What's happening in sport? Five things to know

England football fans have grown accustomed to farce and controversy accompanying the appointment of the head coach o...

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 5:19 PM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 5:19 PM

England football fans have grown accustomed to farce and controversy accompanying the appointment of the head coach of the men's national team.

It now appears that past time applies to the women's national team too.

Eyebrows were raised when Phil Neville was named manager of "The Lionesses" on Tuesday -- the former Manchester United and England full back has no prior managerial experience.

But that was quickly superseded when tweets posted by Neville in 2012, which were sexist and also appeared to make light of domestic violence, resurfaced online following his appointment.

A tweet from 2011 read: "Relax I'm back chilled -- just battered the wife!!! Feel better now!" while a 2012 comment said: "@gina_shoes u women of always wanted equality until it comes to paying the bills."

Neville recently deleted his Twitter account and the 41-year-old apologized on Wednesday, saying his comments were not "a true and genuine reflection of either my character or beliefs."

Embarrassing for Neville, and also for the English Football Association, who sacked the previous manager, Mark Sampson, last September following "inappropriate and unacceptable" behavior with female players during a previous coaching role.

Volley of abuse?

More Twitter storms Down Under as US tennis player Tennys Sandgren hit back against accusations of being an alt-right sympathizer.

The 26-year-old's on-court efforts at the Australian Open have been overshadowed in recent days by continuing scrutiny of his Twitter account.

On Monday, he deleted hundreds of tweets after facing questions about his political views and who he follows on the social media platform.

On Wednesday, Sandgren read from a prepared statement, criticizing the media's characterization of him.

"You seek to put people in these little boxes so that you can order the world in your already assumed preconceived ideas," Sandgren said. "With a handful of follows and some likes on Twitter, my fate has been sealed in your minds."

Sandgren's participation in the tournament is now over, following his quarterfinal defeat in straight sets (6-4 7-6 6-3) to Hyeon Chung.

The South Korean, who defeated six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the third round, faces Roger Federer on Friday for a place in Sunday's final.

READ: South Korea's 'Professor' is a quick learner

READ: Sandgren denies alt-right sympathies

'A club of ONE'

Basketball legend LeBron James has passed a major NBA milestone -- 30,000 regular season points.

Only six players (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant) have surpassed that tally. But the Cleveland Cavaliers star is the youngest in history.

At 33 years and 24 days, James broke the previous record set by former LA Lakers star Bryant, who was 34 years and 104 days.

James is also now in "a club of ONE" as the NBA put it, being the only player to score 30,000 points, reach 7,000 assists and 7,000 rebounds.

@KingJames indeed.

Tiger's back

Last week it was Rory McIlroy, this week it's Tiger.

The 14-time major champion is back in action on Thursday for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines -- scene of his last major triumph back in 2008.

Woods completed a promising return last December at the Hero World Challenge following a 10-month layoff to recover from his latest back surgery.

READ: Woods' return puts Rahm's No. 1 bid in shade

READ: Woods targets 2018 majors

UEFA's Nations League: #confusing

The idea is a good one -- do away with "friendlies" and make matches more competitive.

But the format of UEFA's new Nations League has caused confusion among some football fans.

"Utterly complicated business" tweeted Chris Skudder.

He wasn't alone.

What do you think about UEFA's Nations League? Have your say on our Facebook page.

Fifty-five national teams have been divided into four leagues (A, B, C & D) which, in turn, will contain four groups. League A will feature UEFA's top-ranked teams. League D will feature the lowest ranked.

The competition will feature promotions and relegation, similar to domestic leagues, with winners of the four groups in League A entering a playoff to see who is crowned the overall champion.

The first round of matches are due to start in September.

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