The IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 could potentially be the biggest world championship in the 15 editions of the event, which started in 1983 and ranks among the world’s leading sports events.With one week to go, final entries indicate that 207 IAAF member federations will send representatives to the Chinese capital for the most important sporting event of the year.The previous highest number of participating federations was 203, at the last championships in Moscow two years ago.No less than 1,936 athletes (1043 men and 893 women) have been entered.SLIGHTLY LESS NUMBERSAlthough the number of athletes that will finally participate in Beijing will be slightly less, as is normal, this figure still compares favourably with the current highest total of 1895 who competed at the 2009 championships in Berlin.The numbers have been boosted by the IAAF’s innovative system introduced ahead of these championships of inviting athletes who had not already been entered by the deadline of midnight (Central European Time) Monday, August 10, on the basis of them being among the best ranked in their event (apart from in long distance and walking disciplines) in order to bring an event up to an optimum number of competitors as established by the IAAF.The IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015, is expected to set the standard for the sport’s future championships, with the world’s best athletes going through their paces in the same magnificent Bird’s Nest stadium that was the centrepiece for the 2008 Olympic Games.As already announced, the Bird’s Nest stadium will be full for all the evening sessions across the nine days with an audience of 50,000 spectators.- IAAF
Martin O’Neill 1 Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has named a provisional 39-man squad for the Euro 2016 qualifying play-off against Bosnia & Herzegovina.The squad will be trimmed ahead of the November 9 meeting date, although Reading midfielder Stephen Quinn still remains unavailable through injury.The Republic will travel to Zenica for the first leg on Friday, November 13, with the second leg at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium three days later.Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, O’Neill said: “After finishing third in a difficult qualifying group, we enter into the play-offs against a very good team in Bosnia & Herzegovina.“Our fate is in our own hands and we will be doing all that we can to qualify for next summer’s finals.“We will play the second leg at the Aviva Stadium and that is a big plus for us because the Irish supporters were fantastic in our last game there against Germany and we know that there will be a similar atmosphere for this play-off.”The Republic finished third in their qualifying group, four points behind world champions Germany and three points adrift of second-placed Poland, who beat them 2-1 in the final Group D fixture this month.Republic of Ireland squad to face Bosnia and Herzegovina: David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Stoke City), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Marc Wilson (Stoke City), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby County), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Paul McShane (Reading), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Robbie Brady (Norwich City), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Darron Gibson (Everton), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O’Kane (Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Paul Green (Rotherham United), Aiden McGeady (Everton), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Judge (Brentford), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), David Meyler (Hull City), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Simon Cox (Bristol City).
Here are the top transfer-related stories in Thursday’s newspapers and online…Yaya Toure has issued Manchester City with an ultimatum: Give me a new contract next week or I walk this summer. (The Sun)Chelsea have offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic a staggering £20million contract over two years to join the Blues on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain this summer. (Foot Mercato)Chelsea have been put on alert after Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos revealed he could leave this summer. (Daily Mirror)Manchester City are set to splash £80m to re-build their defence ready for Pep Guardiola to take over as their manager. City want to buy Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte and Everton’s John Stones to give Guardiola the long-term centre back partnership he wants. (Daily Express)Liverpool and Manchester United are both watching Germany international Marc-Andre ter Stegen and have been encouraged by the suggestion that Barcelona will sell this summer if the price is right. (Daily Mail)Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is set to open formal talks with chairman Daniel Levy at the end of the season about a new contract with the club. (London Evening Standard)Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin is the shock name being considered to lead Italy after Euro 2016. (Daily Express)The nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, one of the richest men in the world, has moved to Leicester City from Chelsea. Faiq Jefri Bolkiah, a 17-year-old winger who has been at Chelsea since 2014, took to Instagram to announce his move to the Premier League table toppers. (Daily Mail)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Manchester City transfer rumour: Why Pep Guardiola should sign Wolfsburg star Ricardo RodriguezLiverpool transfer report: Reds warned only ‘big offer’ will tempt Genoa to sell goalkeeper Mattia PerinTottenham send scouts to watch highly-rated Mainz playmaker Yunus MalliManchester United ready £24million bid for Roma wideman Alessandro FlorenziChelsea want Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini to work alongside incoming boss Antonio ConteFiorentina forward Khouma Babacar’s future uncertain as Crystal Palace and Southampton plot movesNapoli star Allan could move to England, admits agent, as Chelsea linked with summer swoopArsenal transfer news: Jorginho’s agent confirms Gunners interest in Napoli star
Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack 1 Serie B officials have rubbished claims that the second tier of Italian football has been suspended.Stories emerged of the weekend’s games in the second tier not going ahead due to the ongoing row about how many teams should be involved. England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Latest Football News BEST OF possible standings Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures MONEY Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REVEALED Pro Vercelli appeared to be getting a Serie B reprieve after getting relegated last season smart causal impact After a verdict in a court in Rome on Tuesday, Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) official Franco Frattini told Italian radio the league had been suspended.A statement later in the day on the league’s website, though, began: “Serie B is not suspended, the championship continues.”Serie B has had 22 teams since 2004 but three clubs – Avellino, Bari and Cesena – went bankrupt over the summer and it was decided to continue this season without replacing them.This immediately prompted several legal challenges from teams that were either relegated last season or just missed out on promotion.It had seemed that these challenges had failed earlier when CONI, the organisation which governs almost all sport in the country, rejected them but a regional court has now upheld an appeal against that decision from Serie C side Pro Vercelli.Frattini, the president of CONI’s sports justice court and a legal expert and politician who has twice served as Italy’s foreign minister, told inBlu Radio that football gives him more headaches than the mafia trials he has to preside over. RANKED silverware “The new development is that the court in Lazio, as well as suspending the ruling, has also suspended the league,” said Frattini.As a result of this new ruling, he said CONI would re-examine the issue of whether the league should be a competition for 19 or 22 clubs on Friday and, if the decision is for 22, it will decide which three should be brought in on Monday.The league described Frattini’s remarks as “improvident” and insisted this weekend’s fixtures will be played as normal.“Such is the confusion that there is even someone talking about the suspension of Serie B,” the statement read. “Improvident in this regard are today’s statements by (CONI) president Franco Frattini.“Instead the championship continues as planned because that’s what millions of fans want. There is no prohibition provision that ordered the suspension.”The Veneto-based AS Cittadella currently lead Serie B after three wins from three games. Serie C, meanwhile, has yet to even start.The league statement continued: “The precautionary ruling did not say anything in relation to the Serie B championship, otherwise it would have had to be suspended for the third matchday, which was played as scheduled.“(This is) untruthful news that is damaging on an organisational and economic level and to the image of sponsors, partners, fans and clubs.”