17 Jun 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

10:03 am on 17 June 2021

Latest - Italy have qualified for the last 16 at the European football Championship after beating Switzerland 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Manuel Locatelli of Italy

Manuel Locatelli Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Manuel Locatelli bagged a brace of goals for the first time in his career.

Ciro Immobile added a late third to secure back-to-back 3-0 wins for Italy in the tournament, which extends their unbeaten run to 29 games, the last 10 of which have been victories where they have scored 31 goals and conceded none.

Italy lead Group A with six points after two rounds of matches and are ahead of Wales (four), Switzerland (one) and Turkey (zero). They can seal top spot with a draw in their final pool game against Wales on Sunday.

Wales beat Turkey 2-0 earlier today.

In Group B, Russia revived their hopes of reaching the knockout stages with an unimpressive 1-0 win over Finland.


Pogba removes beer

France midfielder Paul Pogba removed a bottle of Heineken beer that had been placed in front of him at a Euro 2020 media conference, a day after Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo moved aside Coca-Cola bottles in a similar set-up.

Paul Pogba of France.


Pogba, a practising Muslim, removed the bottle when he sat down to speak to the media after he was named 'Man of the Match' in France's 1-0 Group F win over Germany.

Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coca-Cola at a news conference and held up a bottle of water shouting "Agua" in Portuguese.

It is understood Uefa does not see the players' actions as an issue, despite the incidents involving two of their high-profile sponsors.

Ronaldo's exploits reportedly coincided with the market value of the American drinks giant dropping by $6bn on Tuesday.

"Everyone is entitled to their drink preferences," said Coca-Cola in a short statement, adding that each individual has different "tastes and needs".


Williams and Murray get Wimbledon wildcards

Former champions Venus Williams and Andy Murray were named in Wimbledon's initial list of wildcards for this month's grasscourt Grand Slam.

Andy Murray 2019


American Williams, who will turn 41 this week, has won five out of her seven Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon but has slipped to 103rd in the women's world rankings.

She has not made it past the opening round at any tournament since reaching the second round of the Australian Open in February.

Britain's Murray won Wimbledon titles in 2013 and 2016 but is currently ranked 124th having endured a spate of injuries in the past few years.

Murray underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January 2019 and his comeback has also been complicated by niggling injuries which have limited his participation in tournaments.

Meanwhile prize money for this year's Wimbledon will be a little over $69 million, a 5.2% reduction from 2019 when the grasscourt Grand Slam was last held.

The singles champions will bear the maximum hit to their earnings and will pocket $3.4 million, down from the 2.35 million they were paid in 2019.


Fed beaten in Germany

Roger Federer's bid for an 11th title on the Halle grass was cut short by 20-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime as he fell away after a fine start to lose 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Roger Federer at the 2020 Australian Open.


The 39-year-old impressed on his return to competitive action on grass for the first time since 2019 on Monday when he beat qualifier Ilya Ivashka in straight sets.

But Auger-Aliassime was a step up for the fifth-seeded Swiss who was far from his best in an error-strewn display.

It was the first time in 18 appearances that Federer has failed to reach the quarter-finals in Halle.

Federer has played only three tournaments this year as he comes back from knee surgery and withdrew from the French Open after reaching the fourth round to focus on Wimbledon.


Ocon re-signs with Alpine

French driver Esteban Ocon will stay with Alpine until 2024, the Renault-owned Formula One team has announced ahead of his home grand prix at Le Castellet.

The announcement rules out Ocon as a potential Mercedes driver, with the reigning world champions having him under contract as a youngster and reserve before his move to the French team.

Ocon finished second in Bahrain's Sakhir Grand Prix last year, his best result to date and first Formula One podium appearance.

His current team mate is Spain's two-times world champion Fernando Alonso, who began his comeback this season on a two-year deal.


City to open up against Spurs

Manchester City will begin their Premier League title defence on Aug. 14 when they travel to Tottenham Hotspur.

Pep Guardiola celebrates with Manchester City players.


Manchester United host Leeds United on the opening day while Liverpool play away to newly-promoted Norwich City in their opener.

Chelsea, who won the Champions League last season, begin their season at home to Crystal Palace before trips to Arsenal and Liverpool.

Arsenal kick off their campaign at Brentford, who will play in the top flight of English football for the first time in 74 years.

Watford, returning to the Premier League after a year-long absence, host Aston Villa in their first game.