ROUND-UP: Wenger’s request, Kane and Ross’ resistance and Black Caps’ award


International Round-up: Arsene Wenger urges use of pitchside VAR monitors; Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor bat New Zealand to safety; United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer focused on his job; Chelsea to know “very soon” if transfer ban is lifted; and Black Caps win Spirit of Cricket award

FOOTBALL: Wenger urges use of pitchside VAR monitors

Ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants the Premier League to end its resistance to the use of pitchside VAR monitors. Premier League referees’ chief Mike Riley has cautioned against their use by on-field officials because of the additional time delay it would cause.

That goes against Uefa guidance and Wenger, Fifa’s newly-appointed head of global football development, wants the league to change its stance.

“The referee needs a monitor to check if he was right or wrong,” said Wenger.

Pitchside monitors have not been used in 140 Premier League games so far this season and the 70-year-old Frenchman feels that is a problem.

“For me, that is the most important worry,” said Wenger, speaking in Belfast after a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body responsible for determining the laws of the game.

“The referees on the field are there because they have the experience and they are confident.”

Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson both made unbeaten hundreds

TEST: Williamson, Taylor bat New Zealand to safety and series win

New Zealand sealed a 1-0 series win over England as Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor centuries helped secure a draw in the second Test in Hamilton.

Captain Williamson made an unbeaten 104 and Taylor 105 not out as they guided New Zealand to 241-2 – a lead of 140 – before rain ended play early.

England were unable to take a wicket in the 41 overs possible in the day. The tourists, who lost the first Test by an innings and 65 runs, have not won in New Zealand since 2008.

Although England – under new coach Chris Silverwood – won the Twenty20 series that preceded the Tests, they end the year without a Test series victory for the first time since 1999.

They now travel to South Africa for a four-Test series starting December 26.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

FOOTBALL: “I’m just focusing on my job”- Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the recent sackings in the Premier League have not left him “more concerned” about his position.

Tottenham dismissed Mauricio Pochettino in November, before Arsenal sacked Unai Emery and Watford parted company with Quique Sanchez Flores.

United are ninth in the table with 18 points from 14 league matches, their worst start to a campaign in 31 years.

“I’m just focusing on my job,” said Solskjaer on Tuesday. “That’s doing as well as I can and look forward to the next game, but also look long term, plan things with the board.”

FOOTBALL: Chelsea to know “very soon” if transfer ban is lifted

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard expects to be told “very soon” whether the club’s transfer ban has been lifted. The Blues were given a two-window ban in February by Fifa for breaching rules around signing young players.

Chelsea elected not to rush an appeal, meaning they were denied the chance to bring in new players during the summer. But their case was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last month and the club expect to be told within days if they have been successful.

A judgement published by Fifa showed 150 rule breaches had been committed by the club involving 69 academy players over several seasons. When asked when he expects to discover the result of that appeal, Lampard said: “Very soon, I believe. Days, I think.

Jos Buttler’s run-out of Martin Guptill

CRICKET: Black Caps win Spirit of Cricket award

New Zealand have been awarded the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Spirit of Cricket award for their “sporting conduct” in the aftermath of the World Cup final at Lord’s.

Kane Williamson‘s side were beaten to the trophy after a tied super over in the final by virtue of having scored fewer boundaries, and were praised by the judging panel for their “sportsmanship, humility and selflessness in defeat” following Jos Buttler’s run-out of Martin Guptill.

The award, created in 2013 by the MCC and the BBC in memory of the broadcasting great, is presented annually to the player or team that has “best epitomised the principles of playing hard but fair”.

Kumar Sangakkara, the MCC president, said New Zealand were “worthy winners” of the award. “In the heat of battle they displayed a level of sportsmanship that was fitting for such a fantastic final, and indeed tournament.

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