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Summary

  1. Your stories of grassroots refereeing: #bbcsportsday
  2. Coutinho signs new five-year deal with Liverpool
  3. Reds play Southampton tonight in EFL Cup semi-final second leg

Live Reporting

By Libby Dawes and Matt Parratt

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye

    Thank you for your company today and a special thanks to all those who submitted their tales, good and bad, of grassroots refereeing. You've kept us very busy indeed.

    We will be back at the same time tomorrow to keep you updated with Thursday's developments but before that, a reminder that we have live text and radio commentary from tonight's EFL Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Southampton here.

    Enjoy...                                                                                              

    Liverpool v Southampton
  2. Estcourt signs first pro contract

    Wales midfielder Charlie Estcourt has signed her first professional contract with English top-flight team Reading.  

    The 18-year-old is a product of the Women's Super League One club's John Madejski Academy college programme.

    Read the rest of the report here.

    Charlie Estcourt
  3. Get Involved - Your grassroots refereeing tales

    #bbcsportsday

    Chris: It's about how you treat the players before, during and after the game. I tell both teams before the game that I'm probably going to give some decisions that they don't agree with, and that I'm not doing it to annoy them, it's my take on the incident. I think it makes the players realise that I'm only human too!

    Ethan: A couple of months back I, being 16 at the time was told by a PARENT to meet him in the car park after a game in which he had to be sent off. 

    Jack Smith: As an 18-year-old referee, there's no better way to put abusive parents and managers in their place than by laughing. As soon as they realise they aren't intimidating they soon become quick to praise the job you do.

    Keep your stories coming in of grassroots refereeing, good and bad...

    Use this Contact Us form, #bbcsportsday or our Facebook page.

  4. 'Mourinho has done a great job'

    Video content

    Video caption: Man United: Sir Alex Ferguson praises Mourinho progress

    Manchester United are making progress under Jose Mourinho and are "unlucky" not to be challenging Chelsea, says former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

    Ferguson, 75, stepped down in 2013 but retains close ties to Old Trafford and attends most games.

    "I think he has done a great job," said the Scot in an exclusive interview with BBC Sport.

    "You can see he has got to grips with the club.

    "The team is playing really well and he has been very unlucky. He has had six 1-1 draws and in every game he has battered the opposition.

    "If they hadn't had all these draws, they would be there challenging Chelsea. That is the unfortunate part but he is going to have to live with that."

  5. Watch Konta v Williams highlights

    Australian Open

    Switch on BBC Two right now and you can watch highlights from today's Australian Open matches, including Britain's Johanna Konta v Serena Williams.

    It was a cracker.

    Serena Williams
    Image caption: See, even Serena's excited...
  6. Get Involved - Your grassroots refereeing tales

    #bbcsportsday

    Craig Birchenough: I was reffing a U15s match on Sunday Afternoon. I gave a last minute penalty to the away side. Home team manager threw the linesman's flag at me and called me a disgrace. Had to be taken back to changing rooms by away team manager. Stopped reffing after this match.

    Sam Watt: Third match of refereeing career, got lambasted by one manager for the whole game with even his 13-year-old captain apologising for his behaviour. I'm a better referee because of it...

    Steve Faulkner: Playing Sunday league, was punched in the stomach off the ball. Ref saw it, marched over and said 'get up he didn't punch you that hard'.

    Keep your stories coming in of grassroots refereeing, good and bad...

    Use this Contact Us form, #bbcsportsday or our Facebook page.

  7. Worcester appoint Gold as director

    Premiership strugglers Worcester have appointed Gary Gold as director of rugby.

    Gold has previously had spells with London Irish, Newcastle, Bath and as an assistant coach with South Africa.

    He joins initially until the end of the season, working above head coach Carl Hogg. 

  8. Get Involved - Your grassroots refereeing tales

    #bbcsportsday

    Phil Wheeler: I've been physically attacked, two of my sons have taken it up recently and one of them nearly abandoned an under-12s game because three coaches stepped onto the pitch to berate him during the game. I worry someone will be killed, but nothing will change in this country until the attitude towards refs changes.

    David Farnworth: I was verbally insulted, sworn at and threatened and even driven at by a 4x4 car in the car park after I abandoned a game when the opposing coach shouted at his players to break the opponents' legs. Later on as a parent I saw 13-14 year-old teams kick and punch opposing teams with no sanction from the referee as he seemed too scared.

    David Crowe: I have been a referee for 35 years, and in that time have only felt threatened once. Sunday league games are usually the most difficult, but I have found if you treat the players with respect you usually get it back.

    Keep your stories coming in of grassroots refereeing, good and bad...

    Use this Contact Us form, #bbcsportsday or our Facebook page.

  9. On this day...

    Tennis

    In 2013, Andy Murray reached the Australian Open final by beating Roger Federer 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 in the semi-final.

    Andy Murray of Great Britain
  10. Get Involved - your grassroots refereeing tales

    #bbcsportsday

    Andy Uttley, via email: Years ago playing in the Craven League 5th division our manager played in goal as we were short of players. The referee was a young kid, I think he was only 16, in his first season as a ref.

    He came in for a torrent of abuse from our manager/keeper after giving a corner instead of a goal kick. He calmly walked up to our man, right up to him and advised him to shut his mouth or he would be off. He never made another sound!

    We want to hear your stories of grassroots refereeing, good and bad...

    • Are you an amateur ref and had a bad experience on the pitch from abusive players? 
    • Are you a player and have had a match officiated by a brilliant ref? 

    We are all ears. Your story may be used in a special BBC Sport report on the topic. 

    Let us know using this Contact Us form, using #bbcsportsday or on our Facebook page.

  11. Cricket: Lancashire all-rounder Smith retires

    Lancashire all-rounder Tom Smith has announced his retirement at the age of 31 after a series of injury problems.  

    Tom Smith

    Smith was named captain of the Red Rose for the 2015 season, but only skippered the team in one game after being told he needed back surgery.

    The injury kept him out for 13 months but he came back to feature in the final months of last season, only for back problems to return.

    Quote Message: It's very sad and a tough decision to come to. Following some medical advice from the specialist and thinking about the long term future it has come because of injury. from Tom Smith
    Tom Smith
  12. Get Involved - Your grassroots refereeing tales

    #bbcsportsday

    Anon: I've been bitten by a player after sending them off. Verbal abuse, shouting from the sidelines - referees can only give what they see, from the angle they see it.

    Jonathan Almond: I started refereeing at 17 and was doing quite well for a few years with no real trouble abuse, then two years ago there were a few matches where I was abused throughout the matches. The last game I ever refereed I was threatened to be stabbed, didn't collect my match fee and left straight after the final whistle. Never again.

    Sean: I've been refereeing both youth and men's football for four years now, and never had any issues. Players show frustrations every now and again but have never in any way used foul or abusive language. The problems I have seen stem from the referees themselves not being good enough.     

    Keep your stories coming in of grassroots refereeing, good and bad...

    Use this Contact Us form, #bbcsportsday or our Facebook page.

  13. Breathe easy, Ireland fans...

    Six Nations

    Ireland coach Joe Schmidt expects fly-half Jonathan Sexton to be fit for the Six Nations opener away to Scotland on 4 February.

    Sexton suffered a calf injury during Leinster's 24-24 European Champions Cup draw away to Castres on Friday.

    "There's not a lot of damage there, nothing's showing up that's overly significant," said Schmidt.

    Jonny Sexton
  14. Get Involved - Your grassroots refereeing tales

    #bbcsportsday

    Nigel Rothband: Having to give up playing with a knee injury in my 20s I took up refereeing and have refereed in the same league for more than 30 years. There has been the occasional abuse over those years but on the whole it has been a brilliant and fulfilling experience. Unable to play, I have gained so much pleasure from contributing to games and still being involved in the game I love.

    Keep your stories coming in of grassroots refereeing, good and bad...

    Use this Contact Us form, #bbcsportsday or our Facebook page.

  15. On this day...

    Horse Racing

    2008: Kieren Fallon was banned from racing for 18 months by France Galop after testing positive for a banned substance following a race at Deauville in August 2007.

    Kieren Fallon
  16. Get Involved - Your grassroots refereeing tales

    #bbcsportsday

    Joe Craven, via email: I am a grassroots referee. I get offered a fight almost every week by players in my game. I have even been offered fights by coaches of junior teams after making decisions that did not go their team's way. 

    It is disgraceful to act this way to a teenager who is simply doing it for a small match fee and to give something back to the game.

    We want to hear your stories of grassroots refereeing...

    • Are you an amateur ref and had a bad experience on the pitch from abusive players? 
    • Are you a player and have had a match officiated by a brilliant ref? 

    We are all ears. Your story may be used in a special BBC Sport report on the topic. 

    Let us know using this Contact Us form, using #bbcsportsday or on our Facebook page.

  17. 'F1 needs evolution, not revolution'

    "Make F1 great again." 

    Not the latest political rallying cry. No. But it is broadly what Ross Brawn has been tasked with doing following the $8bn takeover of the sport.

    Is this the end of boost-button "gimmicks", fragile tyres and what many see as a power imbalance among the top teams? 

    Brawn - the sport's new managing director - is keeping his cards close to his chest but says "evolution, not revolution" is the key.

    Listen to the full clip below and read more here.

    Video content

    Video caption: Brawn says that change is needed throughout the whole of F1.
  18. Happy birthday to...

    David Ginola (football) - The former France, Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton winger, born 1967.

    Xavi (football) - The former Barcelona and Spain playmaker, currently with Al Sadd, born 1980.

    Francis Jeffers (football) - The former Everton and Arsenal striker, most recently with Accrington, born 1981.

    Robinho (football) - The former Manchester City, AC Milan and Brazil forward, currently with Atletico Mineiro, born 1984.

    Xavi Hernandez
  19. Federer v Nadal 'most important final ever'

    Australian Open

    We're still only at the semi-final stage, but that's not stopped Andy Roddick from suggesting that a Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal showdown at the Australian Open could be the final of ALL finals.

    Nadal progressed this morning with a straight sets victory against Milos Raonic, while Federer swept aside Andy Murray's conqueror Mischa Zverev earlier in the week.

    Roddick told BBC Radio 5 live that a victory for either Federer (17 Grand Slams to his name) and Rafa (just 14) would make it one of the most important finals "possibly in Grand Slam history".

    Does he have a point? Listen to the full clip here.

    Video content

    Video caption: Andy Roddick on a potential Australian Open final between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
  20. Alfeton manager to leave for Premier League role

    Nicky Law

    Alfreton Town manager Nicky Law will leave the club next month after almost a decade at the National League North side.

    The 55-year-old former Grimsby and Bradford boss has accepted a role as Premier League Burnley's head of national recruitment for under 17-23s.