Western Sydney ban 14 fans after offensive banner display

SYDNEY Western Sydney Wanderers have banned 14 fans for 18 months after a section of their 'Red and Black Bloc' supporters group displayed an "offensive" banner during their A-League clash with Sydney FC on Saturday.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) have issued a 'show cause' notice to the club in response to the banner, which they described as "offensive to any reasonable member of the public", and the club may face severe penalties from the governing body.

Milner-Skudder's return delayed due to hamstring injury

WELLINGTON Nehe Milner-Skudder's return from a shoulder injury that brought his season to an end last year has been delayed further as the Hurricanes' outside back did not travel to Tokyo for their Super Rugby season opener against the Sunwolves.

Milner-Skudder, the 2015 World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year, missed much of last season when he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery.

In January, the All Blacks winger extended his contract with the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby until after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Top seed Nishikori suffers shock first-round loss in Rio

Top seed Kei Nishikori crashed out of the Rio de Janeiro Open on Tuesday after suffering a 6-4 6-3 first-round loss to Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci.

The Japanese world number five, who was stunned by unseeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Argentina Open final two days ago, was broken in the first game en route to losing the match in 79 minutes.

Bellucci meets compatriot Thiago Monteiro, who beat Portugal's Gastao Eliasa 2-6 7-6(4) 6-4, in the next round.

Possible Mayweather-McGregor bout 'a joke' - Alvarez says

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK A possible bout between Floyd Mayweather and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor is getting lots of buzz but two fighters that are getting in the ring said the crossover tilt would be a black eye on boxing.

Irishman McGregor has been challenging Mayweather to a fight for months but the two have yet to reach terms while both have been doing their part to drum up interest with plenty of back and forth in the media.

Australia seeks full inclusion in Asian Summer Games

MELBOURNE Australia hopes to bring a full delegation of athletes to the 2022 Asian Summer Games in China and is seeking approval from the continent's Olympic council, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates has said.

Australia, a member of the Oceania Olympic federation, has sent 30 athletes to the ongoing Asian Winter Games in Japan's northern city of Sapporo as a "guest" delegation following an invitation from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Mexican fireworks expected in Alvarez-Chavez Vegas brawl

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK Mexican pride will be at stake when two-time world champion Canelo Alvarez battles former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Las Vegas on Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Alvarez brings a 48-1-1 record with 34 knockouts into the May 6 clash while Chavez, son of the legendary Mexican champion, is 50-2-1 with 32 wins within the distance.

Palmer adds weight to his second season

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON Jolyon Palmer needs no reality check ahead of his second Formula One season, but the Renault driver might be wondering about some of his friends.

The 26-year-old Briton indicated at the launch of his team's 2017 car on Tuesday that their imaginations had been running wild over the winter break ahead of a season with big rule changes.

Asia would welcome third straight Winter Olympics - OCA chief

Asia is ready, willing and able to host a third straight Winter Olympics if the Japanese city of Sapporo wins the bid for the 2026 Games, Olympic Council of Asia President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has said.

Sapporo hosted Asia's first Winter Olympics in 1972 and has also staged the Asian Winter Games three times, including the inaugural edition in 1986 and the ongoing Feb. 19-26 event.

City officials said in late 2014 they would be keen on a 2026 bid, though the Japanese Olympic Committee would also need to approve it proceeding.

Huddersfield strike late to beat Reading

Huddersfield Town kept up the pressure on the top two teams in the Championship with a 1-0 win over fellow promotion hopefuls Reading thanks to a late goal by Philip Billing on Tuesday.

Billing struck from close range with eight minutes left to take third-placed Huddersfield back within four points of Brighton & Hove Albion, who trail leaders Newcastle United by a point.

Newcastle beat Aston Villa 2-0 on Monday to reach 69 points while Brighton won 2-0 at Barnsley on Saturday. Huddersfield's win gives them 64 points, ahead of fourth-placed Reading on 60.

Five-star Manchester City edge thriller with Monaco

MANCHESTER, England Manchester City came out on top in an epic Champions League battle against Monaco as late goals by John Stones and Leroy Sane secured a 5-3 victory in a last 16 first-leg thriller on Tuesday that had goals galore and a missed penalty.

City took the lead through Raheem Sterling but were then playing catch-up as Monaco drew level thanks to Radamel Falcao's header and then went ahead with a powerful finish from 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe five minutes before halftime.