US footballers’ equal pay fight can go on
The US women’s national team can continue with their appeal over claims for equal pay after a judge approved a settlement between the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the players over working conditions.
The women’s team sued their governing body in 2019, the same year they won a fourth World Cup, alleging gender discrimination in compensation and most other playing conditions.
But players’ spokesperson Molly Levinson welcomed the news that the equal pay issue could be appealed. “We are committed as ever to our work to achieve the equal pay that we legally deserve and our focus is on the future and ensuring we leave the game a better place for the next generation of women who will play for this team and our country,” she said.
The USSF said they hope to reach a resolution “outside of the court system.”
Funkel confirmed at Cologne
About 12 hours after confirming Markus Gisdol’s departure, Cologne have announced the Friedhelm Funkel will become their new head coach.
The former Fortuna Düsseldorf coach will be returning for a second spell in the Cologne dugout after a stint between February 2002 and October 2003. Funkel has signed a deal for the remaining six games of the season, with Cologne three points from safety.
“I have followed FC intensively in the past few weeks and had a good talk with Horst [Heldt, sporting director]. The team have recently put in good performances but have not been rewarded. When working with the boys, now it is about getting the necessary points with the same effort so that we stay in the league. I am convinced that we can do it,” Funkel said.
His first match comes on Saturday, when Cologne make the short trip to face Bayer Leverkusen.
Spurs to review Son racial abuse
Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur say they are trying to establish how to deal with yet more racist abuse of players on social media.
South Korean forward Son Heung-min was the victim this time, following the London team’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
“Another matchday and more abhorrent racial abuse suffered by one of our players,” said Spurs in a statement and tweet.
“This has again been reported to the platforms and we shall now undertake a full review alongside the Premier League to determine the most effective action moving forward.”
Struggling Cologne sack Gisdol
Bundesliga club Cologne have parted ways with coach Markus Gisdol in the wake of their 3-2 defeat at the hands of Mainz on Sunday.
Cologne have been mired in relegation territory for weeks, a situation made worse after the loss. The club confirmed the rumored sacking in a tweet late on Sunday without naming a successor.
Media reports suggest however, that Friedhelm Funkel is to be brought in to try to avoid the drop to Bundesliga 2.
Matsuyama makes history
Hideki Matsuyama held his nerve to become the first Japanese man to win a major with victory in the Masters at Augusta.
Matsuyama went in to the final day on Sunday with a four shot lead but a shaky start and the challenge of American debutant Will Zalatoris made for a nervous finale.
“I am really happy. My nerves really didn’t start on the back nine, it was right from the start and right until the very last putt,” said Matsuyama.
“I was thinking about them [friends and family] all the way around. I am really happy I played well for them. Hopefully I will be a pioneer and many other Japanese players will follow and I am glad to open the floodgates.”
Blackmore becomes first female Grand National winner
“I don’t feel male or female right now. I don’t even feel human.” Those words from Rachel Blackmore have rung out around the UK since Blackmore became the first female winner of the country’s most prestigious horse race, The Grand National, on Sunday.
Blackmore is one of a number of women making a significant impact in a rare example of a sport where women compete directly with men.
“Ah, look, it’s brilliant, but I won’t be the last. I’m delighted for myself anyway,” she said. “I just hope it shows it doesn’t matter, male or female.