The Sport Matrix: Thursday 5 February 2015


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West Ham fined for fielding Sakho

West Ham have been fined £71,000 by Fifa for breaking regulations in fielding Diafra Sakho in their FA Cup fourth-round win at Bristol City last month. The striker played despite being withdrawn from Senegal’s African Cup of Nations squad due to a back injury. The regulations had suggested West Ham should be thrown out of the competition for the breach, so the punishment appears lenient.

Banned Wilson to miss Six Nations

Scotland flanker Ryan Wilson will miss the Six Nations after being suspended without pay for three months following a conviction for assault. But he could still take part in the World Cup because his ban ends on 23 August, while the tournament kicks off four weeks later. The 25-year-old was fined £750 after being found guilty in Glasgow Sheriff Court of assaulting a Glasgow Hawks player in a fast-food shop.

Serena returning to Indian Wells

Serena Williams will end her boycott of one of the biggest tournaments – the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells – because of “a new understanding of the true meaning of forgiveness” after the racial abuse she and her family suffered there 14 years ago. Williams, the women’s world No 1, has not played at the tournament in California since an incident which her father said had “disgraced America”.

Hamilton puts his heart into lengthy drive

After a break-up, many lovelorn folk like to go for a long drive. But Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One world champion, took it one step further yesterday, after he racked up no less than 117 laps  – around 325 miles – of the Jerez circuit during pre-season testing his Mercedes, a day after he  and his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger split.

You could say his head was in a spin at one point – indeed he did spin his car early in the day, while the track was still damp and he had already switched to slicks.

But afterwards, he seemed in good spirits – although media were told they were precluded from asking about the break-up with Scherzinger.

Woods faces fight to keep elite status

Tiger Woods, who has finished last in his past two events, goes again in the Farmers Insurance Open, which begins today, looking to avoid dropping out of the world top 50. To drop out would mean missing the first elite-field event of the year, the WGC-Cadillac in Miami next month.