the us secretary of state has said there will be relentless pressure until it stops funding what he called violent and destabilishing activities. donald trump and barack obama both on the campaign trail with just hours to go until america's crucial mid—term elections. and do you really, really want to see the spice girls live? in a moment, it will be time for sportsday, but first a look at what else is coming up this evening on bbc news. in half hour, we'lljoin katty kay and christian fraser in washington for beyond 100 days as america builds up to the crucial mid—term elections. at 8pm, we'll be speaking to a former gang member about how to tackle knife crime — that's after four stabbings in five days in the capital. and later on, a look at tomorrow's front pages in the papers. joining me tonight — dawn foster, columnist
for the guardian, and liam halligan, chief economics commentator for the daily telegraph. now on bbc news, it's time for sportsday. hello and welcome to sportsday, i'm azi farni. coming up: "bolder" and more "courageous" — that's what captain joe root wants from his england test side against sri lanka. rooney's returning, but not all of english football is behind it. and james mcclean says the fa are turning a blind eye to sectarian abuse. also coming up in the programme: floyd mayweatherjunior is heading back to the ring, but not for boxing. ican i can wrestle a little bit, i can
box a little bit. hello and welcome to sportsday. thanks forjoining us. plenty to come on the programme, but let's start with cricket because england's first test against sri lanka is due to get underway in around ten hours‘ time in galle. captainjoe root won't name his side until the toss is made tomorrow morning, but he says the team will be trying a bolder and more courageous approach in the three—match series. they will need to with their struggles on tour in recent years. more on that in a moment, but first let's hearfrom root. throughout this trip, we will play on three very different surfaces, and for us to win over here will be and for us to win over here will be a squad performance. there will be times when balance of the team will
change drastically and we have to accept that. it is not about you individually but about us doing something special collectively. we have done things in a certain winner past when we have come to the subcontinent and it is try to time to try something different and to be bold and courageous and try to exploit every surface we come up against. alastair cook, what impact does have a new was a captain, to be without somebody of some experience and authority? i have played over 70 games and here's been involved in every single one of them so it will be different, it has been strange him not being around, but it creates opportunities for other guys to stand up and take on that leadership role in the side in the squad. you start to see that already which is really promising. well, while england's home form, on the whole, has been solid, their record on tour has generally been disappointing. austin halewood has all the stats. austin, just how bad have england been on the road? well, we heard joe root say it's
time for england to try something different, and with good reason, because english cricket has desperately struggled on foreign shores in recent years. since 2012, they've played 41 test matches away from home, winning just seven of them! that's just two series wins from a possible 12. you have to go as far back as 2001 for the last time england won a series in sri lanka. but this isn'tjust an english problem. the percentage of test matches won by the away side has stayed between just 20 and 30% for the last 100 years, so england's recent struggles are nothing new. a number of different factors, of course, are to blame for these figures, but particularly how pitches change from one country to another. spin is king in sri lanka, and how england deal with it is sure to decide the outcome
of this series. but already, the tourists are starting on the back foot because they've barely had any time to prepare with conditions like this. they've had two warm—up matches lasting just two days with intermitent rain and one full day completely washed out. add to that the fact england will come up against one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time and they really are up against it. rangana herath has taken 430 test wickets — more than any other left—arm spinner in history — but the ao—year—old has decided to retire after the first test in galle. herath took 12 english wickets the last time the two sides met in sri lanka. and understandably, his team are sorry to see him go. we all know how much he has done for
sure lankan cricket. apart from that, off the field, he is a really good human being and especially for me, asa good human being and especially for me, as a test captain when i took over, he gave me a lot of support, on and off the field. we will definitely miss him. and, of course, england begin a new chapter without the resilience of alistair cook opening the batting. despite dips in form towards the end of his career, the english top order now looks a lot more vulnerable. after all, it's been 12 years since they last played a test without cook in the side and, to put that in perspective, a lot‘s changed since then. take the iphone — well, that wasn't even a thing when cook made his debut in 2006. the latest ipod looked like this. and no—one tweeted about cook's debut because twitter didn't exist. we were all on msn instead. chico time by the x factor‘s chico slimani was number one in the charts and,
if none of that made you feel old, well, sam curran — part of the current england squad — he was just seven when the ex—captain made his debut. england have known a future without cook was always on the horizon, but now‘s the time to prove they can handle test cricket without him. and you can keep across all of england's tests in sri lanka by listening to the cricket social. that's on air each day from 7am on the cricket section of the bbc sport website and app. i'm disappointed you didn't sing chico time! well, the second test of england's series is due to go ahead in kandy as planned despite a shortage of hotel rooms for the teams. the rooms in hotels near the ground had already been booked up by tour groups, who now face the prospect of moving fans further away from the ground. the sri lankan sports minister described the problem as a crisis of national interest. we can speak now to one
of the fans who's being relocated, david ashdown. david, thanks forjoining us. when did you find out you'd have to move? it was last friday evening, just coming home from work. i came into an e—mail from it for coming home from work. i came into an e—mailfrom it for manager to coming home from work. i came into an e—mail from it for manager to say that we will being ousted from the hotel. there were 70 rooms which had to be vacated so that the two teams and players and officials could be accommodated and the hotel was overbooked so my wife and i were in one of the 70 rooms that were vacated. we booked seven months ago ina week vacated. we booked seven months ago in a week before we travelled we we re in a week before we travelled we were told we would have to change hotels. how far are you being moved now? i have just hotels. how far are you being moved now? i havejust had hotels. how far are you being moved now? i have just had confirmation today, there are three or four options. i think hopefully we will be lucky and moved about 25—27 minutes away from the ground, 1a
kilometres, rather than the eight kilometres, rather than the eight kilometres, but we are arriving on the eve of the test so keeping our fingers crossed. i think one of the hotels is two hours drive away, although it looks lovely hotel, and if this monsoon weather keeps up, thatis if this monsoon weather keeps up, that is really inconvenient. if you are that far away from the ground, it is not easy to go to and from the ground should there be rain interruptions. we will wait and see. but how do you feel about it? are you happy to give up a room for the team's? i suppose they need to be near the ground. i can understand. it is unbelievable and had to comprehend how such a problem that has happened and how it has been detected and resolved so late in the day, but i do understand, there is regulation the players love to be within 45 minutes of the ground which seems reasonable, and this was
the only option in order for the test match to go ahead, so from that point of view i think there was no option, but in terms of a postmortem, goodness knows how this problem happened in the first place! ina very problem happened in the first place! in a very unsettling and distressful few days, it is hopefully resolved 110w few days, it is hopefully resolved now but we're still worried because we are one of the last ones to arrive. this time next week we will get on the plane to fly in and we arrive on the eve of the test so we will be the last ones to arrive so i just hope there is still a room reserved for us. fingers crossed for you david, thank you forjoining us. the decision to recall wayne rooney to the england squad has divided football fans. it's two years since england's top scorer made his last international appearance, but he's been selected for a one—off game against the us at wembley. the fa says it's a chance to honour his career, and proceeds from the match will support rooney's charitable foundation, but critics say it devalues the worth of england caps, as andy swiss reports. it is the one—off comeback
that's dividing football. commentator: wayne rooney's first—ever world cup final goal! for so long, wayne rooney was england's talisman, but after being dropped and then announcing his international retirement we'd assumed we'd seen the last of this. indeed, only last week, rooney, who now plays for dc united in the states, said his england career was in the past. it was the right decision to let the team move on, and it was the right time, i have no regrets. cue surprise, then, when the fa tweeted this, that they've invited rooney to play against the us next week. rooney said he was humbled. the friendly match is raising money for his children's charity. the england boss, gareth southgate, said it was a chance to acknowledge rooney's immense contribution, but not everyone is so happy. southgate has complained about the lack of opportunities for his young stars,
so does gifting a retired player a game send out the wrong message? some believe it cheapens an england cap, including the man who has more than anyone else, goalkeeping legend peter shilton. i think that england caps need to be earnt, not just given out. it's for charity. and that's brilliant. but does that warrant actually wayne playing for england again after two years? i don't think so. 0thers believe rooney deserves his sendoff. it's happened in other countries. last year, german world cup winner lukas poldolski came out of retirement for a final celebratory game. but for england, this is a first. commentator: england win a world cup penalty shoot out! their world cup success over the summer, driven by a new generation of stars, seemed to mark a clear break from the rooney era. for one night, though, and for one man, english football is turning back the clock. andy swiss, bbc news. stoke's winger, james mclean,
says the fa are turning a blind eye to sectarian abuse. mclean is the subject of an fa investigation after calling some stoke fans "uneducated cavemen" for abuse he received in saturday's goal—less draw against middlesbrough for not wearing a poppy, but he says the fa allow fans to chant and sing anti—irish abuse without repercussion. in an instagram post today, he said, "week in, week out for the past seven years, i get constant sectarian abuse, death threats, objects being thrown, chanting, which is heard loud and clear every week." he goes on to say that "if it was a person's skin colour or if it was anti—muslim, someone's gender, there would be an uproar and it would be taken in a completely different way but, like in neil lennon's case in scotland, because we are irish catholics, they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said and done." 0ur football reporter, simon stone, is here with me now. what has the fa said in response?
within the last 15 minutes, they have said that stoke city's james maclean has been bored by the fa for his use of an offensive word on social media. they go on to address these complaints and say the fa adds that any discriminatory language or behaviour aimed any person or personss of nationality or faith, as we understand, maybe experienced by the player in this case is unacceptable. the fa have tried to doa unacceptable. the fa have tried to do a lot to eradicate homophobia, racism from football. clearly, james maclean has a view that sectarianism is not treated in the same way, and he has certainly become a totem for the poppy because of his background, he comes from a working—class
stating derry, he has made it perfectly clear and has outlined a year after year why he politically does not feel able to wear the p°ppy- he does not feel able to wear the poppy. he said in the past, if it was just about world war i and world war ii, he would wear it, but because, in the environment he grew up because, in the environment he grew up in, the poppy symbolises the army and the occupation of the north of ireland and his area in particular, he does not feel able to wear it, and that has obviously attracted animosity from some quarters which he does not feel is justified. meanwhile, nemanja matic has explained today why he won't wear a poppy on his manchester united. what did he say? he did not wear his poppy or a poppy on his shirt when manchester united played bournemouth on saturday. they also had the manchester derby at the
weekend. he has outlined why, which is basically that his village in serbia was bombed by british forces in 1999 serbia was bombed by british forces in1999 and, serbia was bombed by british forces in 1999 and, although he has won a p°ppy in 1999 and, although he has won a poppy before on his shirt, he does not feel as though he can do that. again, there was a political reason why someone who is not british does not wish to wear a poppy on his football shirt. thank you for joining us. liverpool midfielder xherdan shaqiri will miss the side's champions league game against red star belgrade in serbia on tuesday. he's been left out of the squad in order to "avoid any distractions" that may be caused by his albanian heritage. during this summer's world cup, shaqiri scored for switzerland against serbia and celebrated by making a double—handed eagle gesture, which symbolises the albanian flag. he was later fined by fifa. shaqiri is an ethnic albanian from kosovo, where a serbian crackdown on the albanian population ended with nato military intervention in 1999. the premier league's bottom two
sides are in action this evening. huddersfield, who are last in the table and still without a win this season, host fulham, who have lost their last four matches. there's live commentary of the match on radio 5 live from 8pm. american boxer floyd mayweather has signed with a japanese mixed martial arts promotions company to fight kickboxer tenshin nasukawa on new year's eve in saitama. the undefeated a1—year—old, who has won world boxing titles in five different weight categories, has never fought professionally in mixed martial arts and it has yet to be decided what format and rules the fight will follow. mayweather‘s last bout was in 2017, when he beat irish mma fighter conor mcgregor, running his boxing record to a perfect 50 wins with no defeats and earning close to $300 million.
ican i can wrestle a little bit, i can box a little bit, and we willjust see. i can do it all. i can do anything if i set my mind to it. we will not be on the same page with most people on my team. we have to have rules, there are rules and regulations to everything we do in life. i am pretty sure that once i speak with the guys on my team we will be on the same page so we both know what we have to do. now let's have a look at some of the other stories making the headlines today: in rugby league, george burgess will appear at a disciplinary hearing on tuesday after new zealand cited an incident during sunday's second test at anfield. the england foward appeared to have his fingers in the eyes of new zealand's captain, dallin watene—zelezniak. in rugby union, forward tom curry has been ruled out of england's test against new zealand this weekend with a "severe ankle injury".
he was part of the inexperienced back row that helped england beat south africa on saturday. the good news for england is that co—captain 0wen farrell is free to play. he's not going to be punished for this thumping tackle at the end of their match against south africa. it was the last play of the match and helped england hold on for a hard—fought win. rafa nadal has confirmed that his season is over. he'll miss the atp world tour finals in london this month following an operation on his right ankle. he's also yet to recover from the abdominal problem that kept him out of the paris masters last week. john isner will replace nadal at the finals. it means novak djokovic will end the year at as the world number one. and johanna konta has got a new, permanent coach. she's hired dimitri zavialoff, who she worked with on a trial basis at the kremlin cup in moscow last month. the frenchman was stan wawrinka's first coach. now, finally, the football association have set clubs
in the seventh and eight tier of football a deadline to make sure their changing rooms are big enough. new rules mean the minimum size has to be 18 square metres otherwise clubs face relegation. two non—league football clubs in somerset, frome town and taunton town, say the fa is being too harsh. pam caulfield reports. two metres by two metres... four square metres do not seem like much but the frome town fc, it is. to find the extra space they will either need to knock down the wall 01’ move either need to knock down the wall or move the showers at a cost of £15,000. we don't have it so we have to find and fun race that. to be fair, our supporters are really good at that kind of thing and we can get oui’ at that kind of thing and we can get our share of that money. i am more concerned about the timescale and if