Thursday Evening Sports Update

SOCCER

The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross, has confirmed that the Government will not be reinstating State funding to the FAI in the near future.

It comes after the findings of the KOSI audit report into the Association, which have been passed on to An Garda Síochána by Sport Ireland.

Minister Ross said in a statement this evening that both he and Minister of State, Brendan Griffin TD, have been working closely with Sport Ireland.

They are hoping to create alternative methods of supporting deserving sports clubs and teams around the country.

Manchester United have been beaten 2-1 by Astana in Europa League Group L.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s (PRON: OH-LAY GUN-NER SOL-SHAR) side are already qualified for the knockout stage.

Captain Jesse Lingard had given a youthful United the lead on ten minutes.

Antrim 18-year-old Ethan Galbraith made his first-team debut off the bench for the Manchester side.

Arsenal can qualify for the last-32 with at least a point at home to Eintracht Frankfurt at 8pm.

Gunners boss Unai Emery (PRON: OON-EYE EM-UR-EE) has been under pressure of late, but says his side need to continue their good results in Europe:

Kick-off at the Emirates is at 8pm.

Wolves are looking to progress from Group K this evening with at least a draw against Sporting Braga.

The action got underway at 5.55pm in Portugal.

Celtic, who have already qualified, face French side Rennes (PRON: REN) at 8pm.

Rangers have just kicked off – Steven Gerrard’s side can go through with a win in Feyenoord – depending on the result between Young Boys and Porto.

Brighton star Aaron Connolly has recovered from injury ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit to Liverpool.

The Republic of Ireland international suffered a groin problem in his club’s recent defeat at Manchester United.

Brighton manager Graham Potter has confirmed the 19-year-old Galway man is back in training.

Richard Keogh has had an appeal against his sacking for gross misconduct rejected by Derby County.

The Republic of Ireland international was a passenger in a drink-driving incident involving former teammates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett.

It’s understood Keogh’s appeal was heard by the Championship club last Wednesday, with the final decision delivered by chairman Mel Morris.

SNOOKER

Cork star Ross Bulman takes on five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round of the UK Snooker Championship this evening.

The 18-year-old from Youghal gets underway against the ‘Rocket’ at 7pm at the Barbican in York.

ATHLETICS

Ciara Mageean has been named Athlete of the Year at the Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards.

The City of Lisburn athlete picked up the top gong after a year that included a 10th place finish at the World Championships.

Sonia O’Sullivan was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2019 at the event in Blanchardstown’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.