The International World Games Association (IWGA) has announced that seven International Federations (IFs) have made bids for membership that meet its criteria, with their applications set to be discussed at the SportAccord Convention next month.
The International Basketball Federation (Fiba), International Triathlon Union (ITU), International Wushu Federation (IWUF), International Cycling Union (UCI), Union Internationale Motonautique (International Powerboating Union), International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) and United World Wrestling (UWW) have all applied to become IWGA members.
The federations have been invited to give a final presentation to the IWGA Annual General Meeting at SportAccord Convention on April 3 in Aarhus, Denmark.
The IWGA currently has 37 member federations. For IFs to become a member of the IWGA, membership of SportAccord is a prerequisite. Another requirement is that the sports, or disciplines of sports, proposed by the federations for inclusion in the World Games are not currently on the programme of the Olympic Games.
Wroclaw, Poland will stage the 2017 World Games from July 20-30, following on from the 2013 edition in Cali, Colombia. Birmingham, Alabama will be the first US destination to host the World Games since the inaugural event took place in Santa Clara in 1981 after it was formally awarded rights to the 2021 Games in April 2015.
The World Games - under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - showcases more than 25 sports, such as squash, karate, sumo and dance sport.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signalled its opposition to the proposed reforms of the world game outlined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) stating they will “adversely affect” the very nature of the world governing body.
The ICC is set to make a final decision on a new financial and governance structure at a meeting in April after agreeing “in principle” last month to reverse a move to put the boards of India, Australia and England in a dominant position of the game’s administration.
The BCCI, along with Sri Lanka Cricket, voted against the proposal to perform a u-turn on the 2014 decision after failing to defer the vote during February’s ICC board meeting in Dubai. Under the proposed restructuring, a new revenue distribution model would seek to counter the imbalance favouring the so-called big three, with India the most influential voice in the world game.
In a communication of its preliminary observations on the proposed ICC constitution, reported by the ESPNCricinfo website, the BCCI said the changes were “vague” and “unclear”. The status of the reforms package was thrown into question last week by the resignation of Shashank Manohar, who has been driving efforts to limit the influence of the ‘big three’, as chairman of the ICC.
“The proposed ICC constitution seeks to convert the ICC from a members' organisation to a supra-national regulator,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri wrote in an email sent to ICC chief operating officer Iain Higgins. “This is a fundamental change in the nature of the ICC that adversely affects the autonomy of its members.
“Further, several of the proposed changes are vague and unclear in their purport and intended operation. Given that one of the stated objectives behind the proposed changes is to bring in clarity and transparency, it is imperative that there is complete clarity on all the proposed changes so that members can properly understand the same before formulating their position thereon.”
Johri also reserved heavy criticism for the new financial model proposed by the ICC, stating it is “arbitrary” and not “agreeable”. Under the current ‘big three’ model, full members receive a contribution cost for participating in ICC events based on their perceived value in the sport. The new model is set to remove these contribution costs and instead introduce a set figure allocated to each of the 10 full members, along with two second-tier associate members - Ireland and Afghanistan.
Johri said, according to ESPNCricinfo: “The ICC is seeking to change the existing financial model without having any scientific formula or technical analysis behind the proposed changes. It is a fundamental attribute of any resource allocation system to first collect information and then allocate resources based on the information, priorities and a defined methodology following appropriate principles. The move to propose changes to the existing financial model without carrying out the aforesaid exercise is an arbitrary one.”
He added: “Any discussion on the proposed new financial model has to be based on clearly articulated and acceptable principles which recognise the relative contribution of BCCI to the revenues of the ICC. For the above reasons, we are not agreeable to the proposed new financial model.”
France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.
The company will also provide logistical support to the FFR during different stages of the application process while promoting the bid both nationally and internationally.
Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.
FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”
France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.
Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunner Solskjaer is confident that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will want to play in the Champions League at Old Trafford next season.
Jose Mourinho snapped up the veteran forward on a free transfer last summer and the Swede has been a talismanic presence at Manchester United this season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions.
Ibrahimovic is yet to extend his contract, which expires in the summer, but according to Swedish daily Expressen, the forward will sign on the dotted line soon to prolong his stay at Old Trafford for one more season.
And Solskjaer believes the Swede will want to experience Champions League football with Manchester United, if they qualify for next season, as he feels there is no better club than the Red Devils to represent on the biggest stage of European football.
The former Manchester United striker told Expressen: “We hope that we can qualify for the Champions League next season.
“Then I expect Ibrahimovic will want to play on the biggest stage for the best club.
“There is no better place to play Champions League football than at Manchester United.
"They are the biggest and the best club.”
Despite winning countless league titles and domestic cups in various countries, Ibrahimovic is yet to win the Champions League in his career.
Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has described potential interest in him from Barcelona as "special".
The 22-year-old penned a new six-year deal with the Gunners last November but has been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with a number of top clubs across Europe thought to be interested.
Bellerin began his career as part of the Barcelona youth setup before leaving for Arsenal in 2011, and in recent days the La Liga giants have been linked with a £35m bid this summer as they continue to look for a long-term replacement for Dani Alves.
"It's nice there are a lot of big clubs that are interested in me, but if one of those is Barcelona that's special," Bellerin told Sport.
"I don't forget I grew up in that home and I will never forget my stay at Barcelona... I left Barcelona because I felt the club was not confident in me, I didn't feel valued, I was disenchanted."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has described speculation of Bellerin's potential exit as 'very difficult to take seriously'.
Jamie Vardy once again stated that he has no regrets after turning Arsenal down
Tiger Woods continues to struggle with back issues but the 14-time major champion has not ruled out playing the Masters in two weeks.
"God, I hope so," Woods said when asked by "Good Morning America" host Michael Strahan if he would be able to play in the upcoming Masters. "I'm trying. I'm trying every day to get back and play.
"I love that event. It's meant so much to me in my life. It's the first major I ever played back in '95. It has so much history and meaning to me that I'd love to get back.''
Woods appeared on the ABC show in New York to promote his new book, "The 1997 Masters: My Story.'' He won the first of his majors 20 years ago at Augusta National by a record 12 shots at age 21.
Woods has not played a golf tournament since back pain caused him to pull out of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 3.
The 41-year-old Woods is attempting to recover from two back surgeries in 2015 that led to a 17-month layoff.
"I need to get back physically," Woods said Monday on ABC. "I know the mind is sharp. I just need to get the body willing to do it. I haven't been able to train like I used to or practice like I used to. It's been harder. My priorities have changed a lot. My kids now dominate my life, and I think that's a good thing."
Earlier this month, Woods said in a statement that there was no timetable to his return.
Woods, a winner of 79 PGA Tour events, has until the first day of the Masters on Thursday, April 6 to decide whether he is playing. Past champions of the Masters are invited to participate for life and there is no commitment deadline
Sir Alex Ferguson will return as Manchester United boss for Michael Carrick's testimonial on June 4. The 75-year-old departed Old Trafford in 2013 after delivering the club's 20th top-flight title and the last of his 38 trophies at Man United.
The Scot has since taken on an ambassadorial role with the English giants, however, and he remains actively involved behind the scenes.
Speculation that Ferguson could manage Man United in Carrick's testimonial has grown in recent weeks, and it has now been confirmed that he will lead the Red Devils against a Harry Redknapp-managed All-Star team.
"I think the best bit will be seeing the players, to be honest with you. No [I don't miss managing]. I miss the big games of course but I made my decision and I'm enjoying it. I don't have to worry about you lads or the agents or the press conferences and having to control that press secretary of mine!" Ferguson told MUTV.
"I'm delighted Michael is getting a testimonial. It tells you Manchester United are probably the only club in England that can do that. Players do tend to stay a long time here. We don't have players here one minute and gone the next. If you go right back to my time, most of the players stayed 10 or even more years.
"I think we can be proud of that fact, being a family-type club. It encourages players to put roots down here and enjoy it. I read about what Michael's intentions are [with the funds raised for the event] and I think it's very honourable. I think he's shown he's prepared to share his success and his contribution to the charity, starting it himself, will be very, very worthwhile."
Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are among those that will feature for the Man United XI, while it is understood that Cristiano Ronaldo could feature as part of the 2008 team.
Carrick, 35, who has made 444 appearances for Man United since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006, will see his current deal at Old Trafford expire at the end of the season.
Bale and Ronaldo both played as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 yesterday. Goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro strengthened their grip on the La Liga title.
However, despite the victory, all is not well at the Santiago Bernabeu. Spanish outlet Diario Gol claimed yesterday that Ronaldo was fuming with Zinedine Zidane for substituting him late on.
The former Manchester United star provided the assist for Benzema's goal but was replaced by Isco in the 79th minute. It was said that Ronaldo believed Bale should have been substituted instead after an abject display.
But Diario Gol claim Bale was also angry after the game. The former Tottenham star's stock is rising in Spain after helping Madrid win the Champions League twice in the past three years. And the Wales international reportedly believes Ronaldo is preventing him from becoming the club's main man.
Bale has to play on the left wing due to Ronaldo's desire to play further up the field. He feels that Zidane is making a mistake by deploying him in that position as he prefers to play on the right, where he can cut inside.
Club chief Florentino Perez is now monitoring the situation as Madrid's two biggest stars aim to do outdo the other.
Fernando Alonso will eventually "lose his patience" with McLaren-Honda. That is the view of the famous British outfit's former long-time team manager Jo Ramirez.
The Mexican declared recently that, given McLaren-Honda's winter testing form, he predicts a dire season for the team.
"Look, I want to be a little more optimistic," Ramirez told the Spanish sports daily AS. "I think maybe they are able to do it.
"They're going to have difficulties in the first three or four races, but I think they will fix their problems and be in the battle," he added.
As for whether that will be enough in light of the last couple of years and amid Alonso's expiring contract, however, Ramirez is less sure.
"He (Alonso) is having a lot, lot, lot of patience. The truth is that his attitude is admirable, but of course everything has a limit and I think at some point he will lose his patience," he said.
Roger Federer claimed a record-equalling fifth ATP Indian Wells Masters title on Sunday, continuing his career resurgence with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Stan Wawrinka.
Federer, sidelined some six months after knee surgery last year, returned to win his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.
With Sunday's triumph in the all-Swiss final, Federer joined Novak Djokovic on the list of men who have won five Indian Wells titles, adding to those he won in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2012.
At 35, Federer is the oldest ATP player to win one of the elite Masters titles, supplanting Andre Agassi who was 34 when he won in Cincinnati in 2004.
“It’s been just a fairytale week once again,” said Federer, who missed Indian Wells last year because of injury.
“I’m not as surprised as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me, nevertheless, to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did.
“I couldn't be happier. It’s an absolute, huge start to the year for me. Last year I didn’t win any titles. I don't think I was in any finals except maybe Brisbane last year. The change is dramatic, and it feels great to be back to winning ways.”
The speedy progress means 10th-ranked Federer would have to reassess his 2017 goals. Prior to the Australian Open his aim was to get his ranking to as high as eighth by the time Wimbledon was over.
“The goals are clearly changing after this dream start,” Federer said.
While Federer had won 19 of 22 prior meetings with Wawrinka including a semi-final win in Melbourne he noted that his compatriot would be no easy mark as he played his first tournament in America since winning the US Open in September.
But Federer claimed a tightly contested first set with a break in the 10th game, pushing Wawrinka into a forehand error to end a tense rally for a set point, on which Wawrinka sent another forehand long.
Wawrinka responded immediately with a break to open the first set after Federer had held all 42 of his service games in the tournament to that point.
He had saved the lone break point he faced in his straight-sets thumping of Rafael Nadal in the fourth round but sent a backhand long on break point to give Wawrinka the advantage in the set.
Wawrinka then withstood two break points to hold for a 2-0 lead, which proved short-lived as Federer won the next three games to take a 3-2 lead.
Finally Wawrinka found himself serving to save the match. A backhand into the net gave Federer a chance, and he seized it with a volley winner.
“I’ve lost some tough ones against you, but when you played the final in Australia, I was your biggest fan,” a choked up Wawrinka told Federer at the trophy ceremony. “So congratulations on your comeback and congratulations on today.”
Although he has three Grand Slam titles, Wawrinka was playing in just his fourth Masters final and has won just one of the prestige events beating Federer in the final at Monte Carlo in 2014.
“It's a tough loss,” he said. “In a way, I'm really happy to make the final. It's a great result on that, but you always want more”.
After fearing that knee trouble in the wake of the Australian Open would slow his season, Wawrinka was pleased to play at a high level.
“After Australia, I wasn’t in a good position,” he said. “I was really, really struggling with my knee. I wasn't sure to be back here in that level that quick.
“But I still lost the final,” he said. “So it wasn't easy.”
The protracted saga of Arsene Wenger’s contract situation is nearing its conclusion – and it’s not the one Arsenal fans were hoping for.
Although the offer of a new two-year deal has been on the table of some time, there had been speculation that Wenger would call time on his Emirates career after over two decades at the club.
However, despite another high-profile Champions League exit and another title challenge falling away before it could really begin, the Frenchman has seemingly become more resolute in his belief that he can steer the Gunners out of the trouble they now find themselves in.
Multiple sources on Sunday night and Monday morning have reported that Wenger will tell the Arsenal board that he wants to stay at the club beyond this season – for either one or two more years – in a decision that will not be a particularly popular one if and when it is confirmed.
In fact, the Guardian report suggests that Wenger and the board are looking for the best way of telling the fanbase that there will be no change in manager, which in itself would suggest just how toxic the atmosphere around the club has become. Confirming a deal so soon after a poor 3-1 defeat to West Brom – their fourth in five league matches – that has seen them slip to sixth in the table and putting their top four chances in real danger.
Maria Sharapova's 15-month suspension for failing a drug test is likely to extend her career all the way to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, according to the Russian's longtime agent Max Eisenbud.
The five-time major winner rocked the tennis world a year ago when she announced she had tested positive for meldonium, an over-the-counter heart medication commonly used in the countries formerly comprising the Soviet Union.
Sharapova said she hadn't realized the drug -- which she had taken for more than a decade for various health issues -- had been put on the 2016 prohibited list. She is scheduled to return to the women's tour on April 26 at an event in Stuttgart, Germany after organizers gave her a wildcard.
"If (the suspension) didn't happen, this probably would have been her last year," IMG's Eisenbud told CNN in a phone interview. "I think she'll play through Tokyo" if healthy.
Tottenham Hotspur has confirmed details of the injury suffered by Harry Kane, revealing that the striker has suffered ligament damage.
Manchester City crashed out of the Champions League on away goals after a 3-1 defeat (6-6 on aggregate) to Monaco in their last-16 second leg on Wednesday.
Fabinho is confident they can come from behind to eliminate Manchester City from the Champions League
Leicester City reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history with a dramatic 2-0 victory over Sevilla.