Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 31 July 2013


Sport in turmoil as McQuaid and UCI branded ‘dictators’

The cycling world was plunged into disarray again yesterday as the fierce battle over the governance of the sport took a twist towards the confrontational. Brian Cookson, the British Cycling chairman, furiously denounced current International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid, claiming that his actions are “an embarrassment to cycling”.

Cookson, above, is standing as the only other candidate in the forthcoming UCI presidential elections, but disputes McQuaid’s presence on the ballot following the Irishman’s failure to secure the backing of his own federation, Cycling Ireland, in nominations which closed a month ago.

“The efforts to change the nomination and electoral process are a clear sign of desperation from Pat McQuaid,” said Cookson. “This latest twist appears to be nothing more than a fraught attempt to undemocratically and unconstitutionally impact on the process while it is under way.”

A proposal to allow candidates to be nominated by two other federations, even if their own country does not support them, is under consideration, which has led Cookson to accuse the UCI of “attempted dictatorship”. MORE

Anderson back at  a new Old Trafford

James Anderson is looking forward to his first Ashes Test at his home ground of Old Trafford. England are 2-0 up and avoiding defeat would clinch the series, but Anderson warns: “In the last two Ashes there has been a stumbling block, so we won’t look too far ahead.” MORE

Pietersen out to prove his fitness

Kevin Pietersen was put through a series of rigorous training exercises yesterday to prove his fitness before the third Ashes Test. Pietersen has been receiving intensive treatment on a calf strain but is determined to be included in the England side for Old Trafford tomorrow. MORE

Bale could play in Spurs friendly

The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly tomorrow against a non-League opponent which could yet give Gareth Bale the chance to play as he waits for Real Madrid to make a decisive move over his future. MORE

Ennis-Hill given golden chance

Jessica Ennis-Hill’s chances of winning heptathlon gold at the World Championships have been boosted after world champion Tatyana Chernova pulled out through injury. However, Ennis-Hill must still overcome her Achilles problem before confirming herself for Moscow. MORE

Rogers: We’ll fight on despite troubles

Australia’s Chris Rogers is  adamant his side will battle on as they head into the third Ashes Test 2-0 down. Rogers said: “I don’t think there’s anything else you can do, fight as hard as you can, try to stay out there and not surrender your wicket.” MORE

Sky Sports ready  to fend off big rival

Sky Sports’ managing director Barney Francis says his company can safely come through its biggest challenge as BT Sport mounts a bid for football broadcasting supremacy. “We have always had competition – we thrive on it,” he said. MORE

Garswood lands Lennox Stakes

Garswood, the 9-4 favourite, won the Lennox Stakes on the first day of Glorious Goodwood yesterday. Available at 7-1 before Aljamaaheer’s withdrawal, the Ryan Moore-ridden three-year-old came home ahead of Caspar Netscher. MORE

Cissé eager to put issues behind him

Newcastle striker Papiss Cissé insists that he is 100 per cent focused on football after agreeing to wear the Wonga logo on the club shirt this season. “It’s great to be training with my team-mates again,” he said. “I feel great and ready to go.”

Australia can profit from using legends

The problem for Australia is how it makes best use of former greats. Australia have almost no formal way of conveying years of expertise from their veteran players to those who need it most. Jack Pitt-Brooke MORE

James Lawton

Pepe Reina’s website outpouring upon his departure from Liverpool reminds us vividly of the perspective of an ageing pro who, with his best gone, is still costing his club more than £4m a year. MORE