Sports shorts: Verstappen wins Austrian GP, Rafa Benitez slams Mike Ashley


1. Verstappen wins in Austria… eventually

Max Verstappen produced a brilliant drive to win the Austrian Grand Prix, but was forced to wait several hours before his victory was confirmed as stewards investigated the Red Bull driver’s overtake of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on lap 69 of 71. “F1 has come in for much criticism in the past week after a boring race in France last weekend. Yesterday’s was anything but, with some fantastic wheel-to-wheel racing,” says The Times. “However, that criticism will only continue as the stewards announced the result of their investigation into Verstappen’s move three hours after the race had ended, in what had become a farcical situation.”

2. Spy row ahead of England vs. US

An “extraordinary ‘spygate’ row” has broken out at the Women’s World Cup ahead of England’s semi-final clash with the US on Tuesday. The Guardian reports that “undercover US team officials were caught wandering into private rooms at England’s hotel while Phil Neville’s side were out training” and says “the Football Association is furious over the incident”. Neville said it would not affect his team but added: “It is not etiquette. It’s not something I would allow from our organisation.”

3. New balls please… Wimbledon underway

Wimbledon gets underway today, with former champion Andy Murray returning to SW19 as a doubles player as he resurrects his career after hip surgery. British hopes in the singles resting on the shoulders of Johanna Konta and Kyle Edmund. “Konta is considered the Briton with the best shot of going far in the singles, having reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017 and coming into the tournament on the back of a shock run to the Roland Garros last four,.  says the BBC. “Edmund, who replaced Murray as the British number one last year, is the only home man to be seeded, but the 30th seed has struggled for form and fitness in recent months.”

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4. Yankees conquer London

The New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 12-8 at the London Stadium to complete a sweep of the first Major League Baseball series to be played in Europe. They won Saturday’s extraordinary encounter 17-13 and followed it up with another win, scoring nine runs in the seventh inning after trailing for much of the match. “The experience was great,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “The guys relished it, I felt they were really excited to get here and they embraced the whole thing. It felt big, it felt important, and to get out of here with two wins from some crazy games with a lot of offense, we’re really excited about that.”

5. Benitez slams Newcastle owner Ashley

Former Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has torn into his former employers in an “explosive letter to fans”, reports the Daily Mail. In it the Spaniard said he walked out on owner Mike Ashley because “it became increasingly clear that those at the top did not share my vision”.

6. Chelsea ponder Lampard alternatives

Frank Lampard is not the only candidate to become manager of Chelsea, says Petr Cech, the club’s new technical and performance adviser. The former Blues goalkeeper, one of Lampard’s old Stamford Bridge team mates, said he had spoken about a number of candidates with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia  and owner Roman Abramovich, reports The Times.  

7. Man City unveil ‘Madchester’ kit

Manchester City’s new away shirt takes inspiration from the city’s iconic Hacienda nightclub, the home of the ‘Madchester’ music scene. Puma has taken over from Nike as the club’s kit suppliers in a £650m deal and the black away strip features yellow stripes on the right shoulder – a reference to the nightclub’s ‘graphic identity’. “Both kits feature City’s 125th anniversary crest, with the home shirt including a wave pattern as a visual representation of the looms that were key to the industrial revolution,” says the Daily Mail.

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8. Durant signs for Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have signed NBA superstar Kevin Durant in a deal worth $164m – even though the 30-year-old is expected to miss all of next season through injury. Two other All-Stars – Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan – are likely to join him as the New York-based side establish themselves as NBA contenders.

9. Madagascar stun Nigeria 

The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar produced the shock of the Africa Cup of Nations as they beat three-time winners Nigeria 2-0 on Sunday. The team, ranked 108 in the world, has finished top of Group B but must wait to find out who they meet in the next round. “Madagascar are making a real name for themselves at this tournament and they’re clearly not here to make up the numbers; their football at times was a joy to watch,” says the BBC.

10. Probe into cricket violence

An investigation into fan violence during Saturday’s Cricket World Cup match between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Headingley has been launched by the International Cricket Council and West Yorkshire police. There were several arrests as Afghanistan narrowly lost to Pakistan. “There is a history of political tension between the nations, with issues about their shared border,” reports The Times. “The violence appeared to be triggered by a plane flying over Headingley, towing a banner saying ‘Justice for Balochistan’, referencing a region in southwest Pakistan that is battling for independence, with the support of Afghanistan.”



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