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 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi plays with a rugby ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, near Barcelona in Sant Joan Despi, April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

In pictures: Barca play a little rugby before Copa del Rey final

Barcelona and Real Madrid will play in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night but the day before the match, Braca players played a little rugby during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Barca meet Real Madrid on Wednesday at 11.30pm (UAE time) and the match will be on BeIn Sports.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Faisal Al Ketbi, standing, has been the poster boy for the upcoming Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

Faisal Al Ketbi is in spotlight for world jiu-jitsu championships at Abu Dhabi

Faisal Al Ketbi is the poster boy for UAE jiu-jitsu, with his picture prominent in the billboards and advertisements for this week’s Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

 Abdelaziz Haikal, left, avoids getting tackled, but his Al Ahli side were forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal, from Saudi Arabia. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli miss huge opportunity to progress in ACL

Dubai side forced to a goalless draw at home to Al Hilal. Ahmed Rizvi reports.

 Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, left, gestures from his car after winning the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur on March 30, 2014. He will be among the favourites at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones

F1: Mercedes look to capitalise on woes at Red Bull and Ferrari

Ferrari were left reeling after team principal Stefano Domenicali quit and Red Bull were handed a setback when they lost their appeal for Daniel Ricciardo as both incidents have heightened the mood at Mercedes ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

 Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa could be wearing a blue kit next season at Chelsea in the English Premier League. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Atletico’s Diego Simeone cannot stop Diego Costa move to Chelsea

Diego Costa has been the standout player for Atletico Madrid with his 26 goals, which has attracted the attention of several leading European clubs and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea are reportedly at the front of the queue.

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Injured Kevin Pietersen ruled out of Delhi’s opening IPL match

Dinesh Karthik to stand in as Daredevils captain in absence of former England batsman who has an injured finger.

Umar Akmal in trouble over wedding celebrations

Four arrested after party to celebrate Pakistan batsman's wedding goes over maximum duration.

India’s Supreme Court refuses Srinivasan return as BCCI chief

Corruption-tainted Indian cricket chief, considered the most powerful man in the sport across the world, will have to stay on the sidelines longer.

IPL turns UAE into cricket’s world stage

The Indian Premier League’s UAE schedule will be a television production emanating in the Middle East, choreographed from Singapore and involving a Belgian who happily admits to being a cricket novice.

IPL-mad Indian expats in UAE come out to bat for their teams

This year eight teams will compete in the UAE, India and Bangladesh, with 20 games taking place here.

Travel companies in India and UAE offer tour packages for IPL fans

Fans willing to travel have been snapping up offers that include visas, flights, hotels, transport to and from the stadiums as well as tours of Dubai complete with desert safari and dhow cruise. Some even offer the much sought after match tickets.

Young fans are ready to shout their support for favourite IPL teams

Nine-month-old Krisha Javeri and one-year-old Maahir Javeri will get their first taste of the sport at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Cricket Stadium during double-header evening and night games on Friday.

It is anybody’s game as IPL 7 takes centrestage in the UAE

John Wright says there is an air of expectancy in Mumbai side as most teams step into the unknown with rejigged squads while his Kolkata counterpart banks on Kallis to prove doubters wrong in tonight's opener.

IPL’s best moments: April 25, 2010 - Modi’s final farewell

Lalit Modi, the league’s first commissioner, knew his days were numbered when he made a closing speech ahead of the 2010 tournament finale.

Video: Sharjah Cricket Stadium gets ready to welcome the IPL

Sharjah Cricket Stadium has undergone a significant facelift as it gets ready to host the Indian Premier League, starting with Kevin Pietersen's Delhi Daredevils against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday, April 17.

IPL 7 game changer: Corey Anderson to add muscle to champions

Mumbai Indians are the defending champions and also won the Champions League T20 last year, but the prospect of adding Corey Anderson to their squad was too good an opportunity to miss, writes Osman Samiuddin.

IPL 7 team guide: Mumbai Indians

Krishmar Santokie only came in on the last day of the auction and at US$50,000 is pocket change in the money-charged IPL, but he could really be the surprise package of Season 7 for the Mumbai Indians.

Fleming concedes Chennai being distracted by spot-fixing episode

f the Indian Premier League still sometimes feels like a transient entity, where formats and rules change, franchises come and go, the Chennai Super Kings have provided it with some sense of continuity.

Tendulkar and Ganguly team up with new India football league

Tendulkar, India’s favourite cricketing son, will be involved alongside investment firm PVP Ventures in the Kochi franchise, while former India captain Ganguly has a role with Kolkata.