Proposed FA reforms are missed opportunity, says Bernstein

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON Proposed reforms of the English FA are a missed opportunity that will make no real change and could end up as a "fudged compromise", former chairman David Bernstein said on Wednesday.

Bernstein, 73, was one of five former executives who last year signed a letter that described the world's oldest soccer federation as an outdated institution held back by "elderly white men".

Defiant world chess head says 'revolution' to oust him has failed

By Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW The president of world chess's governing body said on Wednesday that an attempted "revolution" to oust him by falsely announcing his resignation had failed, and that he would serve out his full term and might even stand for re-election.

Russia's Kirsan Ilyumzhinov -- a millionaire businessman and ex-politician who once said he had been abducted by aliens -- has headed FIDE, chess's governing body, for the last 22 years, flying around the world to promote chess.

Pakistan bowler Irfan suspended for year over spot-fixing

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan has been suspended for a year and fined 1 million rupees (764,881 pounds) after failing to disclose two approaches made by bookmakers during this year's Pakistan Super League (PSL), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old, who played for Islamabad United in the 2017 PSL, admitted the charges levelled against him by the PCB's anti-corruption unit.

Spurs could remain at White Lane for another season - Levy

LONDON Tottenham Hotspur have not ruled out staying at their White Hart Lane stadium next season despite being given permission last week to play across London at Wembley next season.

The Premier League club are building a 61,000-seat stadium adjacent to White Hart Lane, their home since 1899, which is scheduled to be demolished at the end of the current season.

More whistleblowers are talking to WADA, says Reedie

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON Several whistleblowers have approached the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) through a new programme set up after revelations of rampant state-sponsored doping in Russia, WADA President Craig Reedie said on Wednesday.

WADA this month launched its "Speak Up" secure digital platform for athletes and others to report anti-doping violations.

Ibrahimovic happy at United as contract talks continue

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is relishing his time at the Premier League club and is in talks to extend his contract, saying he "never leaves a job unfinished".

In November, manager Jose Mourinho said United planned to extend his initial one-season deal by another year but according to media reports Ibrahimovic wants a two-year contract.

Ranieri still shocked by Leicester sacking, but holds no grudges

Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, who defied 5000-1 odds to lead the team to a fairytale Premier League title in 2016, has said he is still stunned by his sacking last month.

The 65-year-old Italian lost his job after a nine-game losing streak that left the club hanging one point above the relegation zone. Since his departure, Leicester have won all four of their matches to move six points above the bottom three and reached Europe's Champions League quarter-finals.

Exclusive - Federation to cover NHL costs to play at 2018 Winter Olympics: IOC

By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has agreed to pay NHL players' travel and insurance costs to try to lure them to the 2018 Winter Olympics but team owners have set more commercial demands, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.

The NHL and the international federation have been locked in talks over the world's best players' participation in next year's Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with team owners frustrated by the forced shutdown of the season for two-and-a-half weeks.

'Bradman-like' Smith to become great captain - Lehmann

DHARAMSALA Australia coach Darren Lehmann has hailed 'Bradman-like' Steve Smith for his consistent form with the bat and believes the 27-year-old has the potential to become one of Australia's great captains.

Smith's emerging side lost a tight four-match series to India 2-1 on Tuesday but he did lead them to a first test match victory in the country since 2004 when they beat the world's top-ranked side inside three days in the series opener in Pune.

Everton suffer Funes Mori blow ahead of Liverpool game

LONDON Everton have been dealt another injury blow ahead of Saturday's Premier League derby against Liverpool after defender Ramiro Funes Mori was injured while playing for Argentina.

Funes Mori left the field on a stretcher clutching his left knee after 36 minutes as Argentina lost 2-0 to Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier in La Paz on Tuesday.

He has made 26 appearances for Everton this season and would have been in Everton manager Ronald Koeman's plans for the lunchtime kickoff at Anfield.