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Southampton, Villa grab late winners in Premier League

Southampton, Villa grab late winners in Premier League; managers clash in Hull-Sunderland draw
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

Southampton and Aston Villa scored late winners in matches affecting opposite ends of the Premier League on Tuesday, while a touchline spat between the managers marred Sunderland's 1-1 draw at Hull.

English police probe reports of soccer fans' racism on train

Police probe reports of Chelsea fans' racism on London-Manchester train after League Cup final
The Associated Press

LONDON - Police have launched an investigation after reports of racist and abusive behaviour from Chelsea fans on a train from London to Manchester.

British Transport Police said officers were called to meet the train as it entered Stoke station, and asked four men to leave the train on Sunday night.

The force confirmed it followed "reports of racist and abusive behaviour by a number of passengers, said to be football fans."

It came hours after Chelsea won the League Cup final by beating Tottenham 2-0 at Wembley Stadium in north London.

Terry inspires Chelsea to League Cup win over Tottenham

Terry inspires Chelsea to League Cup win over Spurs, giving Mourinho first trophy of 2nd spell
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - With a commanding defensive display and his first-ever cup final goal, evergreen captain John Terry ensured Chelsea would not endure another trophyless season.

The 34-year-old Terry lifted the League Cup at Wembley Stadium following a 2-0 victory over Tottenham almost two years after collecting Chelsea's last silverware in the Europa League. Perhaps more significantly, it gave Jose Mourinho the first trophy of his second spell as Chelsea manager.

Broadcasters propose FIFA election debate to Blatter, rivals

Blatter, 3 FIFA presidential election rivals asked to participate in TV debate by BBC, Sky
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Sepp Blatter and his three FIFA presidential election rivals have been invited to participate in a television debate by the BBC and Sky.

The London-based broadcasters have written to the candidates proposing a one-hour "fans' congress" live on their globally available channels, websites and Facebook ahead of the election in May.

Coutinho's curler earns Liverpool 2-1 win over Man City

Philippe Coutinho curls in late winner as Liverpool beats Man City 2-1 in Premier League
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

LIVERPOOL, England - Philippe Coutinho scored a late winner against Manchester City at Anfield for the second straight season as Liverpool won 2-1 on Sunday to dent the champions' chances of hauling in Premier League leader Chelsea.

The in-form Brazilian playmaker capped his latest impressive display by curling in a 25-meter shot in the 75th minute, adding another long-distance strike to his repertoire of recent stunning goals.

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.

Soccer referee targeted in bomb attack

Pipe bomb damages car belonging the wife of a Cypriot soccer referee
The Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus - Cypriot police say a pipe bomb caused extensive damage to a car belonging to the wife of a soccer referee.

Police say a low-yield bomb went off Friday in the pre-dawn hours outside the 38-year-old referee's home in the Larnaca suburb of Aradippou.

Police say the motive for the attack appears to be related to the referee's job.

It is the fifth such attack against a referee's property in the last year. Last month, referees boycotted all soccer matches for a week in retaliation to a midnight bomb attack at the home of a colleague's mother.

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