The ‘racist’ rabbit hole, World Cup woes and more of the week’s best sportswriting

1. “We end up disappearing down the rabbit hole of whether Bernardo is “a racist”, a term that has no fixed definition, and thus can be endlessly argued and endlessly denied. We are told that wasting time on frivolities like this hurts the fight against “real racism”, which for some reason can only be defined by white people.”

The Independent’s Jonathan Liew on Pep Guardiola’s ‘worrying ignorance’ of racist rhetoric and imagery – and this was written before the Man City boss doubled down on his comments. 

2. “If things go wrong, you don’t have time to adjust. And sadly, unfortunately, but truthfully, we have rarely been able to win clutch games in the tournament. There’s something deep within us as a rugby nation. Wales did us in ‘87, Scotland found a way to beat us in 1991, when Finlay Calder just went and clocked Jim Staples. They won and got Samoa in the quarters. We lost and were paired with Australia instead.”

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Garry Doyle speaks to men in the know about what being at a World Cup with Ireland is really like, for The Examiner.

3. “The weakness in the facilities line of argument and the often-peculiar behaviour of the Irish football public were brought home to me over the summer. Back in May, I took the kids down to the Carlisle Grounds to watch the European Under 17 tie between Spain and Austria.

“To my surprise, I was by no means alone – as Bray’s little ground, as basic in terms of facilities as they come, was full.”

Build it and they probably still won’t come, writes Paul Little for

4.  “At the same time your ego is quite big at this stage, you think you’re invincible, you’re not doing much around the club, you’re not giving back too much. And then something like that happens. It’s probably not right to say you deserved it but at the same time I do believe some things happen for a reason. I got pulled back down a good few pegs when that happened.” 

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Jonny Cooper sits down for an in-depth interview with the Irish Independent’s Dermot Crowe.

5. “Not one line about her becoming world champion was written in the national press or mentioned on radio or television. “I thought I was going to get mobbed at the airport but no one was there. I got Boxing News that next Friday. I was all excited but there was nothing. My manager shrugged. ‘They don’t do women’s boxing.’ He was as bad as them.””

Donald McRae speaks to trailblazing boxer Jane Couch in The Guardian.

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