Latest – Fifa president Gianni Infantino says world football’s governing body has not proposed staging the World Cup every two years but has only explored the feasibility of such a change.
The concept has faced criticism from federations, leagues and players, though the Confederation of African Football has given its backing.
New Zealand Football can also see some value in it.
Infantino previously said those against the move were “afraid” of change.
“Fifa has not proposed a biennial World Cup,” Infantino said.
Infantino, speaking in Doha before tomorrow’s 2022 World Cup draw, added: “Let’s get the process clear here – the last Fifa congress asked the Fifa administration … to start a feasibility study into holding the World Cup every two years.
“The Fifa administration under the leadership of Arsene Wenger did exactly that. Fifa did not propose anything, but came to the conclusion that it is feasible, that it would have some repercussions and impact.
Fijian Drua lose coach for Waratahs game
Fijian Drua suffered a blow ahead of tonight’s Super Rugby game against the New South Wales Waratahs after head coach Mick Byrne entered isolation following a positive test for COVID-19.
Meli Derenalagi and Drua head coach Mick Byrne speak to media following their historic Super Rugby win Photo: Fijian Drua
Drua, one of two Pasifika expansion sides joining Australia and New Zealand teams in the competition, are 10th in the standings on six points after six matches.
They are based in Australia for this season to avoid potential travel complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mick is clearly gutted not to be with the team but remains in good spirits as he completes his recovery and self-isolation period,” Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said.
“He continues to call the shots, of course, and the players are in the very capable hands of our coaching and management staff.”
Byrne’s positive test comes just as the club were forced to relocate to the Gold Coast for the next 10 days as a result of the intense flooding in Lismore.
The floods caused their base at Lennox Head to close and the team made the trip early to Queensland for the game.
Titans score late to beat Tigers
The Gold Coast Titans have beaten the Wests Tigers 8-6 for their second win of the NRL season and keep the Tigers winless.
Alexander Brimson scored the only try of the match in the 78th to steal the win for the homeside in what was a penalty-laden game.
The Titans are seventh on the table with two wins from four and the Tigers have no points at the bottom of the table.
Tonight the Sharks play the Knights and the unbeaten Panthers play the Rabbitohs. The Warriors play the Broncos tomorrow.
Proteas start well against Bangladesh
Temba Bavuma scored an unbeaten half-century as South Africa reached 233 for four at the premature close on a stop-start opening day of the first test against Bangladesh at Kingsmead.
Play was called off with 76.5 overs as the umpires deemed the light not good enough despite the sun shining down on the ground, a curious end to a day that had started with a 30-minute delay due to a problem with the sight screen.
The steady Bavuma was 53 not out having put on the same number for the fifth wicket with Kyle Verreynne, who was not out on 27.
The pair will hope to push on to a big first-innings score on day two after the home side were sent into bat, another interesting decision at a ground where spin is very much in play in the latter stages of the match.
South Africa are without a number of their regular players. Seamers Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen, and top-order batsmen Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen are all missing after opting to play in the Indian Premier League over this series.
Vettel to race in Melbourne
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will begin his Formula 1 season at the Australian Grand Prix after recovering from Covid-19.
The Aston Martin driver was ruled out of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, then failed to produce a negative test in time for the second race in Saudi Arabia.
Reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg replaced Vettel in the Aston Martin, but was unable to score any points, finishing 17th in Bahrain and 12th in Saudi Arabia.
Vettel, 34, will line up alongside team-mate Lance Stroll in Melbourne for the 2022 season’s third grand prix on April 8-10.
Lincoln to drop Dambusters theme
Third tier English football side Lincoln City are silencing an air raid siren, and turning off pre-match music linked to a World War Two bombing raid on Germany, for the rest of the season due to the war in Ukraine.
The League One club plays the “Dambusters March”, theme to a 1950s movie about a wartime raid on dams in the industrial Ruhr valley, before home games with the siren sounded ahead of corner kicks.
The “Dambusters” 617 squadron was based at the Scampton air base near Lincoln.
Lincoln chief executive Liam Scully said the club wanted to strike a balance between their heritage and “being socially aware and generally good citizens”.
Lincoln have three homes games remaining this season.
Transgender cyclist uanble to compete
Transgender cyclist Emily Bridges will not compete in this weekend’s British National Omnium Championships after governing body UCI ruled she is ineligible.
Bridges had been due to compete in her first women’s event in Derby, facing some of the sport’s biggest names including five-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny.
British Cycling said Bridges would have been taking part under their “Transgender and Non-Binary Participation policy” before the UCI ruling.
Bridges, who set a national junior men’s record over 25 miles in 2018, began hormone therapy last year to reduce her testosterone levels.