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More misery for Liverpool; Spurs fight back to win

Liverpool's misery compounded by 3-1 collapse at Palace; Tottenham recovers to beat Hull 2-1
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Liverpool's rapid downfall continued with a fourth successive loss on Sunday, with Crystal Palace adding to Brendan Rodgers' woes with a 3-1 victory.

The pressure, though, eased on Mauricio Pochettino after his Tottenham team came from behind to beat Hull 2-1 in the Premier League.

United inflicts 1st Arsenal home loss in 15 months

United inflicts 1st Arsenal league home loss in 15 months; leader Chelsea and Man City win
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Manchester United inflicted Arsenal's first Premier League home loss in 15 months on Saturday in a 2-1 victory that propelled the fallen power into the top four for the first time under Louis van Gaal after a faltering start.

FIFA official: WCup boycott would be 'nonsense'

FIFA's Valcke says boycotting Russia's World Cup would be 'nonsense'
The Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia - FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Friday a boycott of the 2018 World Cup in Russia would be "nonsense."

Some European politicians have suggested that European countries could boycott the World Cup over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which many Western governments accuse Russia of provoking.

During a visit to Sochi, Valcke said talk of a boycott was an attempt to "provoke" discord rather than "to be realistic on what the world is today."

Wigan owner makes controversial comment about Jews

Wigan owner makes controversial comment about Jewish people while defending under-fire coach
The Associated Press

WIGAN, England - The owner of English club Wigan has made controversial comments about Jewish people while defending his decision to hire a coach who is under investigation for sending racist and anti-Semitic messages.

Malky Mackay was hired as Wigan manager on Wednesday even though the English Football Association is looking into a dossier from his time in charge of fellow second-tier team Cardiff, when he sent offensive text messages to a colleague.

FIFA to review World Cup corruption report

FIFA to review Garcia's World Cup corruption report, putting Russia, Qatar back in question
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - FIFA will further review the 2018 and 2022 World Cup corruption investigation, putting the status of hosts Russia and Qatar back in question.

The head of FIFA's auditing committee will examine the full 430-page confidential report by American prosecutor Michael Garcia into impropriety during the bid process, reviving a probe which seemed closed one week ago.

Domenico Scala, a Swiss businessman who serves as the soccer body's audit panel chairman, will then decide whether to turn over any evidence to FIFA's executive committee.

Eckert, Garcia to meet amid FIFA probe crisis

Eckert and Garcia set to meet amid crisis for FIFA World Cup bid corruption case
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The judge and prosecutor behind FIFA's World Cup bid corruption investigation will meet Thursday in an effort to repair their relations and restore the reputation of a case seemingly in disarray.

The whereabouts of the meeting between FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert and prosecutor Michael Garcia is a secret — as are, against the American lawyer's wishes, his investigation findings.

Messi's father downplays hints of Barcelona exit

Lionel Messi's father, who acts as his agent, downplays the star's hints of leaving Barcelona
The Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain - Lionel Messi's father, who acts as the player's agent, has downplayed the stir his son caused by hinting at an exit from Barcelona.

Jorge Messi tells Barcelona-based La Vanguardia newspaper "the plan is to stay here, but since people read between the lines they exaggerate."

He says "Leo is happy, but if one day the club says, 'We have an offer for you, we want to sell you,' well, we would have to study it."

Lionel Messi said Tuesday that he would like to stay at Barcelona but "sometimes not everything happens the way you want."

FIFA files criminal complaint over World Cup bids

FIFA files criminal complaint in Switzerland against unnamed individuals in World Cup bidding
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The latest twist in FIFA's World Cup bid corruption case has landed on the desk of Switzerland's attorney general.

FIFA filed a "criminal complaint" against unnamed individuals on Tuesday, calling on Swiss federal prosecutors to investigate money transfers connected to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests that were won by Russia and Qatar.

The unexpected move comes five days after FIFA had welcomed a "degree of closure" on the case.

Low-key Ronaldo-Messi duel as Portugal wins 1-0

Low-key Ronaldo-Messi duel as Portugal beats Argentina 1-0; Germany strikes late to beat Spain
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had left the pitch long before Raphael Guerreiro's stoppage-time header gave Portugal a 1-0 win over Argentina in a friendly on Tuesday.

The world's two best players were substituted at halftime at Old Trafford, with Ronaldo rarely shining in a stadium he graced for six seasons with Manchester United.

Man United says no 'short-term fixes' to slump

Man United says no 'short-term fixes' by spending in January despite ongoing slump
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Manchester United will not seek "short-term fixes" in the January transfer window despite its recent struggles in the Premier League, the club's vice chairman said Tuesday.

Ed Woodward, speaking Tuesday on an earning's call with investors after United reported a 10 per cent revenue drop at the start of the season, said the club will adopt a prudent approach to spending in the January window.

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