Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Exclusive: Iran stadium campaigner says women attending match will 'break a taboo'
Iranian women will be allowed to watch the national soccer team play on Thursday for the first time in over 40 years, but campaigners are not convinced the match against Cambodia heralds a wider opening up of sports by the government. Under pressure from world governing body FIFA, Iranian authorities have allocated seats to women in four sectors of Tehran's 78,000 capacity Azadi Stadium.
Exclusive: Hopman Cup set to return in 2021 - ITF President
The mixed-gender Hopman Cup team event is set to return in 2021 after losing its traditional New Year slot on the tennis calendar, International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty said on Wednesday. This year's 31st edition of the tournament, unique in that it is the only top-level mixed team event, saw Roger Federer lead Switzerland to the title in Perth against Germany in what fans and players feared would be a golden swansong.
Chinese organizers cancel NBA fan event amid free speech row
Chinese organisers on Wednesday cancelled a fan event on the eve of a National Basketball Association (NBA) exhibition game in Shanghai, the latest fallout in a growing row over a tweet by a team official supporting the recent protests in Hong Kong. Chinese sponsors and partners have been cutting ties with the NBA after the tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey last week supporting anti-government protests in the Chinese-ruled city.
Tennis: Former French Open champion Gimeno dies aged 82
The former Spanish tennis player Andres Gimeno, who won the French Open in 1972, died on Wednesday from cancer aged 82. Nineteen times Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal was among those to pay tribute to Gimeno.
Gymnastics: Russia's men clinch maiden team title at worlds
Russia's men clinched their first-ever team title at the gymnastics world championships on Wednesday, edging China in a tight contest in the finals in Stuttgart. The Russians never missed a beat as they posted a score of 261.726 across six apparatus - just 0.997 more than last year's winners China.
Call of Duty League teams, $6 million prize pool announced
Call of Duty League, debuting in 2020, will feature 12 teams and a $6 million prize pool. The League announced its "next chapter" on its website Wednesday.
Sherman to apologize to Mayfield over handshake flap
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman admitted that Baker Mayfield deserves an apology following his erroneous claim that the Cleveland Browns quarterback snubbed him prior to a pregame coin toss. "It's definitely my bad," Sherman said on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday. "I never want anybody to deal with some (expletive) that -- I mean some, some stuff that they didn't do. And so, you know, the questions that he's gonna get and the annoying, nonsense questions about some stuff that happened in a game that's already been done, you know, sure he'll get an apology for that.
Basketball: Canada's Nurse takes the long road in search of Olympic podium
Canada's Kia Nurse wants to step onto an Olympic podium so badly that she plans to take a break from an Australian league title defence next month to return home and compete in a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Games. For Nurse, a roughly 20-hour trek to Canada from Australia one month into the Canberra Capitals' Women's National Basketball League season is a small price to pay if it improves her chances of leaving Tokyo with a medal around her neck.
Argentina belatedly turn on the style to hammer U.S.
Argentina ended a disappointing World Cup campaign on a high as they ran in seven tries to hammer the United States 47-17 with a sometimes scintillating backline display in their final Pool C game on Wednesday. The Pumas, whose qualification hopes were ended by defeats at the hands of France and England, picked a young team and the newcomers took their chance to play with confidence and ambition that left the Americans clutching at shadows.
No. 1 Djokovic gets past Shapovalov in Shanghai
World No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic sailed past Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters. The Serbian, the top seed in China, need just one hour and 11 minutes to top Shapovalov. Wednesday's match continued Djokovic's dominance in the tournament, which he won last year without dropping a set.