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SFO mulling UK criminal probe into Fifa corruption claims

The Serious Fraud Office has reportedly confirmed it is actively seeking evidence related to Fifa's World Cup corruption probe and is inviting whistleblowers to come forward.

According to letters seen by The Daily Telegraph, the SFO said it was pursuing "every reasonable line of inquiry" to decide whether it can open an investigation into the allegations of unlawful conduct during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has rejected FA chairman Greg Dyke's call to publish the Garcia report into allegations of corruption in World Cup bidding, claiming it would break Fifa rules and Swiss law. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Fifa, which faced worldwide criticism for its handling of an inquiry into the bids, last week announced it has lodged a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general regarding "possible misconduct of individual persons" in connection with the bids.

Regarding the potential for a Serious Fraud Office inquiry, a spokesperson confirmed to ITV News:

There is no information which has so far been brought to the SFO’s attention that shows that the UK criminal courts would accept jurisdiction. We continue to monitor the situation and to keep the jurisdictional position under review.

– Serious Fraud Office spokesperson


Dave Whelan gives FA his thoughts on 'racist' comments

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has met a deadline to give the Football Association his "observations" on his recent comments that were accused of being racist and anti-Semitic.

The 78-year-old had until 6pm this evening to offer his thoughts in a document to English football's governing body.

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has pledged to resign if found guilty of racism by the Football Association. Credit: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire

Mr Whelan apologised for any offence caused by his comments in a newspaper interview.

Since learning he is being investigated by the FA, he has threatened to resign his position if found guilty of making racist remarks.

The FA said it will now "consider" his observations as part of the ongoing investigation.

Irish jockey banned after failing drugs test

Grant failed a drugs test at the Curragh on March 23. Credit: PA

Irish Flat jockey Danny Grant has been suspended for six months after he failed a drugs test at the Curragh on March 23.

Grant was officially handed a two-year riding ban by the Irish Turf Club, but the last 18 months of the disqualification period was suspended under the assumption he does not fail another test.

He must also remain available for further drugs testing during the entirety of the suspension.

Grant tested positive for metabolites of cocaine at the Curragh on the first day of the Flat turf season in Ireland.

Man City open new community bridge

City's Chief Executive Officer, Ferran Soriano, opened the bridge. Credit: Manchester City

Manchester City have officially opened a community bridge connecting the Etihad Stadium to the soon-to-be-opened City Football Academy.

The new bridge spans the length of two football pitches and will be fully open to the public from 6 am on Thursday 27th November.

It will provide a safe crossing point for both people walking through the neighbourhood and supporters on a match day.


Vergne will not drive for Toro Rosso in 2015

Jean-Eric Vergne has announced he will not be driving for Toro Rosso next season, ending months of speculation over his future in Formula One.

The Frenchman missed out on a high-profile promotion to parent team Red Bull, with his rookie team-mate Daniil Kvyat selected to take over from departing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Vergne, 24, was still amongst the contenders to drive for Toro Rosso in 2015 - although one seat was taken when the marque announced 17-year-old Max Verstappen would be welcomed into the fold.

On the surface there appears to be very little room left on the grid for Vergne, with McLaren and Caterham the only teams yet to finalise their driver line-ups and the latter still unsure as to their own future in F1.

Poulter wants Europe Ryder Cup captaincy

Poulter holds aloft the 2014 Ryder Cup. Credit: PA

Ian Poulter has revealed he would "love" to captain Europe in the Ryder Cup some time in the future.

The 38-year-old has been one of the continental side's key players in recent editions of the biennial contest, most notably at Medinah in 2012 when he inspired a brilliant European comeback.

Poulter has played in the Ryder Cup five times with his fourth win coming at Gleneagles in September.

He told BBC Sport: "Hopefully, I've got another 10 years in me before I ever get asked.

"If I was ever asked to be captain then yes, I'd love to be a captain of a Ryder Cup team."

Froch would not 'get out of bed' for DeGale fight

Froch and DeGale pictured together ringside in Liverpool in July Credit: PA

Carl Froch admits he would find it difficult to "get out of bed" and train for a fight against James DeGale.

The 37 year-old super-middleweight champion is chasing a Las Vegas meeting with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. before retiring from boxing.

Despite fighting the likes of Andre Ward, Mikkel Kessler and Lucian Bute in recent years, Froch has never been offered a bout in Las Vegas.

"I'm just not motivated to fight another British kid in Britain," Froch told BBC Radio Nottingham, when asked about mandatory challenger DeGale.

"If I was told tomorrow by my promoter that I would be fighting DeGale in the early part of next year I don't think that it'd get me out of bed in the morning to go running."

Peterborough United rename London Road

London Road is now called the ABAX Stadium. Credit: PA

Peterborough United have renamed their London Road ground the ABAX Stadium after securing crucial sponsorship funds.

The five year agreement with Norwegian-owned company ABAX is the first of its kind in the League One club's 80 year history.

The first match at the ABAX Stadium, a league fixture against Bristol City on Friday evening, will be broadcast by Sky Sports.

Chairman Darragh MacAnthony said: “We see this opportunity as a great deal for this club, ABAX, the city and our supporters. ABAX has firmly put down its roots in Peterborough and now we all want to see the company grow."

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