Lunchtime Sports Update

SOCCER

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has no update to give on their pursuit of Bruno Fernandes.

United are reportedly in talks with Sporting Lisbon about a deal for the midfielder.

Solskjaer, who inists the club have funds to spend on the right players this window, was tight-lipped when asked about the potential transfer

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A four person UEFA delegation will meet Minister for Sport Shane Ross and officials from his department in Dublin this afternoon to discuss the financial crisis at the F-A-I.

They’re also expected to hold talks with the F-A-I’s main credior Bank of Ireland, who are owed around 29-million Euro.

Minister Ross last week insisted that government funding would not be restored to the Association without conditions around their governance.

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Three Premier League sides look to avoid shock exits to lower league opposition tonight in their FA Cup third round replays.

Last year’s finalists Watford travel to Tranmere – having let a 3-nil lead slip in their first encounter against the League One side.

Tottenham host Middlesbrough – led by their former defender Jonathan Woodgate, while Newcastle entertain a Rochdale team managed by Cork’s Brian Barry Murphy.

Elsewhere, Blackpool take on Reading, Coventry play Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury and Bristol City battle for the right to host Liverpool in the 4th round.

RUGBY

The Government Chief Whip Seán Kyne claims that the I-R-F-U refused to meet with a delegation of T-Ds over funding for the Sportstground’s redevelopment.

Connacht have received 20 million from the state for the 30 million refurbishment of the stadium in Galway.

Mr Kyne says he wasn’t confident that the I-R-F-U were going to help fund the project

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Ireland Under-20s will face defending champions France in the pool stages of this summer’s World Junior Rugby Championship.

Noel McNamara’s side are in Pool A for the tournament in Italy and they’ll also take on Argentina and World under-20 trophy winners Japan.

Ireland kick-off their Six Nations defence against Scotland at Cork’s Irish Independent Park on Friday January 31st.

GAELIC GAMES

Con O’Callaghan could miss the start of Dublin’s National Football League campaign.

The two-time All-Star forward suffered a shoulder injury ahead of his college U-C-D’s win over U-U-J in the Sigerson Cup last weekend.

U-C-D are waiting until swelling comes down on the issue before deciding if he can play against Queens this Saturday.

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Offaly football manager John Maughan says Niall McNamee is a “long way” from playing again.

The experienced forward suffered concussion during his club Rhode’s loss in the semi-finals of the Offaly Football Championship in Ocotber.

McNamee has been visiting neurologists and undergoing scans on his brain and Maughan insists he won’t be back until fully cleared to do so

Wexford football manager Paul Galvin insists he’s not closing the door on any players in the county.

The former All-Ireland winner with Kerry opted to drop Daithí Waters and Michael Furlong and Kevin O’Grady and Tiernan Rossiter have since decided to leave the panel.

Galvin says he felt change was needed when he took the job

RACING

A battalion of horses trained by Willie Mullins, headed by the likes of Min, Sharjah and Kemboy, feature in the all-star entries list for the Grade One races at the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown in under 3 weeks’ time .

It’s a weekend that will see Ireland’s main hopes for the Cheltenham Festival complete their course preparation.

Mike Vince has been talking to Willie Mullins’ son and assistant Patrick

BOXING

Tyson Fury says he’s changed his training team to help him “knock-out” Deontay Wilder inside two rounds.

The rivals went face to face in Los Angeles last night ahead of their W-B-C World heavyweight title rematch on February the 22nd.

Fury has replaced former coach Ben Davison with Sugarhill Steward and Andy Lee, and has warned the American he’s looking for a quick win

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Conor McGregor claims he’ll be paid 80-million dollars for his U-F-C 246 fight against ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone this weekend.

The Las Vegas bout will be the Dubliner’s first time in the Octagan since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.

McGregor says he “let people down” last year and that he feels he’s “learned some valuable lessons”.

GAMBLING

The UK gambling commission is to outlaw betting with credit cards from April of this year in a bid to tackle the issue of problem gambling.

Punters will still be able to use their debit cards for online wagers.

The commission found in separate research that 22 percent of gamblers that use credit cards are designated as ‘problem gamblers’.

In Ireland, a new regulatory authority to overhaul our long-standing gambling laws is due to come into place later this year.