Nottingham to face Sheffield
Nottingham Forest are to face a Sheffield United side managed by former City Ground favorite Nigel Clough in the last 16 of the FA Cup after beating Preston North End 2-0 in a fourth-round replay on Wednesday. Jamie Mackie’s early opener and Darius Henderson’s stoppage-time strike saw Championship side Forest, managed by former Preston boss Billy Davies, progress at the expense of their League One opponents. Now they will face another third-tier side in Sheffield United, with the trip to the Blades’ Bramall Lane ground sure to stoke plenty of memories. Former England international Clough, the son of legendary Forest manager Brian Clough, started his career as a player at the City Ground. Yet it was in his role as manager of Forest’s Midlands rivals Derby County that Nigel Clough had a run-in with Davies following a touchline row during a game at Derby’s Pride Park in 2010. Davies accused Nigel Clough of kneeing him in the back during a melee which involved players and coaching staff. Nigel Clough denied the allegation, but Davies made an official complaint to the League Managers’ Association.
Nike kits out Brazilian sides
Nike has produced yellow shirts for five Brazilian league teams as a special tribute to the country that will host the FIFA World Cup in June. Esporte Clube Bahia, Sport Club Corinthians, Coritiba, Sport Club Internacional and Santos have all been given a third shirt embossed with the national team’s logo Nascido para jogar Futebol (“Born to play soccer”). “When fans see the striking yellow of Brazil’s national team kit on pitch, they know phenomenal football will follow,” said Henry Rabello, vice president of marketing at Nike Brasil. “By designing third kits for our partner clubs, which bear the same vibrant yellow, we are paying tribute to Brazil’s unique style of play.” The shirts, which go on sale on Wednesday, are all slightly different, with each one incorporating the club’s colors into the design.
King cancels trip to Sochi
Billie Jean King will not attend today’s opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia because her mother is ill. King, who was selected to help lead the US delegation to the Games, has been outspoken in her opposition to Russia’s anti-gay law. She had planned to attend ice hockey and figure skating events and meet US athletes during her three-day visit. The White House on Wednesday announced that former US hockey player Caitlin Cahow, originally scheduled to attend the closing ceremony, will take King’s place.
FILA honors Putin for support
Wrestling’s quickfire return to the Olympic program was music to the ears of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally lobbied for its return last year. Putin was honored on Wednesday by the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) for his role in helping get the sport back onto the 2022 Games program after it was surprisingly taken off by the International Olympic Committee early last year. “It is hard to imagine the Olympic program without wrestling and athletics,” Putin said after a meeting with federation boss Nenad Lalovic. Wrestling featured in the ancient Olympics and every modern Games apart from 1900, but surprisingly lost its spot in February last year as the committee looked to freshen up its program. It completed an unprecedented comeback by reclaiming its spot for 2020, beating bids from rivals squash and baseball/softball.