26 Nov 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:14 am on 26 November 2020

English football champions Liverpool have missed a chance to secure qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League following a 2-0 loss to Italian club Atalanta at Anfield.

A dejected Mohamed Salah of Liverpool watches on.


Liverpool are on nine points with Ajax and Atalanta on seven with two rounds of group games remaining.

Liverpool will still qualify with a draw against Ajax next week.

Manchester City progressed to the next round after a 1-0 win over Greek side Olympiakos.

Champions Bayern Munich kept their perfect record with a 3-1 win over Salzburg.

Robert Lewandowski scored for Bayern to go level with Raul as the Champions League third-highest goalscorer, behind Ronaldo Cristiano and Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid beat Inter Milan 2-0 to leave the Italian giants still searching for their first win in the competition.

Williamson and Bates up for awards

Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson and White Ferns batter Suzie Bates have both been shortlisted for the ICC male and female cricketer of the decade awards.

Suzie Bates top scored for the White Ferns.

Suzie Bates top scored for the White Ferns. Photo: Photosport

Williamson is in contention for the Sir Garfield Sobers Award along with Australian Steve Smith, India pair Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli, England captain Joe Root, AB De Villiers of South Africa and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara.

Bates' fellow finalists in the women's category for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award are Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry of Australia, England's Sarah Taylor, Stafanie Taylor of the West Indies and India's Mithali Raj.

Williamson is also up for men's Test cricketer of the decade and Bates women's ODI cricketer of the decade, while current White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine is a finalist for women's T20 cricketer of the decade.

Williamson, Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum are finalists in the Spirit of Cricket Award which covers an action, moment, gesture, or decision on the field of play in international cricket during the performance period which best reflects the Spirit of Cricket:

A fan vote, which runs for the next month, will make up 10 per of the voting, with votes from an expert panel contributing 90 per cent.

The awards recognise the best overall performers across all formats of international cricket between January 1, 2011 and October 7, 2020.


Devine's Scotchers beaten

White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine's Perth Scorchers have been well beaten in the semi-finals of the women's Big Bash cricket league in Australia.

Sophie Devine of the Perth Scorchers.


The Scorchers have lost to top qualifiers the Melbourne Stars by seven wickets.

After being asked to bat first the Scorchers managed just 125 for eight in their 10 overs, with opener Devine making just 12.

The Stars then reached their target with 22 balls to spare with English allrounder Nat Sciver scoring an unbeaten 47.

The Stars, who had previously never finished a season higher than fifth and were last years wooden spooners, will take on the winner of tonight's semi-final between two-time defending champions Brisbane Heat and the Sydney Thunder in the final.

Lewandowski leads FIFA shortlist

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and coach Hans-Dieter Flick have been named on the shortlist for 'The Best FIFA Football Awards' after their treble-winning campaign last season.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich.


Lewandowski, top scorer for Bayern in the Champions League (15 goals) and Bundesliga (34), was a firm favourite for the Ballon d'Or award before it was scrapped this year for the first time in its 64-year history because of the novel coronavirus.

However, the Polish striker can still lay claim to being the best player in the world if he picks up the FIFA award, which will be presented on Dec. 17.

Lewandowski's former team mate and current Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara was also nominated along with annual regulars - Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Joining them on the shortlist are Champions League runners-up Paris St Germain's forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe while Liverpool's Premier League winning trio of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane also made the cut.

Flick, who took charge in November last year, was nominated for the best men's coach along with Liverpool's Juergen Klopp, Leeds United's Marcelo Bielsa, Real's Zinedine Zidane and Sevilla's Europa League-winning coach Julen Lopetegui.

Among the women's best player nominees are European and French champions Olympique Lyonnais' captain Wendie Renard and former team mate Lucy Bronze, who moved to Manchester City.

Arsenal's free-scoring Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema also made the shortlist along with Sam Kerr who won the FA Women's Super League last season with Chelsea.


Proteas explain why they won't take a knee

South Africa say their decision not to take a knee before matches in the upcoming cricket series against England has been taken "unanimously" as a team.

The Proteas will wear black armbands as part of a period of national mourning for victims of gender-based violence and the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our decision does not indicate we do not care about racism, racial equality, or justice," said a statement.

"Now, more than ever, we are committed to this work."

The first of three Twenty20 internationals is on Friday, with a three-match one-day international series following in December.

The Proteas statement continued: "As a team, we have unanimously chosen not to take the knee at the upcoming matches, but to continue to work together in our personal, team and public spaces to dismantle racism.


PFA boss stands down

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) which represents players in England and Wales, will step down by the end of the season after nearly 40 years in charge.

The 75-year-old had said after the PFA's annual general meeting in March last year that he would step down after the completion of a review of the organisation's governance.

Taylor has faced criticism over his salary level, and more than 200 former and current players signed a letter in November 2018 calling for him to stand down and urging the modernisation of the PFA.

More recently, the PFA has faced renewed criticism over a perceived lack of support for former players with dementia.


Romanian weightlifters stripped of Olympic medals

The International Olympic Committee has stripped two Romanian weightlifting athletes of their medals from the 2012 Olympic Games and disqualified a third over the use of anabolic steroids.

Roxana Cocos, who won silver in the women's 69kg category and team mate Razvan Martin, a bronze medallist in the men's category of the same weight tested positive for stanozolol among other substances in re-tests of samples ordered by the IOC.

A third Romanian weightlifter, Gabriel Sincraian, who did not finish in the men's 85kg weightlifting event at London 2012, was also disqualified after his test came back positive for the same substances.

The IOC stores and regularly orders re-tests of hundreds of samples from past Olympics in an effort to root out cheats, by using new testing methods not available at the time, or looking for substances that were not known then.

The positive tests are further bad news for the troubled IWF which the IOC has said is at risk of losing its Olympic spot at the 2024 Games in Paris unless it overhauls the federation's doping programme and its governance.