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FIFA say 2018 WCup final arena 'ahead of schedule'

FIFA say the Luzhniki Stadium that will host the 2018 WCup final is 'ahead of schedule'
The Associated Press

MOSCOW - Russia is avoiding Brazil's mistakes.

That was the message as FIFA inspectors completed their tour of the arenas Russia is building for the 2018 World Cup - no delays here.

While Brazil's World Cup passed off largely smoothly, its build-up was dominated by the rushed finish to stadium construction and, even during the tournament itself, some stadiums were still unfinished and forced to deploy temporary seating and facilities.

Southampton, City enjoy big wins in Premier League

Southampton crushes Sunderland 8-0, Man City beats Spurs 4-1 in English Premier League
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England - Southampton crushed Sunderland 8-0 in one of the biggest wins in the Premier League's 22-year history, overshadowing Sergio Aguero's four-goal haul in Manchester City's latest thrashing of Tottenham on Saturday.

Capello not getting paid, Russia struggling

Russia's struggles on the field seem to coincide with Fabio Capello's lack of paychecks
The Associated Press

MOSCOW - If Fabio Capello took over as coach of Russia's national soccer team for the money, he came to the wrong place.

The veteran Italian coach, who led England at the 2010 World Cup and then took over Russia two years later, has not been paid since June.

And since that time, the national team has won only one of six competitive matches.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who played a crucial role in attracting Capello in 2012, seems to think the team's struggles and the coach's missing paychecks are related.

Platini fears drones could drop bombs on pitches

UEFA president worried that drones could drop bombs on football pitches
The Associated Press

PARIS - UEFA President Michel Platini fears that drones could be used to drop bombs on football pitches.

Speaking to French TV channel TF1, Platini made his comments after an Albanian nationalist banner flown by a drone over a stadium in Belgrade ignited a brawl on the field and fueled political tensions between Balkan rivals Serbia and Albania.

Platini called the incident "shameful," and expressed his fears about possible drone attacks in the future.

World Cup bid findings to be released in November

World Cup corruption findings to be released in November, FIFA won't publish full report
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - FIFA's ethics chairman will release his findings into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests next month, without making the investigation report public.

Tacopina and Saputo presented as Bologna owners

NY lawyer Joe Tacopina and Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo presented as Bologna owners
The Associated Press

BOLOGNA, Italy - New York lawyer Joe Tacopina and Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo are promising to restore cash-strapped Serie B football club Bologna to its former glory.

The North Americans were presented as the new owners of the seven-time Serie A champion on Thursday.

"We plan to stay for decades, and our first goal is returning to Serie A," said Tacopina, the club's new president.

Saputo has been reported as the biggest investor in the deal.

Serb police nab drone that triggered Balkan ruckus

Serb police locate drone that flew over soccer match; Albania defends actions of players
Dusan Stojanovic, The Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia - Serbian police have found the drone that flew an Albanian nationalist banner over a soccer stadium in Belgrade, igniting a brawl on the field and fueling political tensions between Balkan rivals Serbia and Albania.

The small drone with four rotors — last seen being carried off by a Serb fan during the stadium brawl Tuesday night — will be checked to see where it was manufactured and purchased and who could have flown it, police chief Nebojsa Stefanovic said Thursday.

Serb police nab drone that triggered Balkan ruckus

Serb police locate drone that flew over soccer match; Albania defends actions of players
Dusan Stojanovic, The Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia - Serbian police have found the drone that flew an Albanian nationalist banner over a soccer stadium in Belgrade, igniting a brawl on the field and fueling political tensions between Balkan rivals Serbia and Albania.

The small drone with four rotors — last seen being carried off by a Serb fan during the stadium brawl Tuesday night — will be checked to see where it was manufactured and purchased and who could have flown it, police chief Nebojsa Stefanovic said Thursday.

UEFA to investigate Serbia-Albania violence

UEFA opens disciplinary cases against Serbia and Albania over Belgrade soccer violence
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - UEFA opened disciplinary cases on Wednesday against the Serbian and Albanian football associations over the fighting between players and fans that led to their European Championship qualifier in Belgrade being abandoned.

Serbia vs Albania Euro 2016 qualifier abandoned

Serbia vs Albania qualifier abandoned after drone flies banner, causes scuffles among players
Dusan Stojanovic, The Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia - A 2016 European Championship qualifier between Serbia and Albania was abandoned on Tuesday after scuffles among players and fans on the pitch over a banner featuring an Albanian flag that was flown above the stadium by a drone.

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