Can women save sumo? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

11-12-2018 The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never before Continue reading...

Rugby league should never forget the power of free-to-air TV

11-12-2018 If the sport wants a mainstream audience, it has to prioritise its relationship with the BBC and coverage of the England teamBy Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredDoes rugby league take the BBC for granted? And are the RFL flogging a dead horse with the Challenge Cup? I left Parliament mulling over those questions after seeing a fascinating presentation by three of BBC Sport’s leading figures last week.The Beeb showed 57 hours of league this year and broadcast 50 live commentaries on national radio. They account for 78% of all rugby league viewing on TV, with over seven million people watching more than 15 minutes of rugby league on BBC this year compared to two million on Sky. They are essential to the game retaining its status in the mainstream media. Continue reading...

Johnny Sexton: Ireland and Leinster fly-half signs new IRFU contract

11-12-2018 Lions fly-half Johnny Sexton signs a new deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union and will play for Ireland and Leinster until 2021.

Deontay Wilder: Anthony Joshua's team are 'begging' for fight, says WBC champion

11-12-2018 Anthony Joshua's team are "begging" for a world heavyweight unification bout, says WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

Jimmy Gressier retains Euro U-23 Cross Country title but faceplants on finish line – video

11-12-2018 Jimmy Gressier successfully defended his men’s under-23 European Cross Country title in the Netherlands on Sunday, but the runner’s failed celebration are likely what will be remembered best. Continue reading...

Pep Guardiola: Man City boss says 'racism is everywhere'

11-12-2018 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says "racism is everywhere" following the alleged racial abuse of his forward Raheem Sterling.

Klopp hails 'exceptional' Salah as Liverpool brush Bournemouth aside – video

11-12-2018 Jürgen Klopp heaped praise on Mohamed Salah after the Egyptian's second hat-trick for Liverpool powered his team to victory over Bournemouth. The 4-0 win extended Liverpool's unbeaten streak to 17 league games, equalling the club's all-time record. Klopp insisted that all credit for Liverpool's 'massive' Premier League form should go to his players. Continue reading...

Yaya Touré ends second spell with Olympiakos after three months

11-12-2018 • Touré leaves by mutual consent having made five appearances• ‘Yaya is leaving as a friend ... our paths will surely cross again’Yaya Touré has parted company with Olympiakos three months after rejoining the Greek club. The 35-year-old made five appearances during his second spell, the last of which was on 8 November.Touré left Manchester City at the end of last season but failed to make an impact at Olympiakos with whom he won the domestic double in the 2005-06 season. Continue reading...

NFL: Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson gets play very wrong against Minnesota Vikings

11-12-2018 Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson endures a nightmare play against the Minnesota Vikings, but did eventually recover to lead his team to a 21-7 win on Monday night.

World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

11-12-2018 A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

Mourinho praises Manchester United's improved attitude with Pogba on bench again – video

11-12-2018 José Mourinho praised his team’s effort after Manchester United thrashed Fulham 4-1 at Old Trafford. The result ended United’s run of four games without a win and Mourinho said the convincing nature of their victory should earn the ‘respect’ of fans.He confirmed that Paul Pogba, an unused substitute against Fulham, will return to the starting lineup against Valencia next week, adding that the game would be a chance for the France midfielder to ‘show everyone how good he is’.Marcus Rashford seals comfortable win for Manchester United over Fulham Continue reading...

Sam Twiston-Davies not Harry Cobden to ride Politologue in King George

11-12-2018 • Harry Cobden aboard Clan Des Obeaux on Boxing Day• Quality of Kempton fences discussed by leading trainersSam Twiston-Davies will keep the ride on Politologue when the grey lines up for the King George VI Chase in a fortnight’s time to the surprise of anyone who assumed Harry Cobden would be back aboard.Cobden has been principal jockey to the horse’s trainer, Paul Nicholls, since Twiston-Davies gave up that job to go freelance in May but he will ride the stable’s Clan Des Obeaux, who is much less fancied in the betting. Continue reading...

The Spin | Big Bash’s flipping bats recall stories of cunning ploys with tossed coins

11-12-2018 When you look closely at the ritual, it begins to seem odd that cricket lets blind luck and ‘dynamical bias’ play such a large partWhen he was 14, Persi Diaconis packed a fresh deck of cards and a spare pair of socks into a knapsack and ran away from home to become a magician’s assistant. He spent the next few years as an apprentice with Dai Vernon, whose sleight of hand was so smart, so sharp, he even beat Harry Houdini, who famously claimed he could pick any magic trick on the third go, until Vernon fooled him seven times in a row.They used to call Vernon “the Professor”, and now they do Diaconis, too. Because that is what he is. The Mary V Sunseri professor of statistics and mathematics, to be exact, at Stanford, where he has been continuing his lifelong study of chance and probability. Continue reading...

Hockey World Cup: England 2-0 New Zealand - highlights

11-12-2018 England beat New Zealand 2-0 with goals from Will Calnan and Luke Taylor, to set up a quarter-final against Olympic champions Argentina on Wednesday.

Boca Juniors v River Plate: the fiercest rivalry in football – video explainer

11-12-2018 The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate will be played at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu stadium on 9 December. The derby, referred to as the Superclásico, is renowned for the animosity between the two Argentinian sides. The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw at La Bombonera, the home of Boca, but the second leg at El Monumental was postponed after the Boca team bus was attacked before the matchPostponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Bernabéu in Madrid Continue reading...