Manchester Spurs continued on their merry clip in Netball Jamaica’s Berger Elite League Wednesday night, brushing aside St. James Sharpes 52-38 for their sixth consecutive victory.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association Pat Butcher expressed satisfaction at the Calypso Girls maintaining their ranking in the International Netball Federation rankings released on Thursday but said their focus is solely on doing well at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool next summer.

Trinidad and Tobago's 2008 men's 4x100m relay team have been officially awarded gold medals by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The team of Richard Thompson, Marc Burns, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callender and Aaron Armstrong were awarded the gold after the Jamaican relay team’s members, including Usain Bolt, were stripped of their medals when Nesta Carter was found guilty last year of using a banned substance.

The Trinidad and Tobago team had finished behind the Jamaicans inside Beijing’s Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, said he received a letter from the IOC around 5.15 pm on Friday, went through it with staff then contacted the athletes to let them know.

He said the athletes have until January 7 to return their silver medals as part of the process.

He said the athletes have four choices regarding the re-allocation ceremony. They can opt to receive them at the next Olympic Games, at the Olympic Museum, the World Champs or the TTOC's annual awards on December 29.

Lewis said he is pushing for the team to receive a medal bonus which could hopefully be presented at the awards. The medal bonus programme was introduced when he became TTOC president.

"I will take a proposal to the committee that even though there was no medal bonus programme in place in 2008 or 2012 that the five athletes receive medal bonus as per the current medal bonus used for 2016 Olympics," he said.

The bonus for the relay team’s gold medal from the Rio Olympics was US$20,000 to be shared, he said.

The next executive meeting is on December 12.

Lewis said he is happy for the team but as President of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (Canoc), he is conflicted.

"Those athletes, in particular, have served Trinidad and Tobago with dignity, patriotism, pride and an indomitable will throughout their careers But as I said with my Canoc hat on I feel a bit of empathy for the great man and our Jamaican brothers and sisters. Usain Bolt has conducted himself with class in this difficult situation," he said.

Lewis said the team has now joined the ranks of  Olympic gold medallists Hasely Crawford and Keshorn Walcott.

In 2016, the 4x100 relay team that placed third in the London Olympics in 2012 were upgraded to silver after American sprinter Tyson Gay received a one-year ban for testing positive for anabolic steroids.

Jamaica’s Senior Netball team, the Sunshine Girls, are now the third best team in the world based on the latest rankings released on Thursday.

Former Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli has agreed to become head coach of Campeonato Brasileiro giants Santos.

No other details have been confirmed at this stage, aside from the fact Sampaoli has accepted a proposal to lead Santos in the 2019 season.

A contract is set to be signed this weekend, when the final terms of the 58-year-old's first post since leading Argentina at the 2018 World Cup will be finalised.

Sampaoli masterminded Chile's 2015 Copa America triumph, leading to links with Premier League club Chelsea.

He took charge at Sevilla and an impressive 2015-16 in LaLiga led to his appointment to lead his country.

A Lionel Messi hat-trick in the final CONMEBOL qualifier against Ecuador ended Argentina's fears that they would fail to qualify for the World Cup, but Sampaoli presided over a below-par campaign in Russia that ended with a 4-3 defeat to eventual winners in the last 16.

Santos will be Sampaoli's first club job in South America since he led Universidad de Chile to three League titles between 2010 and 2012, along with the Copa Sudamericana in 2011.

Reports last month linked Sampaoli with a return to the Chile post, along with the role vacated by his Argentina predecessor Gerardo Martino at MLS Cup winners Atlanta United.

In 2018, Santos finished the Serie A season in 10th place, meaning they missed out on place in the Copa Libertadores and will compete in the Sudamericana next season.

Football Association (FA) chief executive Martin Glenn will step down from his position at the end of the 2018-19 season.

In a statement released by the organisation, Glenn was praised for having "delivered much of what he came to do" and leaving "strong foundations for his successor".

Glenn was appointed to the role in 2015 and his first major tournament with the FA ended in ignominy, as England were knocked out Euro 2016 by Iceland at the last-16 stage.

Manager Roy Hodgson resigned and Glenn's tenure was further hit by Sam Allardyce's embarrassingly truncated spell as Hodgson's successor.

But England regrouped under Gareth Southgate and enjoyed a superb run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

Glenn also oversaw the re-organisation of the domestic fixture schedule that will see English football implement a mid-season break from next season.

"When I accepted the role of CEO at the FA, I was tasked with improving the effectiveness of the organisation and making it financially secure," Glenn said.

"I also joined with the strong belief that the England team's performance in tournaments could and should improve, and that the experience of the millions of people who play football could be a better one.

"I will leave feeling proud of the success of the performance of all the England teams. I am confident that we have established, in St George's Park, a world-class centre which will ensure that the teams will continue to build on their current successes.

"I hope that the FA will be able to build on this by accelerating the breakthrough of English qualified players into the first teams."

 

England's age-group teams have entered a dominant period during Glenn's time in charge, with the Under-17 and Under-20 sides both becoming World Cup winners in 2017.

It has also been a spell of success for the England women's team, who achieved a best-ever finish of third at the 2015 World Cup and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2017.

The manager who oversaw those campaigns, Mark Sampson, was subsequently sacked after evidence of "inappropriate and unacceptable" behaviour with female players during his time at Bristol Academy.

Sampson was also found to have made racially discriminatory remarks towards England players Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence. The FA apologised to Aluko and Spence but a Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport select committee inquiry invited further scrutiny upon Glenn and his organisation.

He denied allegations that he tried to "blackmail" Aluko into making a statement to say the FA is not institutionally racist.

In the press release announcing Glenn's departure, the FA said: "Under his leadership, our culture has changed. He has recruited a new team which has helped make us a more progressive, effective and diverse organisation. Now, 34 per cent of our staff are female and 12 per cent from a BAME background.

"Martin has also been unrelenting in his commitment to women's football, with a record expenditure into all areas of women's football. We are well on track to deliver our commitment to double participation in the game by 2020.

"In his three-and-a-half years at the helm, Glenn has overseen a 40 per cent increase in revenue but he saw a proposed £600million bid to buy Wembley from Shahid Khan collapse when the billionaire Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham owner pulled out.

FA chairman Greg Clarke praised Glenn, saying: "His integrity, commitment, energy and passion for football has underpinned the improvements on and off the pitch.

"The resulting commercial success has funded hugely significant change in the women's game, St George's Park, the FA Cup and the national teams.

"Martin leaves as his legacy an organisation that is fit for purpose, more diverse, internationally respected and ready to progress to the next level."

 

Phillip Cocu said he "fell in love with Istanbul" in a farewell message to Fenerbahce supporters after the club announced a "mutual agreement" had been struck regarding his October dismissal for plunging the Turkish giants into a relegation battle.

Cocu was relieved of his duties as first-team coach at the end of October following a 3-1 home defeat by Ankaragucu, just four months after being hired.

The former PSV coach won just three of his 15 competitive matches in charge, and things have barely improved since under his assistant Erwin Koeman, with Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Akhisarspor leaving Fener second from bottom in the Super Lig.

Despite being dismissed in October, the club and Cocu only recently came to an agreement over the termination of his contract, which was officially announced on Thursday.

Cocu took to his official Instagram account shortly after the club released a statement, accepting he was unable to meet expectations "with the resources available".

"The club and myself have reached a mutual agreement today [Thursday]," Cocu wrote. "I would like to express my appreciation for the trust of the fans, players, club and Mr. Ali Koç [Fener president] put in me.

"Unfortunately, we could not bring the club, with the resources available, to the position where it belongs. Even though our time at Fenerbahce was short, we fell in love with Istanbul and the club. I wish the club and fans all the best."

Two of the women responsible for getting Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz to a historic World Cup berth, are calling out equipment brands for not paying enough attention to the sex of athletes.

According to defender Allyson Swaby, men’s gear can, at times, be comfortable.

"It can definitely be frustrating wearing men's-fit clothing," she said. "Likewise, it can be frustrating wearing 'women's' gear that is built for the average shaped women but not an athlete. No one wants to be constantly adjusting their attire during training or competition."

Research showed that Claire Rafferty, an English footballer, who suffered through cruciate ligament injuries, could have eased those troubles had her footwear contoured to her feet.

According to goalkeeper Chris-Ann Chambers, she has become accustomed to wearing ill-fitting gear because there are no real options.

"It would be great if there was equipment specifically made for us because our bodies are shaped differently, and weight distribution is different," said Chambers.

"Having equipment that's specifically made for females definitely improves the quality of play because you feel more comfortable playing,” she added.

According to the goalkeeper, if there are gears made for women, she doesn’t know about it and that poses a million problems.

"Most of the gear that we get are from the men's line. There's none specifically made for females, that I know of, anyway,” she said.

“They may just change the name on it to say Reggae Girlz, but the ones I know are made for men. For instance, a lot of men's calves are bigger, so for us, we have to be finding ways and means to keep our shin guards in place. They are sometimes a lot bigger, so if you want shin guards for us, you'd probably have to go down to children's sizes. My gloves don't always fit perfectly because they're men sizes. A lot of times we can't find half sizes, especially in Jamaica."

Jamaica’s All-Island high school champions, Clarendon College, were lauded in Parliament on Tuesday.

The president of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) has been provisionally suspended from all football-related activities by FIFA.

Keramuudin Karim has been banned for at least 90 days by the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, the sanction coming amid allegations of sexual and physical abuse of the Afghanistan women's national team by AFF staff.

Mr Karim and five members of the AFF have already been suspended by the country's attorney general following the accusations.

A FIFA statement read: "The investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has provisionally banned Mr Keramuudin Karim, president of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF), in accordance with article 84 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, from all football-related activities at both national and international level.

"This provisional measure expires 90 days after its notification and may be extended pending proceedings on the merits of the case.

"This sanction has been imposed in connection with ongoing investigations concerning AFF officials, as reported by local authorities and published by some media.

"Mr Karim was notified of the decision today [Wednesday]. The provisional sanction comes into force immediately."

 

Defending champions Kingston Hummingbirds will be looking to give their bench players some game time but will be hunting another win when they take on the St. Catherine Racers on Wednesday night.

FC Cincinnati made a busy start to life in MLS on Tuesday as they completed the Expansion Draft and traded for United States international Greg Garza.

After only three matches for the Jozi Stars in South Africa’s Mzansi Super League, Chris Gayle is returning home to Jamaica to attend his mother’s funeral.

Shai Hope's superb century gave West Indies their first win of their tour to Bangladesh, levelling the ODI series at 1-1 in the process.

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