Novak Djokovic will have his visa ban overturned and will be able to compete at the Australian Open, according to reports in the country.

Speculation has been rife that, following the change of government in Australia and the dropping of vaccine mandates, the automatic three-year ban given to Djokovic when he was deported in January would be quashed.

And Australian media reported widely overnight that the decision has now been taken, meaning Djokovic can bid for a 10th title at Melbourne Park in January.

The Serbian holds the men’s record for most titles at the tournament and has not been beaten there since 2018.

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne in January believing he had the correct paperwork to enter the country despite not having been vaccinated against Covid-19.

But he was detained at the airport and taken to an immigration hotel, with then immigration minister Alex Hawke using his personal powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Hawke based his decision on the notion Djokovic’s presence in the country could stoke anti-vaccination sentiment, making him a danger to public health, as well as the potential for civil unrest.

Djokovic took his case to the Federal Court of Australia but was unsuccessful in his attempts to get the decision overturned.

The 35-year-old was asked about his hopes of playing in Australia following his first match at the ATP Finals in Turin on Monday, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas.

He said: “Nothing official yet. We are waiting. They [his lawyers] are communicating with the Government of Australia.”



Rafael Nadal has been eliminated at the group stage of the ATP Finals in Turin and his 19-year-old compatriot Carlos Alcaraz confirmed as the youngest season-ending world number one.

Nadal’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals were all but ended with a straight-sets loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime on Tuesday, and Casper Ruud’s later win over Taylor Fritz confirmed the Spaniard’s fate.

Nadal began the week with a chance of finishing the year ranked world number one but he suffered an opening loss to Fritz before his 6-3 6-4 loss to the Canadian.

Ruud’s 6-3 4-6 7-6 (6) win over Fritz confirmed Nadal’s fate, sending the Norwegian through as winner of the Green Group with Fritz and Auger-Aliassime to face each other for the runner-up spot.

“When you are facing all the circumstances that I faced the last six months, to be here is positive,” said Nadal, who has struggled with injury and recently became a father for the first time.

“To experience what’s going on is not a big surprise. That does not mean that I am not sad about the results. It’s something that can happen.
“I just accept that tomorrow I start my 2023 season. That’s all. The only thing that I can do is keep working, keep doing the things that I need to do to give myself a chance to start with real chances in 2023.

“I don’t think I forget how to play tennis, how to be strong enough mentally. I just need to recover all these positive feelings and all this confidence and all this strong mentality that I need to be at the level that I want to be.”

There was the jarring sight of Toni Nadal, the guiding hand in his nephew’s career for so long, sitting in Auger-Aliassime’s box, with the young Canadian currently under his tutelage.

It was Nadal who threatened a break in the early stages but the 22-time grand slam champion then faltered in the eighth game, throwing in more of the errors that marred his performance against Fritz.

Auger-Aliassime, who lost to Ruud on his debut on Sunday, moved ahead again early in the second set and produced a strong serving display to boost his hopes of reaching the last four.

Having won the Australian Open and French Open in the same year for the first time, Nadal’s 2022 season is now ending with a whimper, and he must try to avoid a fifth successive loss when he takes on Ruud on Thursday.

Alcaraz is the first teenager to finish the year as world number one, and beats the record set by Lleyton Hewitt who was 20 when he achieved the feat in 2001.

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for the forthcoming World Cup in Qatar to be the catalyst for a “first step to peace” in Ukraine.

Infantino addressed world leaders at the G20 Summit in Bali.

Russian national teams and clubs have been banned from playing in FIFA competitions since the country invaded Ukraine in February.

Infantino accepted it was “naive” to believe that football can solve the world’s problems, but told the Summit: “Because football unites the world, this particular FIFA World Cup, with five billion people watching it, can be a trigger for a positive gesture, for a sign or a message of hope.

“Russia hosted the last World Cup in 2018, and Ukraine is bidding to host the World Cup in 2030.

“Maybe the current World Cup, starting in five days, can really be that positive trigger. So my plea, to all of you, is to think on a temporary ceasefire, for one month, for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, or at least the implementation of humanitarian corridors, or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step to peace. You are the world leaders; you have the ability to influence the course of history.”

Infantino added: “You all know what football means to your people and to your countries; it is about passion, it is about inclusion, it is about tolerance, it is about non-discrimination, and it is about education.”

FIFA has come in for criticism over the decision to host the World Cup in Qatar, a country which criminalises same-sex relationships.

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Cristiano Ronaldo could be sacked by Manchester United after criticising the club and manager Erik ten Hag in his interview with Piers Morgan, according to leading employment lawyers.

In excerpts from the interview – which will only be released in full on Wednesday and Thursday – five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo said he did not respect Ten Hag and claimed a number of individuals at United were trying to force him out of the club.

Released as club football went on hiatus for the World Cup, the interview appears carefully timed and could be the next step in Portugal star Ronaldo’s bid to leave United, having sought an exit in the summer.

But with United taking legal advice – and awaiting the full interview – before issuing a response, the player could find his desired departure is an abrupt one.

Mike Tremeer, employment partner at Fladgate, said: “It seems clear that many of Ronaldo’s comments made during the interview amounts to him ‘knowingly or recklessly … say[ing] something … which is likely to bring the club into disrepute … or cause damage to the club or its officers or employees’.

“That breaches an express clause of the template Premier League player contract and means that the club is entitled to terminate his contract.

“It is apparent that Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United and so this might be the exact outcome he is hoping to achieve.”

Simon Leaf, head of sport at the Mishcon de Reya law firm, agreed that United may now be entitled to terminate Ronaldo’s contract.

However, Leaf added it could be more complicated given Ronaldo’s complaints about how the club had responded to the issues he has faced in his personal life.

The 37-year-old and his partner revealed in April one of their twin babies had died, and Ronaldo told Morgan the club had not believed him when he missed pre-season training in the summer because his baby daughter Bella was ill.

Leaf said: “It would appear that Ronaldo is clearly in breach of his employment agreement, which under its terms, entitles the club to terminate the contract.

“However, the club are caught between a rock and a hard place, as this termination right is subject to Ronaldo’s right to appeal – especially as he seems to be suggesting that United are in breach of its own duties to take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of its employees, which may extend to allowing Ronaldo time off in such difficult circumstances.

“There is no easy answer to this particular legal wrangle, and, from experience, one suspects, that given the sums involved in terms of wages and a potential transfer fee that may be forgone, both Ronaldo and the club will now try to resolve the issues as amicably as possible in private with a view to both parties saving face.”

Danielle Parsons, employment law partner at Irwin Mitchell, said that even if Ronaldo has breached his contract, it would be unusual for a club to sack a player in such circumstances.

“Usually this is rare and most clubs will take care to first investigate and follow their disciplinary procedures to try to avoid any potential dispute around breach of contract, as well as the wider reputational damage this could cause,” Parsons said.



Christopher Nkunku will not participate in the World Cup. The RB Leipzig striker left the training session on Tuesday before its end, injured in the left knee. The radiological examinations taken in the evening unfortunately revealed that it was a sprain. The team said in an official release.

A medical file has been sent to FIFA, a regulatory prerequisite for the replacement of an injured player in the squad since the list was filed on Monday at 7 p.m. The whole group shares Christopher’s sadness and wishes him a speedy recovery.

That is a terrible blow for the 2018 World Cup winners but also hurts RB Leipzig. Die Roten Bullen already saw one of its top attackers in Timo Werner felled by ankle injury, which caused him to be left off of Hansi Flick’s German national team for the tournament.

The RB Leipzig attacker has been rumored to be on the transfer radar of clubs like Bayern Munich and Chelsea FC, but if those teams wanted to get a long look at him playing for France in the World Cup, they will now be disappointed.

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A brace from Danny Ings helped Aston Villa end their away day blues in the Premier League at the eighth time of asking with a 2-1 victory at Brighton.

Villa’s dismissal record on the road this season contributed towards Steven Gerrard’s sacking last month but successor Unai Emery was able to celebrate three points on the south coast following a fine comeback.

Alexis Mac Allister fired Brighton into an early lead but the away side regrouped and claimed the spoils with Ings netting a first-half penalty before his deflected strike early into the second half downed Roberto De Zerbi’s men, who were denied a late penalty by VAR.

This was the penultimate Premier League fixture before the World Cup and while there were some absentees, seven Qatar-bound players started.

Mac Allister was one of them and celebrated his Argentina call-up with a goal after 49 seconds against his compatriot Emi Martinez.

Villa goalkeeper Martinez was partly culpable after playing a short pass into Douglas Luiz, but the Brazilian was brushed aside too easily by Mac Allister, who rifled home his fifth goal of the season.

A frantic opening period continued with Adam Lallana being forced off with injury before Jacob Ramsey went down for the visitors, but he was able to continue.

Levi Colwill had already denied Ings with a fine sliding tackle to make an impressive start to his full debut in the Premier League.

Villa responded well to going behind and claimed a deserved leveller in the 20th minute.

Emi Buendia found space and produced a perfectly-weighted pass for John McGinn to race onto with Lewis Dunk bringing down the Scotland captain inside the area.

It gave Ings the chance to score from 12-yards, which he duly accepted but only after Robert Sanchez got a hand to his penalty kick.

Poland international Matty Cash and Mac Allister had to shake off niggles not long after, before Pascal Gross almost caught out Villa goalkeeper Martinez with a wicked inswinging delivery from a corner.

Down at the other end, Dunk made a timely sliding block to thwart Ramsey following Ings’ flick to ensure it remained 1-1 at half-time.

Leandro Trossard found the net five minutes into the second period but his long-range screamer did not count after referee Chris Kavanagh had already blown his whistle for a foul on Cash.

Cash almost created Villa’s second when he got in behind Pervis Estupinan and crossed in for Buendia, but the Argentinian’s diving header hit the post.

Emery’s side stayed alert and did take the lead seconds later in the 54th minute.

Luiz was able to atone for his mistake for Brighton’s opener after he won possession from Mac Allister outside the hosts’ penalty area and Ings dribbled past a rash Dunk tackle before his effort beat Sanchez following a deflection off Colwill.

De Zerbi had seen enough and brought off early substitute Julio Enciso in a double change that saw Deniz Undav introduced.

It improved the Seagulls, who wanted a penalty when Lucas Digne and Solly March came together with the Villa defender clearly catching the home winger but despite a VAR check by Jarred Gillett, no spot-kick was given.

This only added to the frustration of De Zerbi, who was booked for repeatedly remonstrating about Villa’s time-wasting and despite eight minutes of stoppage time, no leveller could be found with Emery celebrating another win.

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Alejandro Garnacho scored a stoppage-time winner as Manchester United claimed all three points in a hard-fought 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

In the final match before the curtain falls on the Premier League ahead of the World Cup break, the spoils looked set to be shared before teenager Garnacho’s dramatic late intervention.

United had gone ahead after 14 minutes when Christian Eriksen capitalised on a well-worked quick break from the visitors before slotting the ball into an empty net.

Despite that early lead, United were unable to fully take control of the game, with the gaps in their squad due to illness and injury evident as they had to resort to counter-attacks while inviting Fulham pressure as the home side pushed for an equaliser.

And Marco Silva’s men were rewarded for their efforts just after the hour mark when former United winger Daniel James also struck from close range for a deserved leveller – the on-loan Leeds player’s first goal of the season.

However, despite Fulham being the better team for large parts of the game, it was the visitors who claimed victory when Garnacho slotted past Bernd Leno just before the final whistle.

Having gone into the weekend in fifth place, Erik ten Hag’s side signed off for the extended World Cup break on a positive note despite being without a number of key players in London, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Antony, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane among those missing.

Fulham, who themselves were without star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic due to a foot problem, started positively and David De Gea was called into action to deny Carlos Vinicius.

United also tested Leno in the opening exchanges stages through Anthony Martial before the Red Devils took the lead when they caught Fulham out with a well-organised counter-attacking move.

Martial played in captain Bruno Fernandes who put the ball across the box where the unmarked Eriksen had the simple task of tapping the ball into the net.

The visitors got the better of the home side’s offside trap throughout the first half, with Martial being picked out by Fernandes and having another attempt saved by Leno.

And, despite Fulham’s possession and pressure, United remained dangerous on the break, with Martial heading a Luke Shaw cross just over the bar.

Eriksen had an ideal chance just before half-time to add to his side’s lead when he drove into the box to attack a cross from Fernandes, but despite being under no pressure from the Fulham defence, he fired wide.

At the start of the second half Leno had to make another save following a quick United counter-attack, with the Fulham goalkeeper denying Anthony Elanga in a one-on-one, before Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream combined to prevent Marcus Rashford scoring the follow up.

United were made to pay for not taking their chances when Fulham drew level in the 62nd minute after Willian caught out the visitors with a quick run down the left, supported by the overlapping Tom Cairney.

It was Cairney who then picked out James in the centre of the box and the substitute slotted home just minutes after replacing Harry Wilson.

Fulham pushed for the winner while United struggled to contain the momentum generated from the home side, with Joao Palhinha forcing a punched save from De Gea with an improvised overhead kick.

However, it proved to be United who would claim the deciding goal when, with the match in stoppage time, Garnacho played a clever one-two with Eriksen on the edge of the box before running into the area to slot home for winner.



Qatar has unveiled a 6,000-cabin village built on a car park near its airports for fans attending the World Cup.

The 1.1 square-mile site features a metro station, a bus stop, and a temporary restaurant and convenience store. The area could hold as many as 12,000 people if booked at capacity, officials said.

Artificial green grass covers the walkways outside, with common areas filled with large bean-bag style chairs.

Competing nations’ flags flapped in the strong desert wind and there is a large screen for fans to watch matches.

The brightly coloured cabins, with thin walls, are designed to accommodate one or two people with twin beds, a nightstand, a small table and chair, air conditioning, a toilet and a shower inside.

They will be available for around $200 a night — $270 with board.

Some 60 per cent of the cabins are already booked for the tournament, said Omar al-Jaber, the head of accommodation at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for the tournament.

There will be other rooms offered at $80 a night farther out than this site near Doha International Airport and Hamad International Airport, both of which will be seeing flights at all hours during the tournament.

Those staying at the Fan Village can expect a 40-minute commute to stadium sites.

“Most of the fan(s) they prefer if it’s not a hotel, they prefer the apartment and villa,” Mr al-Jaber said, noting those options are managed by French hospitality company Accor. However, those wanting budget accommodation will come to this site and the other for cheaper options, he said.

In the lead-up to the tournament, concerns about hotel room space and high prices for the rooms available have affected Qatar, which lacks hotel capacity for all teams, workers, volunteers and fans at the World Cup. So Doha has created camping and cabin sites, hiring cruise ships, and encouraging fans to stay in neighbouring countries and fly in for games.

Qatar has estimated it will have 130,000 rooms per day for the tournament.

Already, nearby Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has planned for an influx of World Cup fans who want to stay there where their money may go further.

“Now, the shuttle flights option, it’s one of the options for the people who stay already in our neighbour countries and … they would like to just to spend a day to attend the match,” Mr al-Jaber said. “So this is a good option for them in a state of their case.”
He added: “If they would like to come and stay, they are more than welcome, of course, and there are many, many options for them.”

There are still multiple options available for fans in Qatar available to rent, ranging from hotels, cruise ship rooms, traditional dhow sailing vessels and tents, the fan village, portable cabins and caravans, Mr al-Jaber said.

“We have enough accommodation and people still they can come and enjoy the tournament and of course they can choose what they are looking for from the accommodation,” he said.



Arsenal sent out a title warning after Martin Odegaard’s double sent them five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The captain’s second-half brace earned a 2-0 win at Wolves and showed Manchester City their crown is under threat.

Mikel Arteta’s side are genuine contenders, grinding out a victory to put daylight between them and the reigning champions.

They seized on City’s 2-1 defeat to Brentford with a performance which demonstrated their steel and a slick opener proved they can find the magic when needed.

Wolves will be bottom at Christmas but held their own for long spells and there remains reasons to be positive with Julen Lopetegui’s era imminent.

Chairman Jeff Shi called the search for Bruno Lage’s replacement painful after Lopetegui initially rejected the club and Michael Beale performed a U-turn to stay at QPR.

Introduced to the home fans before the game, Lopetegui took the acclaim during a lap of the pitch six years after Wolves first tried to appoint him.

It has been a long wait and the former Spain and Real Madrid manager will be expected to work wonders to beat the drop but will have the same problems as caretaker Steve Davis and Lage.

Lopetegui will need reinforcements in January – especially a striker – for Wolves to extend their top flight stay to a sixth season.

He will have at least been encouraged by the hosts’ resilience, despite defeat, which will be desperately needed during a relegation battle.

Arteta has no such problems and his team will be top at Christmas, something not even the most optimistic Gunner would have predicted.

City’s surprise loss gave them the chance to take command at the top but they were initially frustrated by a determined Wolves.

Gabriel Jesus drilled in but was offside and Jose Sa hurriedly turned Bukayo Saka’s deflected cross over.

Arsenal lost Granit Xhaka, forced off after 15 minutes after needing treatment, and replaced him with Fabio Vieira.

The Gunners dominated the ball but Wolves reminded the visitors of their threat when Goncalo Guedes fired over following a quick break.

Despite their territorial dominance Arsenal struggled to create clear openings, a credit to Wolves’ organisation.

Davis, ahead of his final game in charge, openly admitted to encouraging his side to use the darks arts to wring any advantage from a game and they managed to stifle the flow.

But a driving run from Saka created a chance for Jesus and, with a hint of offside, the striker hit the bar with 10 minutes of the half remaining.

The Brazil international, without a goal in his previous 10 games, then wasted a promising opening when he volleyed Ben White’s cross wide.

While it remained tight the struggling hosts were always in the contest and William Saliba gifted them a golden chance just before the break.

The defender’s backpass was read by Guedes, who had a free run on goal, but Gabriel came to the rescue to deflect his shot wide.

But if there were any growing Arsenal frustrations they disappeared 10 minutes after the break when Odegaard opened the scoring.

It was the first time the visitors wriggled in behind Wolves and, when a delightful ball from Jesus gave Vieira space in the box, his cross was turned in by Odegaard.

From then it was comfortable for the Gunners and Odegaard added a second with 15 minutes left.

Dexter Lembikisa lost the ball to Gabriel Martinelli who teed up Oleksandr Zinchenko to cross. The ball fell for Martinelli who was denied by Sa but Odegaard controlled the rebound and lashed into the bottom corner.



Cristiano Ronaldo claims he has been “betrayed” by Manchester United and believes they are trying to force him out of the club.

The Portugal star said that head coach Erik ten Hag and others want him out of Old Trafford, in excerpts of a 90-minute interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored, which will be broadcast next week on TalkTV.

When asked if United’s hierarchy were trying to force him out of the club, Ronaldo said: “Yes, not only the coach, but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed.”

When quizzed again if senior club executives were trying to oust him, the 37-year-old said: “I don’t care. People should listen to the truth.

“Yes, I felt betrayed and I felt like some people don’t want me here, not only this year, but last year too.”

The PA news agency has contacted United for comment.

Ronaldo said he did not respect boss Ten Hag, admitting: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”

Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute in last month’s win over Tottenham, leading to him being banished from the squad for the subsequent trip to Chelsea, although he then returned to the fold.

Ronaldo, who was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford in the summer, also hit out at former United team-mate Wayne Rooney over criticism the former had received for refusing to come on against Spurs.

Writing in The Sun newspaper, Morgan revealed Ronaldo said: “I don’t know why he criticises me so badly… probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level.

“I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true…”

Ronaldo also claimed United had not progressed as a club since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

Ronaldo, who played under Ferguson for six years during his first spell at United before joining Real Madrid in 2009, said: “I don’t know what is going on, but since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club, the progress was zero.

“For example, we have an interesting point that how the club as Manchester United, after (they) sack Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer), they buy – they bring (in), sports director Ralf Rangnick, which is something that nobody understands.

“This guy is not even a coach. A bigger club like Manchester United brings (a) sports director – surprised not only me but all the world, you know.

“Nothing changed. Surprisingly. Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym…Even some points, the technology, the kitchen, the chefs, which is, I appreciate, lovely persons.

“They stopped in a time, which surprised me a lot. I thought I will see different things…different, as I mentioned before, technology, infrastructure.

“But unfortunately, we see many things that I used to see when I was 20, 21, 23. So, it surprised me a lot.”