Potter Pieters hails prolific partnership with Arnautovic

Potter Pieters hails prolific partnership with Arnautovic

Stoke City left back Erik Pieters has highlighted the impact of his growing understanding with Mark…
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BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in meltdown as Olympic champion Greg Rutherford …

Greg Rutherford and Tyson Fury have become embroiled in an explosive public row after the long jump champion told the BBC that he did not want to share a stage with the controversial boxer at next week’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards. Offended by Fury’s homophobic and sexist remarks, made during an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Olympic when he even equated homosexuality with paedophilia, Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth gold medallist Rutherford revealed he had to be persuaded by BBC bosses to remain on their 12-strong shortlist for the prestigious award. ‘I have opinions, of which I was privately clear,’ Rutherford posted on Twitter. ‘I DID pull out of SPOTY, on Sunday I wrote to the BBC requesting removal. ‘Throughout the next 2 days the SPOTY team asked me to stay on. Also, I realised my nomination meant so much to my family.’  Scroll down for video  Rutherford’s comments led to led to an astonishing exchange on Twitter with the new world heavyweight champion and it is sure to concern the BBC when the two are still scheduled to attend the live, televised event in Belfast on Sunday December 20. Fury tweeted: ‘All this talk of@GregRutherford_ who is he exactly?????’ Rutherford said: ‘I’m mega keen to meet Tyson Fury’s riveting, personality-filled little toe.’ As Sportsmail reported, Rutherford admitted he originally wrote to the BBC asking to be taken off the SPOTY shortlist. Shortly after 3pm he then released a statement stating that he strongly disagreed with the ‘outdated and derogatory comments from a fellow Spoty nominee’ and was concerned about ‘sharing a stage with somebody that had views that are so strongly against my own’. But he then attempted to play down the earlier reports, stating: ‘I wanted to speak with the BBC about sharing a stage with somebody that had views that are so strongly against my own. After doing so, I can confirm that reports that I am withdrawing from the ceremony are not true. ‘The BBC have been hugely supportive in hearing my own views and I am hugely honoured and privileged to be included on the shortlist for such a prestigious event alongside so many remarkable sporting personalities, the majority of whom I will proudly say to my son I had the chance to meet.’ Less than 90 minutes later, however, and Rutherford clarified his position with a series of Tweets, with his wife Susie having already suggested his ‘hands were tied’. ‘At least he’s not a lumbering chelm in boxing gloves,’ she added on Twitter.  Explaining his decision to still appear on the show, Rutherford tweeted: ‘I then asked myself, do I really want to disappoint my own family just because of a bigot’s views? The answer was no. ‘Next thing I know, someone leaks my withdrawal request and the private decision I’ve made suddenly changes to something much bigger. ‘So, I will still attend Spoty, to make my family proud and to thank them for the support in my career, and that’s what I plan to do.’ The situation has sent the BBC into meltdown, with bosses already concerned about the live interview Fury will have to give during the show as one of the 12 nominees. Clare Balding will be among the three main BBC presenters and she is gay. The BBC director general, Tony Hall, is expected to be questioned about Fury’s nomination by the culture, media and sport select committee next Wednesday with a petition to have Fury removed from the SPOTY shortlist already attracted more than 125,000 signatures.  In a previous statement the BBC said: ‘Tyson Fury’s victory and subsequent crowning as world heavyweight champion was widely covered by media outlets and his inclusion on the shortlist is similarly recognition of his sporting achievement – it is not about endorsing his personal views. It will be for the public to decide who will be crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015.’ Earlier, the Sports Journalists’ Association made their own stance on Fury, withdrawing an invitation for him to attend the British Sports Awards in London next week because of a physical threat he made to Mail on Sunday chief sports writer Oliver Holt. The SJA said: ‘The officers of the SJA took the decision reluctantly, since the British Sports Awards seek to recognise the year’s great sporting achievements, which include Fury’s heavyweight world title win. ‘But the decision was made as a consequence of threats made by Fury against at least one sports journalist, an SJA member, who has written about the boxer’s repugnant comments on homosexuality and women.’ Speaking to the online boxing channel IFL TV, Fury said: ‘See big Shane there, 6ft 6in and 25 stone, he’s going to break his jaw with one straight right hand. Oliver, take a good look at him because that’s the face you’re going to see before you hit the deck.’  Sportsmail responded last week by publishing Holt’s audio recording of the Fury interview along with the entire transcript of their meeting.   On Wednesday morning, Fury tweeted: ‘The end is near repent of your sins, Remember what the bible says,!’ [sic] along with a meme. The image which depicts his celebration after beating Wladimir Klitschko reads: ‘Take my belts sign your petitions but you will never take this night from me #history #andthenew.’ To add to the BBC’s problems, Fury has also appeared in an online video in which he says fellow SPOTY nominee Jessica Ennis-Hill ‘slaps up good’. The new world heavyweight champion is shown in footage on YouTube giving his views on women and says: ‘A woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back, that’s my personal belief.’  A further twist to the saga involves one of the BBC’s own employees. BBC Northern Ireland reporter Andy West has been ‘reprimanded with action’ after lashing out at the organisation’s inclusion of Fury on their shortlist. According to the Belfast Telegraph, he wrote on his Facebook: ‘My employer is hurting me and other gay people by celebrating someone who considers me no better than a paedophile and who believes homosexual people are helping to bring about the end of the world. ‘It’s tempting to see him for the laughable idiot he is but sadly there are many other idiots who will be inspired and encourage by his naive, juvenile bigotry. I am ashamed to work for the BBC when it lacks bravery to admit it is making a mistake. ‘I criticise the BBC for offering him as an idol to be celebrated and admired not just for his sporting achievements but also his “personality”.’  A BBC source told BuzzFeed News that as a result of his comments West was ‘reprimanded by a manager, told an investigation would be launched into his conduct and warned he could be suspended.’ West also reportedly sent an email to director general Hall. Leaked to BuzzFeed it reads: ‘I appeal to you as an equal opportunities employer and proud bastion of fair-thinking to consider whether it is appropriate to celebrate someone who has stated that gay people are sign of a coming Armageddon and equates homosexuals to paedophiles.’ ‘Can it be that my own employer is happy to suggest that this individual is an example for us to follow?’ A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We do not routinely comment on individual staff matters.’  Meanwhile, promoter Kellie Maloney has called for world boxing authorities to take collective action against Fury over his comments. The promoter told BBC Breakfast that Fury’s achievement in the ring was ‘fantastic’ but his comments outside it ‘leave a lot to be desired’. She said: ‘I believe the (British Boxing) Board of Control are having a hearing today. They will discuss it and he will be called up in front of the board but what can they do to him? They can fine him. It means all the world governing bodies should take some action against him. ‘I think his comments will harm him to get endorsements. I don’t think you will see the likes of adidas, Nike or any of the blue-chip companies wanting to endorse Tyson Fury. I think he has made a terrible mistake and his management team should have realised this because they know what he is like.’ Maloney’s comments come after Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed they were investigating hate crime allegations against the boxer. Fury said in an interview with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 this week: ‘Homosexuality, abortion and paedophilia – them three things need to be accomplished before the world finishes. That’s what the Bible tells me.’ After that clip was played on Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC Two show, a spokeswoman for GMP said: ‘At 10:30am (on Tuesday) we received a report of a hate crime following comments made about homosexuality on the Victoria Derbyshire programme. ‘As with all allegations of hate crime we are taking the matter extremely seriously and will be attending the victim’s address to take a statement in due course.’  The footage has a publication date of November 25 and, when asked his opinion on women in boxing, Fury focused on the ring girls rather than athletes. ‘I like them actually, they give me inspiration, when I’m tired and I see them wiggling around with their round two, round eight… I think women in boxing is very good,’ he said. ‘But I believe a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back, that’s my personal belief. Making me a good cup of tea, that’s what I believe.’ The panel who selected the dozen candidates includes the director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater, former England international Jermaine Jenas, presenter Hazel Irvine and journalists from the Times, Guardian and Sun. The BBC said although the corporation did not endorse his views, he would not be dropped. A BBC spokesman told Sportsmail: ‘Tyson Fury’s victory and subsequent crowning as world heavy weight champion was widely covered by media outlets and his inclusion on the shortlist is similarly recognition of his sporting achievement – it is not about endorsing his personal views. ‘It will be for the public to decide who will be crowned Sports Personality of the Year 2015.’
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Ex CONMEBOL official surrenders to Argentine police in FIFA probe – media

BUENOS AIRES A former top official inside South America’s football confederation, Jose Luis Meiszne…
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