and the fear of it. i'm just embracing it all and just turning it into a positive. here on the edge of the desert on the outskirts of riyadh, saudi arabia is preparing to stage one of the most eagerly anticipated sports events of the year, at this 15,000 seater arena that has been built from scratch in less than two months. but given this country's human rights record, the choice of location is hugely controversial. there is a reason the fight is happening in saudi arabia. the saudi authorities are keen to whitewash or sports wash their tarnished international reputation, which is kind of — the reason for that is pretty well deserved. they have an appalling record on lgbt rights, women's rights, extra judicial killings, beheadings, the ongoing conflict in yemen. does it bother you right now you might be used to sports wash, as it is called, the image of country abroad 7 if that was the case, i would definitely have to say i would be bothered, but my only focus is just the boxing. the country in itself is trying
to do a good job politically, but for the sport insider things, i just feel like i've just got a fight to focus on. through the final corner, to win the first race of season six. boxing's not alone. last month's formula e motor racing, one of the host of major events to be lured here, has passed an unprecedented as part of an unprecedented investment into staging sport. the authorities insist the aim is to inspire participation, generate tourism and help drive modernisation. we have a plan. we have a strategy towards changing the social scene within the kingdom to what is right, and what we think is right as well, and we are going towards that, and sports is one of the fields that are within the 2030 vision, that are achieving that goal. this wouldn't be the first kingdom in this region to use such events to reposition itself, but the scale of saudi arabia's ambition is now clear. sport has another new frontier, but it could mean some tough choices ahead too. dan roan, bbc news, riyadh. that's it. now on bbc one, time
for the news where you are. have a very good night. hello. you're watching sportsday on bbc news. i'm ben croucher. these are your top stories. the silva service ends at everton. marco is given his marching orders at goodison park. freddie ljungberg's finding out how tough this management lark is. arsenal beaten by brighton — and on their worst run since the seventies. and we'll hear from a leaner, a maybe meaner fighting machine in anthonyjoshua ahead of his heavyweight showdown with andy ruinunior.
thanks for your company. well it had been on the cards for a few weeks now but everton today sacked manager marco silva. it ends a wretched reign at goodison park that has seen them slip into the premier league relegation zone and comes less than 2a hours after his side were humbled at anfield in the merseyside derby. 0ur reporter katie shanahan has been outside everton‘s stadium this evening. probably known that this has been coming for quite some time as the result of gone from bad to worse, especially last night when every timber thrashed 5—2 against the rivals and marco silva just looks really deflated in the dugout and did not even acknowledge any of the tea m did not even acknowledge any of the team goals. that defeat has pushed
everton into the relegation zone and recording their eighth defeat in 11 games, actually the first time in 20 yea rs games, actually the first time in 20 years that everton find themselves in the bottom three after 15 matches. edmonton, a cloud —— everton that is spent a lot of money, do not want to be fighting for a battle that will come at the end of the season. spending £450 million in the past three years to get eve rto n million in the past three years to get everton to play the champions league football. at the moment, they are way off that so something needs to happen in the club listen to listen to the fans. from what we're hearing, the front runner to replace marco silva, a bit of a backlash with the fans as remember, he did spent 11 years it everton back in 2013. the former everton player could be his assistant, a tough run
of fixtures coming up, they have chelsea at the weekend and that is followed by manchester united and then lester and arsenal. so here's silva's record as everton manager in the premier league — 19 wins, 23 losses, 11 draws. that's a win percentage of 35.9%. his points per game is lower than any everton boss since walter smith who was in charge between 1998 and 2002. he's also the first toffees manager to get the sack after a merseyside derby. duncan ferguson will be in caretaker charge for saturday's visit of chelsea. the favourite to take over — maybe in the short term at least — is their former boss david moyes. that isn't pleasing all evertonians though. if you look now at what is next for everton and bringing in someone like david beck, that is an acceptance that nothing has worked since you have gone, the rights of the last
six or seven have gone, the rights of the last six or seven years have gone, the rights of the last six or seven years of progress of the club at a think it will be a massive moment of reflection and potential disappointment. after a 2—1 defeat at brighton. not the way they want to see it in there first home game, and off—site flag and va are, a bit frustrated. both of two games starting. these are troubling times for the football club, no league victories since the start of october, freddie wanted to restore some pride. but nothing from arsenal in the beginning suggested that the tide was turning in adam webster took advantage 1—0. a brighter second half or arsenal
quickly went off bringing his side level in the 50 minute mark. but from relief to devastation in the home and, getting a memorable goal at the emirates and handing brighton three points. if arsenalfans at the emirates and handing brighton three points. if arsenal fans fought the return of freddie would be a new dawn for the club, they may have to think again. and sheffield, steve bruce was up against the site at that give him his first taste of football management in the first goal gave his current side the lead. then the harsh lesson for sheffield united, always played to the whistle. will shelby through, well will the flag going off the top of your screen. the referee said play on. as they confirmed it, 2— 02 newcastle. the decision given, but not in the way that football
would've liked. should've kept the flag down and do we see it out to the end, yes, if he keeps the flag down. but five minutes later, it happened twice, exactly the referee blew up straightaway. the referee, what is the difference, where's the consistency that we are all after christmas we kept playing and plugging away but it sucked the life out of my players and everyone in the stadium. it is one a few more fa ns the stadium. it is one a few more fans in newcastle tonight. here are the thoughts of their manager. we will roll up our sleeves up again today and when the match, which i am delighted about. to come here has
never been easy, a remarkable job and a very good side so, to come and beat them in their own backyard was terrific. it is one a few more fans in newcastle tonight. here are the thoughts of their manager. an italian newspapers has defended a headline today with the words black friday and a picture of chris smalling and romelu lukaku facing each other. it was used to set up tomorrow's match between inter milan and roma. the players and the clubs have condemned it. corriere dello sport says it's innocent and a way to celebrate diversity. ido i do not think they have used good words, that is what i think. we need to be careful about the words that we use when talking about racism and iam sure we use when talking about racism and i am sure they did not want to say anything wrong on the subject of racism, but i think the words they chose were wrong. also making the headlines on thursday... the english football league have said macclesfield will be punished if they don't play crewe on saturday. the players say they're not going to turn out having not been paid with morale at rock bottom britain 5 max litchfield
claimed the first major international title of his career with victory in the 400m individual medley at the european short course championships in glasgow. there were medals too for duncan scott and georgia davies. toxic smoke haze from bushfires has been affecting play and conditions at golf‘s australian open, with players saying their eyes were stinging and they were struggling to breathe — 0ne golfer ryan chisnall — who has asthma — had to wear a mask. england's paul casey is the highest placed brit — he's tied for sixth on 3 under three shots behind the leaders. the long awaited re—match between britain's anthonyjoshua and world heavyweight champion andy ruinunior takes place on saturday in saudi arabia. the weigh—in takes place tomorrow with joshua claiming to be his lightest in years. joshua is seeking to regain the wba, ibf and wbo titles afterjune's shock defeat by ruiz in new york. 0ur sports editor dan roan asked joshua what lesson he learned from losing that fight.
never lose grip of your goals, i think it is easy to kind of fall flat when something does not go your way. it is easy to fall flat, but you have to stay committed and commitment is not only through the good times, it is in the bedtimes as well. i just make good times, it is in the bedtimes as well. ijust make sure that my, i will show my face, you cannot shy away from the world. i stay committed and people respect you for that. dan has also been chatting to promoter eddie hearn about criticism in taking the fight to a country that has received heavy criticism over its human right‘s record. no individual, no germans can possibly tell a fighter where or when they cannot go to earn money in a sport like this. there's so many hypocrites, you're covering the event, why are you covering the
event, why are you covering the event, because you want to see so many views on the bbc website and news as possible, we are here to do oui’ news as possible, we are here to do ourjob for a client. london, madison square garden, saudi arabia. he would have chosen saudi arabia because of the money. it was a mutual venue and all of a sudden we have a massive offer coming from the middle east and if i said, i am have a massive offer coming from the middle east and if i said, lam not quite comfortable, he would have told me to get a newjob because this is a price fight. this is boxing and others have been here, the pga tour, formula 1, wwe, and they're much more bigger organisations than us but they have gone. this is the fight game. the journey has been on and he is seen asa journey has been on and he is seen as a role model and charity work, he has spoken out against those on social issues. you think going here and taking the money, given what goes under this regime is taking away from his legacy for the future? i think it adds to his legacy because he is going to a completely
different region to promote the sport of boxing. pressing a massive amount of support and he is going to change the face of boxing in this country. he is going to go down in history and like other events that had similar controversy and he is going to change the face of boxing in the middle east. ronnie 0'sullivan said he had no complaints after his uk championship title defence was ended by ding junhui. chasing a record extending eighth uk title and third in a row, 0'sullivan trailed 4—1 at one stage before levelling it a 4—all. the chinese cueman then took the next two frames to knock the rocket out on his 44th birthday and finally, we've all seen some good celebrations in sport. some iconic. not too many involve props and a membership of the magic circle. south african spinner tabrez shamsi stunned us all after taking a wicket in their t20 competition, wait for it... abra cadabra. ..
ta daaa! !! good job he took a wicket or that would be have been wasted on us all. that's all from sportsday. coming up in a moment, the papers.( coming up in a moment, the papers. hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. with me are the broadcaster david davies and the political correspondent for the daily mirror. nicola bartlet. many of tomorrow's front pages are already in. the metro says the bbc‘s andrew neil has issued an unprecedented on—air challenge to borisjohnson to appear
on his show, after critics accused the pm of being a coward' for dodging him. the daily mirror says the broadcaster listed questions he would ask the prime minister. the guardian reports that andrew neil has accused mrjohnson of failing to address a question of trust with the public. it also carries a picture from todays' protests in france, where, they say, 800,000 public sector employees marched in cities across the country to oppose the president's pension reforms. according to the times,nigel farage's general election campaign has descended into acrimony, after four senior brexit party politicians quit, and urged eurosceptics to vote conservative. the daily mail also highlights the brexit party politicians telling backers of nigel farage to support borisjohnson instead. the daily express‘s election take is of borisjohnson accusing