In today’s news: Charlotte Purdue speaks out on being left out of the Team GB squad for Tokyo, Northern Ireland prepare to face Ukraine in Euro qualifier and Sarah Hunter returns for England against Italy.
Charlotte Purdue says she feels let down by Great Britain after Tokyo omission
Marathon runner Charlotte Purdue has spoken out after being left out of Great Britain’s Tokyo Olympics squad.
The 29-year-old sat out of the Olympic trials last month because of injury, after being advised to do so by a UKA doctor.
Purdue achieved the qualifying time at the 2019 London Marathon but has not been selected for GB’s squad on medical grounds.
In an interview with BBC, Purdue said: "I was led to believe that I would go because I'd gone along with everything they told me to do.
"I actually took longer off than I wanted to due to the fact they led me to believe with the medical exemption, I would gain selection.
"I feel completely like I have been thrown under a bus."
Purdue lodged an appeal against her omission which was rejected and is now awaiting written reasons as to why this was the case.
Police to launch an investigation into racist abuse targeted at Rinsola Babajide
A police investigation has been launched regarding the racist language targeted at Liverpool’s Rinsola Babajide on Instagram.
Babadjide had posted a picture of her holding a football boot as part of a sponsored post with Puma, but was then subject to some torrid abuse.
The comment in question read: “Football is only for me you n***”
A statement from Liverpool read: “For the second time this week, a Liverpool player has been subjected to appalling racial abuse on an online platform. This racist - and sexist - attack on LFC Women's Rinsola Babajide has been formally reported to the police and an investigation is underway.
“Rinsola will continue to be offered our fullest support as well as that of the relevant authorities. LFC condemns all forms of discrimination and we reiterate - it is completely unacceptable and it has to stop.
Northern Ireland prepared to face Ukraine in Euro 2022 play-off
Kenny Shiels says Northern Ireland are aiming to win both legs of their Euro 2022 play-off against Ukraine.
Northern Ireland are aiming to reach a major tournament for the first time and face Ukraine tonight in Kovalivka before the return leg in Belfast next Tuesday.
Shiels is without several important figures tonight but still believes his side have enough to get the job done.
"We are thinking all the time about winning both matches," he stressed.
"That's the only thing that we think of and hopefully my emotions are passing that through.”
England ready to meet France in Caen
Hege Riise has selected a 26-player squad for England’s forthcoming friendlies against France and Canada.
The Lionesses play France this evening in Caen and Riise admitted she’s excited about the prospect of playing a team that will provide a stern test.
“It’s a long time since we’ve had good competition,” she said. “We’ll be able to see the character [of the team] and what we need moving forwards.
Captain Steph Houghton is out through injury for both games, but the England head coach is yet to reveal who will take the armband in her absence.
England make 10 changes for Six Nations clash against Italy
Simon Middleton has made 10 changes to the England side which faced Scotland as the Red Roses face Italy in Parma on Saturday.
Captain Sarah Hunter returns to the team for the first time in 13 months, after suffering with a neural injury and a hamstring strain.
This year’s competition is being played in a new format this year due to interruptions because of the coronavirus pandemic, with two pool games and a final instead of each team playing every nation.
This means that if England beat Italy, they will reach the Women’s Six Nations final on the 24th of April.News Now - Sport News