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Rooney leads Man United past Sunderland

Wayne Rooney scores twice as Manchester United defeats Sunderland
The Associated Press

LONDON - Manchester United rode its luck Saturday as England captain Wayne Rooney scored twice in a 2-0 win against struggling 10-man Sunderland, but his success was overshadowed by another refereeing controversy in the Premier League.

One week on from the fury at Chelsea's home clash with Burnley, referee Roger East was at the centre of an alleged case of mistaken identity at Old Trafford.

Lucarelli fears for Parma's soccer future

Parma captain Lucarelli fears Serie A club could go out of business next week
The Associated Press

PARMA, Italy - Parma captain Alessandro Lucarelli fears the struggling Serie A club could go out of business as early as next week.

The club, which has been sold twice this season, is on the verge of bankruptcy and has called off its last two Serie A games.

"A meeting has been fixed for March 6, we don't even know if we'll get to March 6," he said Saturday. "And that's the confirmation that, for those in charge, the Parma problem is not that big a deal."

Parma could have played against Genoa on Sunday, but the players decided to take a stand.

Blatter wants 2022 World Cup final no later than Dec. 18

FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants 2022 World Cup final no later than Dec. 18 in Qatar
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

HOLYWOOD, Northern Ireland - FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar to take place no later than Dec. 18, a date that would avoid a conflict with the powerful Premier League over the Christmas schedule in England.

Another match featuring crisis-hit Parma postponed

For 2nd consecutive week, crisis-hit Parma has Serie A game postponed
Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press

ROME - A second consecutive match featuring crisis-hit Parma was postponed Friday, with the club still unable to provide basic services and on the brink of financial failure.

Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio announced the decision for Sunday's match at Genoa following a federation board meeting, shortly after Parma's players had asked for the postponement — threatening a boycott otherwise.

Russian soccer stadiums a throwback to 1980s England

Russian soccer stadiums are still a throwback to grim days of English hooliganism
James Ellingworth, The Associated Press

Watching a football match in Russia often carries echoes of the grim era of hooliganism in 1980s Britain.

There are crumbling stadiums, sparse crowds, clashes between hardcore fans and police, and despite a recent ban, often a pervasive smell of cigarette smoke.

Also, as shown Friday in a report by an anti-discrimination groupers, pervasive racism is directed against players and fans from ethnic minorities.

WWII bomb defused near Borussia Dortmund stadium

Unexploded WWII bomb discovered near Borussia Dortmund stadium, defused after evacuation
The Associated Press

DORTMUND, Germany - Authorities have defused an unexploded World War II bomb close to Borussia Dortmund's stadium after evacuating the area.

Dortmund's city government said the 250-kilogram (550-pound) British bomb was defused Thursday afternoon. The bomb had been unearthed after authorities evaluated aerial photos ahead of planned construction work, and a 250-meter (820-foot) radius around the site was evacuated.

WWII bomb defused near Borussia Dortmund stadium

Unexploded WWII bomb discovered near Borussia Dortmund stadium, defused after evacuation
The Associated Press

DORTMUND, Germany - Authorities have defused an unexploded World War II bomb close to Borussia Dortmund's stadium after evacuating the area.

Dortmund's city government said the 250-kilogram (550-pound) British bomb was defused Thursday afternoon. The bomb had been unearthed after authorities evaluated aerial photos ahead of planned construction work, and a 250-meter (820-foot) radius around the site was evacuated.

UEFA wants latest possible World Cup final date in Qatar

UEFA wants latest possible World Cup final in Qatar to protect dates for its own qualifiers
The Associated Press

NYON, Switzerland - UEFA supports playing the 2022 World Cup final on Dec. 23 to help protect international qualifying matches in its own competitions.

Earlier Wednesday, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke revealed UEFA made the final date proposal which has angered British football officials, who feel it threatens their traditional Christmas holiday program.

FIFA recommends November-December for World Cup in Qatar

FIFA task force recommends November-December playing dates for 2022 World Cup in Qatar
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

Long seen as inevitable, a 2022 World Cup in November and December is now practically a done deal.

A FIFA task force on Tuesday recommended playing the tournament in Qatar at the end of the year in 2022 to avoid the summer heat. Temperatures in the Gulf emirate routinely top 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) when the World Cup traditionally kicks off in June.

A Dec. 23 final in Doha is possible as FIFA aims to shorten the tournament from the current 32-day schedule to ease disruption for players, clubs and leagues worldwide.

Liverpool beats Southampton as Tottenham draws

Liverpool beats Southampton 2-0 as Tottenham fights back to draw 2-2 with West Ham
Jack Bezants, The Associated Press

SOUTHAMPTON, England - Liverpool moved two points off the top four in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Southampton on Sunday, while Tottenham fought back for a 2-2 draw with West Ham.

The victory moves Liverpool into sixth and Brendan Rodgers' side is now two points behind Manchester United, who still occupies the fourth and final Champions League position, despite losing 2-1 at Swansea on Saturday.

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