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Balotelli suspended 1 match for social media post

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli suspended for 1 match for racially offensive social media post
The Associated Press

LONDON - Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has been suspended for one game and fined 25,000 pounds ($39,000) by the governing body of English soccer for making a racially offensive online post.

The Football Association said Friday that Balotelli also has been ordered to attend an education program for the "aggravated breach" of its rules.

FIFA meets amid crisis over Garcia's resignation

A day after ethics prosecutor resigns, FIFA meets amid crisis on squashed probe
John Leicester, The Associated Press

MARRAKECH, Morocco - Amid another crisis at FIFA, President Sepp Blatter and his executive committee opened a two-day meeting Thursday to discuss the sudden resignation of ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia and whether to publish his confidential World Cup report.

Arsenal's top-4 consistency a target for Liverpool

Struggling to rejoin elite, Liverpool hosts an Arsenal side used to overcoming blips in season
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - However many blips and bumps Arsenal endures through the season one outcome is a constant: finishing in the Premier League's top four.

Arsenal has spent 17 consecutive seasons among the elite, ensuring itself of a place in the Champions League year after year. Fans might be frustrated by the shortage of silverware, but it's a level of predictable consistency Liverpool would accept now.

Liverpool sets up League Cup semi with Chelsea

League Cup: Liverpool to play Chelsea in SF after Bournemouth win, Spurs to face Sheff United
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Liverpool will play Chelsea in the League Cup semifinals after Raheem Sterling netted twice in a 3-1 victory over second-tier Bournemouth on Wednesday, while Tottenham eased through with a 4-0 rout of Newcastle.

Garcia resigns as FIFA prosecutor

FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia resigns; slams leadership, loses faith in Eckert
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The American lawyer who led the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process resigned from the FIFA ethics committee on Wednesday in protest over the handling of his findings.

Michael Garcia cited a "lack of leadership" at the top of FIFA in a resignation statement. He also said he has lost confidence in the independence of his ethics committee colleague, German judge Joachim Eckert.

Resignation statement from FIFA prosecutor Garcia

Resignation statement from FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Statement from Michael Garcia, Chairman of the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee:

For the first two years after my July 2012 appointment as independent Chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee's Investigatory Chamber, I felt that the Ethics Committee was making real progress in advancing ethics enforcement at FIFA. In recent months, that changed.

Garcia resigns as FIFA prosecutor

FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia resigns; slams leadership, loses faith in Eckert
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The American lawyer who led the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process resigned from the FIFA ethics committee on Wednesday in protest over the handling of his findings.

Michael Garcia cited a "lack of leadership" at the top of FIFA in a resignation statement. He also said he has lost confidence in the independence of his ethics committee colleague, German judge Joachim Eckert.

Church of England appoints first female bishop

Small step and historic first: Church of England names first female bishop
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

LONDON - The Church of England on Wednesday named the first female bishop in its 500-year history, promoting saxophone-playing, soccer-loving vicar Libby Lane to bishop of Stockport.

The announcement came five months after the church ended a long and divisive dispute by voting to allow women to serve as bishops.

Lane, who called her promotion "an unexpected joy," made her first act as bishop leading a prayer for the victims of the Taliban school massacre in Pakistan.

1998 World Cup winner Thierry Henry retires

1998 World Cup winner and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry retires after 20-year career
Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press

PARIS - In announcing the end of a distinguished 20-year career, Thierry Henry made it clear where he felt more cherished.

It wasn't France, for which he won the 1998 World Cup, remains the national team's leading goal-scorer, and second-most capped player.

Henry, who speaks French, English and Spanish, decided to announce his retirement by posting a message in English on his Facebook page, and via a statement from his future employer, Sky Sports in Britain.

FIFA dismisses Garcia's appeal of World Cup probe

FIFA dismisses prosecutor Michael Garcia's appeal of how his World Cup probe was handled
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The status of Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts seemed even more secure Tuesday after FIFA dismissed ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia's appeal against the handling of his investigation into the bidding process.

FIFA said its appeals panel ruled the case "not admissible."

The former U.S. Attorney had objected to ethics judge Joachim Eckert's summary of the World Cup bid investigation, claiming "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations" of his work.

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