The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 16 December 2014


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Whelan facing an FA suspension

Dave Whelan, the Wigan chairman, is facing the likelihood of a ban by the Football Association after accepting a misconduct charge over comments he made regarding Jewish and Chinese people. Whelan, 78, will be writing a letter of mitigation to the FA. He has admitted aggravated misconduct after a newspaper interview defending his appointment of Malky Mackay as manager.

Derby and Sheffield United eye upsets

Nigel Clough will hope to lead Sheffield United to a famous win against Southampton in the Capital One Cup tonight, but may not revert to such methods as his late father. Brian Clough ordered his Nottingham Forest team to drink champagne before they beat the Saints in 1979. In tonight’s other game, Steve McClaren says it is almost impossible to find Chelsea’s weaknesses for his Derby side to exploit.

Downton: Cook to lead at World Cup

Paul Downton has leapt to the defence of  Alastair Cook and says he will be captain England at next year’s World Cup. The 29-year-old has been in poor form in one-day cricket, but the managing director of  the ECB insists he is the best man to lead the team. “Nobody is more frustrated than him.” Downton said. “But to the question ‘who is the best person to take us to the World Cup?’, it’s Alastair Cook.”

Stalingrad bombs delay stadium

A Russian official has said preparations for the 2018 World Cup have hit an unusual snag – unexploded munitions from the Second World War Battle of Stalingrad.

While demolishing an existing stadium in the southern city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, there were 10 instances of workers finding munitions, Arkady Grushko, head of the region’s World Cup preparations, told Russia’s Tass agency.  The munitions “were transported out of the city and destroyed,” said Grushko, who added that the site was being checked for more explosives before construction begins of the new 45,000-seat Victory Arena for the World Cup.

The Battle of Stalingrad lasted more than five months in 1942 and 1943 between Soviet Union troops and the German invaders.

Hamilton: I have matured this year

Lewis Hamilton says his change in attitude towards driver error was crucial in him claiming the Formula One world championship this season. “Years ago when I made a mistake... I got to my hotel and I didn’t come out for three days.” The 2014 BBC Sports Personality of the Year said.