a fantastic November - @sterling7 pic.twitter.com/rdLPfC5Jix Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Champions League: Inter denied by PSV, Dortmund snatch top spot from Atlético

• Agonising 1-1 draw means Inter finish third in Group B• Dortmund beat Monaco, Atlético Madrid held by BruggeInternazionale failed to get the win that would have seen them into the Champions League last 16, drawing 1-1 with PSV Eindhoven on a fraught night at the San Siro.The hosts fell behind early on, but Mauro Icardi’s equaliser after 73 minutes meant the Italians were going through with Tottenham 1-0 down at Barcelona. After news of Lucas Moura’s crucial equaliser filtered through, Inter missed two late chances to win the game. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Cameron Radigan opens up on his passion for archery

Cameron Radigan on his campaign to have his leg amputated and his archery dream.

12-12-2018 'We're not here to be Invincibles': Guardiola hails players despite loss to Chelsea – video

Pep Guardiola struck a philosophical tone after Manchester City's 0-2 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, insisting: 'We're not here to be Invincibles; we're here to be champions.' Despite dominating possession for most of the game, Manchester City conceded a goal in each half to slump to their first league defeat in eight months and drop to second place in the Premier League. Guardiola praised his team's performance despite the result, claiming they had played with 'great personality' throughout.David Luiz seals win as Chelsea end Manchester City’s unbeaten start Continue reading...

12-12-2018 'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

12-12-2018 Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham boss 'so proud' after achieving 'mission impossible'

Mauricio Pochettino says he is "so proud" after Tottenham completed "mission impossible" and reached the last 16 of the Champions League.

12-12-2018 Football must unite to stamp out the 'ugly' spectre of racism - West Brom boss Darren Moore

West Brom boss Darren Moore is calling on football to unite to stamp out the "ugly" spectre of racism.

12-12-2018 The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018

Seventy-two judges from 30 countries have had their say and here is our top 100 of the best players in the world. In association with The Offside Rule Suzanne Wrack meets our No 1, Pernille HarderInterview: Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegeberg Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Leicester hope Manu Tuilagi will put passion for club before cash

• Leicester fear centre could be lured away next summer • ‘I think his heart is in a Tigers’ shirt,’ says Geordan MurphyGeordan Murphy is hoping Manu Tuilagi’s passion for Leicester will keep the England centre at Welford Road next season.The 27-year old, who made his Leicester debut in 2010, is out of contract in the summer and the club’s interim director of rugby admitted that if it came down solely to money the Tigers would lose out. Toulon are among those wanting to sign the 2013 Lion. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year: The cheeky trophy spills the beans on his 65-year career

Before BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2018, the trophy remembers his wonderful 65-year career living with some of the world's greatest sporting stars.

12-12-2018 Why should someone like Raheem Sterling be seen as ‘fair game’? | Daniel Taylor

Stan Collymore argues that nothing will be done about abuse of Sterling because nothing ever is, but if there was more diversity in the newsrooms it might shape the thinking differentlyBefore going into football journalism full-time I spent a few years on the news beat for various tabloid newspapers. That may surprise a few people because, outside the industry, there seems to be a perception you are either one or the other: broadsheet or red-top, luvvie or rotter. But it doesn’t actually work like that. I worked for a freelance agency in the Midlands, covering for virtually all the national titles, and there was no room for journalistic snobbery for a young reporter with a provisional driving licence and 40-words-per-minute shorthand.But it was definitely an eye-opener. One story was of a car being stolen in Leicester while, unbeknown to the thief, a baby was strapped into the back seat. The car was still missing and the police had organised a press conference for her mother, who had not been identified, to make a public appeal. It was a big story and there were a lot of national newspaper journalists in attendance. But I can still remember the awkwardness when she came in and the vibe from several reporters – not just the tabloids – that there was an issue, news-wise. The woman in question wasn’t white. She was Indian and that was a problem, I was told, because the relevant newspapers might no longer think it was a photograph, or story, their readership wanted. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Raheem Sterling shouldn’t have to educate the media about racism | Musa Okwonga

Sterling should be free to do his job – play football. But he’s right that the British media needs to tackle racism, head onRaheem Sterling is busy. He is busy being a world-class forward for Manchester City and England and he is busy being a parent. It is therefore confusing as to why, on top of these considerable responsibilities, he is now apparently expected to educate Britain – including a cluster of journalists who claim to know no better – about the media’s role in the racism he experiences both in and on the way to his place of work.Following a Premier League match against Chelsea, during which he stated that he was subjected to a racist tirade from a nearby fan, Sterling took to Instagram to express his concern about the vastly different treatment that white and black players receive from certain sections of the British media. Sterling drew a connection between the negative coverage that black players constantly receive and their treatment by the public. Continue reading...