Sport Racing Santander speak to the referee after refusing to contest their Copa del Rey quarter-final due to unpaid wages

They lined up on the pitch against Real Sociedad, but then refused to contest the ball

Referee Mark Halsey

Former Premier League referee warns pressure on officials could lead to suicide

Mark Halsey fears the increasing pressure could have devastating affect

Reading 0 Brighton 0 match report: Pavel Pogrebnyak and Leo Ulloa see red in stalemate

Madness at the MadStad. In a game in which forwards occupied their time trying get sent off rather than trying to score goals, Reading’s Pavel Pogrebnyak and Leo Ulloa of Brighton succeeded before half-time. The inevitable result was that spaces opened up but the possibility of the resulting chances being taken was minimised.

Saracens 44 Gloucester 12 match report: 14-man Gloucester sink to the bottom after Wood’s early rush of blood

There is not much love around the English club game right now: hard words are being spoken on the vexed subject of European rugby – Nigel Wray, the Saracens chairman, poured an entire pipeline’s worth of petrol on the flames consuming the Heineken Cup on Sunday by declaring that the Premiership teams would be “quite crazy” to stay in the tournament  beyond the end of the season – and even harder lessons are being learnt by sides who let their discipline slip. Ask Gloucester, who really copped it in London yesterday and find themselves at the foot of the table as a consequence.

All fall down: Ashley Young tumbles easily at Old Trafford under a challenge from Kagisho Dikgacoi, earning a penalty for Manchester United and the Crystal Palace player’s dismissal for two yellow cards

Manchester United 2 Crystal Palace 0 match report: Ashley Young diving row erupts as champions win

Palace manager Ian Holloway speechless after Kagisho Dikgacoi sent off after tangle with winger results in penalty, while England absentee Wayne Rooney returns to seal victory

Hearts 1 Celtic 2 match report: Anthony Stokes sets up Celtic for Milan

New signing Teemu Pukki grabbed a debut goal and Anthony Stokes scored one and set up two more as Celtic prepared for the Champions’ League with a comfortable win.

Ben Westwood had a return to his marauding best putting the Wolves on the fast track to a Super League Grand Final

Warrington Wolves 40 Leeds Rhinos 20: Four-try Ben Westwood puts Wolves in final

A quartet of tries from Ben Westwood, back to his marauding best, put the Wolves on the fast track to a Super League Grand Final.

Warrington Wolves 40 Leeds Rhinos 20: Four-try Ben Westwood puts Wolves in final

A quartet of tries from Ben Westwood, back to his marauding best, put the Wolves on the fast track to a Super League Grand Final.

Ian Holloway was forced to watch his side face Manchester United from the stands

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway refuses to comment on penalty incident due to fear of being 'rude' after previous ban

Eagles manager was banned for criticising the referee in their first game back in the Premier League but chose not to speak out over the controversial penalty decision

Mason Caton-Brown makes mark as London Broncos rise from dead

Hull Kingston Rovers 22 London Broncos 34

New boy George North made a winning start to his Northampton career

It’s time to shut up about scrums and let refs and players get on with it, says Chiefs' Rob Baxter

Law changes will need time to bed in before any further tinkering, says Exeter coach

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway accepts two match touchline ban

Holloway hit out at the referee following his team's opening day defeat to Spurs

Football round-up: Paul Dickov angry with ref over 'shambolic' call-off

Charlton's match against Doncaster at The Valley was abandoned at half-time yesterday after heavy rain in south-east London left the pitch unplayable.

Jose Mourinho and Paul Lambert square up at Stamford Bridge

Paul Lambert plays down spat with Jose Mourinho - calling the clash during Aston Villa's defeat to Chelsea 'banter'

Lambert was angered by some of the refereeing decisions during the match at Stamford Bridge

Neymar celebrates his first goal for Barcelona

Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 1: Neymar scores first goal but concerns over Lionel Messi hamstring injury

The sides finished level at the end of the first-leg of the Spanish Super Cup final

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway

Ian Holloway could face action after criticising referee following Crystal Palace defeat to Tottenham

Holloway appeared to suggest his side hadn't been treated fairly

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas