UK-based sports reporter for The Associated Press, covering news, off-field issues, finances & live action. Broadcast appearances too. Previously general news

Struggling strikers eclipsed by Messi, Ronaldo

bigstory.ap.org — LONDON (AP) - Is it any wonder Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi still set the goal-standard in football? Ascending to their level, or getting anywhere near their scoring rate, seems beyond most contemporaries. Particularly for the strikers whose hype and profiles eclipse their prowess in front of goal.

Qatar: Building team to spring surprise in 2022

bigstory.ap.org — DOHA, Qatar (AP) - It's a cold, hard fact of football: Countries with tiny populations don't generally beat big ones with deep wells of talented players. So how embarrassing might the score be when Qatar - smallest host in World Cup history, with just 282,750 citizens - plays the opening game of its 2022 tournament against, for example, titans Brazil or Germany?

Qatar: Small country the big new player in sport

bigstory.ap.org — DOHA, Qatar (AP) - Leaders of Qatar seem to have a simple formula for their plans over the next decade: money + sports = global fame. Never in sporting history has a country invested so massively, quickly, broadly, internationally and ostentatiously as the small oil-and-gas rich Gulf emirate that is using the world's thirst for energy and for sporting entertainment to realize its giant "look at me!"

English Premier League to play on Friday nights

sports.yahoo.com — LONDON (AP) -- English Premier League games will be played on Friday nights from the 2016-17 season, emulating German, Spanish and French competitions. The new slot was included in the bidding documents for the 2016-19 television rights, issued on Friday to British broadcasters, who can show only 168 of the 380 games live.

English Premier League to play on Friday nights

bigstory.ap.org — LONDON (AP) - English Premier League games will be played on Friday nights from the 2016-17 season, emulating German, Spanish and French competitions. The new slot was included in the bidding documents for the 2016-19 television rights, issued on Friday to British broadcasters, who can show only 168 of the 380 games live.

UK mulls criminal probe into FIFA bids case

bigstory.ap.org — LONDON (AP) - A criminal investigation into allegations of World Cup bidding corruption could be opened in Britain. The Serious Fraud Office has said in a letter to a British legislator seen by The Associated Press that it is pursuing "every reasonable line of inquiry, including working closely with appropriate overseas authorities."

Rule-making panel against plan for video replays

bigstory.ap.org — BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) - Soccer's rule-making panel is against FIFA president Sepp Blatter's plan to begin testing video replays to help referees. Blatter has said he wants replays to be tested in a domestic league and at next year's Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, giving coaches the right once or twice in each half to challenge a refereeing decision.

Valcke: FIFA faces 'years' to rebuild reputation

bigstory.ap.org — BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) - FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke acknowledged Tuesday that it will take "years to rebuild our reputation" following the World Cup bidding corruption investigation.

Irish football chief sorry for nationalist song

bigstory.ap.org — BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) - The Football Association of Ireland chief executive apologized on Tuesday for any offense caused by singing an Irish nationalist song in a pub. A video posted on YouTube shows John Delaney in a pub singing "The Ballad of Joe McDonnell" about a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who died in a 1981 prison hunger strike.

Record crowd at Wembley for England women's team

news.yahoo.com — LONDON (AP) - The first England women's game at the new Wembley Stadium was spoiled by Germany, with the European champions sweeping to a 3-0 victory in the landmark friendly on Sunday. Building on a steady but growing interest in women's sport here after the 2012 London Olympics, all 55,000 tickets were sold, although around 10,000 fans didn't turn up amid bad weather and local transport closures.
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Dec 22, 2014

@AlexStone7 @jensweinreich the rebrand Fifa has needed "Glorious Fooball" - merry Christmas too

Dec 22, 2014

@GreggCarter unlike SJP this deal sees much cash pumped into british racing

Dec 22, 2014

Glorious Goodwood name goes as Qatar buys naming rights to iconic British horse racing festival m.apnews.com/ap/db_307134/c…

Dec 22, 2014

RT @AP_Sports: Join our own @RobHarris for a @reddit_AMA to talk FIFA ethics and World Cups 2018 and 2022. 1p ET tomorrow!

Dec 22, 2014

Another FA racism case - Leeds defender Giuseppe Bellusci charged with racially abusing Norwich's Cameron Jerome

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