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Sat, 14 May 2016 11:28:37 -0400
Soccer-Bundesliga results and standings

BERLIN, May 14 (Reuters) - Former Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart were relegated for the first time in 41 years after losing 3-1 at VfL Wolfsburg in the top flight season finale on Saturday. Werder Bremen needed an 88th-minute goal by Papy Djilobodji to beat visiting relegation rivals Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 and keep their spot in the Bundesliga, with their opponents going into a playoff against Nuremberg, third in the second division. .

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Sat, 14 May 2016 08:39:37 -0400
Soccer-Portuguese championship results and standings

FIFA audit and compliance chairman Domenico Scala has resigned in protest against a power grab by President Gianni Infantino over control of independent panels that monitor the scandal-hit soccer body. Scala's walkout on Saturday comes amid claims of tension between the two men over Infantino's salary. It marks a major challenge to the integrity of Infantino's presidency since he was elected to succeed Sepp Blatter in Februar

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Sat, 14 May 2016 07:58:06 -0400
Soccer-Japanese championship first stage results and standings

By Brian Homewood MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Domenico Scala, a Swiss businessman who led reforms to clean up scandal-plagued FIFA, quit his post at the global soccer body on Saturday, saying its independent watchdog committees had lost their independence. Scala, head of the audit and compliance committee, said the reform of FIFA, which is attempting to recover from the worst graft scandal in its history, had been undermined following a resolution by the FIFA Congress on Friday. The resolution, passed by 186 votes to one, gave the FIFA Council power to appoint or "dismiss any office holders" of its independent bodies such as the ethics committee and the audit and compliance committe

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Fri, 13 May 2016 22:09:49 -0400
Soccer-FIFA finds it hard to give up five-star lifestyle

By Brian Homewood MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A few steps from the entrance to Mexico City's imposing Presidente Hotel, where FIFA delegates are staying during this week's Congress, a boy of around 10-years-old sells tamarind balls covered in chili powder from a cart for 10 Mexican pesos ($0.55) each. The spicy, tangy sweets are a local specialty yet are unlikely to have been tasted by the FIFA delegates. FIFA has often been known for lavishing a five-star lifestyle on its delegates and official

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Fri, 13 May 2016 21:05:32 -0400
Infantino says crisis is over as FIFA gets 1st female No 2

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alvaro Saborio and Patrick Nyarko scored first-half goals and D.C. United beat the New York Red Bulls 2-0 on Friday night in the Atlantic Cu

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Fri, 13 May 2016 15:11:30 -0400
Soccer-FIFA names outsider Samoura as first female secretary general

By Brian Homewood MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - FIFA named an African woman with no previous experience in soccer administration as its second-most powerful official on Friday, part of moves by global soccer's ruling body to move on from a major corruption scandal. FIFA's Congress also voted to accept Kosovo and Gibraltar as its 210th and 211th members. Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, currently the United Nations Development Program Resident Representative in Nigeria, was named as secretary general and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the federatio

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Fri, 13 May 2016 14:51:12 -0400
Soccer-Turkish championship results and standings

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Gibraltar and Kosovo have been admitted to FIFA, increasing its membership to 21

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Fri, 13 May 2016 13:05:54 -0400
Soccer-Croatian championship results and standings

By Brian Homewood MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The 2026 World Cup bidding process must be "bullet-proof" after the controversy which has surrounded the hosting of the next two tournaments, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Friday. "It is absolutely crucial for FIFA's credibility that we have a bullet-proof bidding process in place for 2026," he told the annual Congress of world soccer's governing body. "There will be a new strategy and consultation phase starting from now, because we have to get it right." On Tuesday, FIFA announced a four-stage bidding process for the 2026 tournament with a final decision in May 202

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Fri, 13 May 2016 12:24:59 -0400
FIFA names U.N. humanitarian expert Samoura as secretary general

FIFA broke new ground by appointing a Senegalese United Nations official as its first female and first non-European secretary general on Friday. Fatma Samoura has no experience working in sports but FIFA President Gianni Infantino hopes that will help it try to regain the trust and credibility of the world. ''We want to embrace diversity and we believe in gender equality,'' Infantino told the FIFA Congress in Mexico Cit

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Fri, 13 May 2016 11:54:57 -0400
Senegalese UN official appointed FIFA secretary general

ZURICH (Reuters) - World soccer body FIFA named Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura of Senegal, a 21-year veteran of U.N. humanitarian programs, as its new secretary general on Friday. "Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement. "She has proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organizations perform. Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organization. .

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Fri, 13 May 2016 11:22:12 -0400
Sunderland-Watford Preview

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Soccer's world governing body FIFA on Friday lifted a suspension on Indonesia which was imposed almost a year ago for political interference in the local football association. FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the decision was taken after the government of Indonesia, one of Asia's biggest soccer markets, agreed to remove the offending decree. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Ken Ferri

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Fri, 13 May 2016 09:10:35 -0400
Soccer-Leicester - title win sparks rise in global merchandise sales

(Reuters) - Leicester City's march to the Premier League title has been accompanied by a boost in sales revenue, with global exports of club merchandise more than doubling this season. According to statistics released on Friday by DHL, the club's official logistics partner, the United States is now importing more Leicester shirts, mugs and general merchandise than any other country, four times more than the next biggest importer, Australia. Leicester merchandise has been exported to 66 countries in all - more than twice as many as at the start of the season - while the efforts of Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and the forward, Shinji Okazaki, have boosted sales in Italy and Japan respectivel

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Fri, 13 May 2016 09:10:35 -0400
Soccer-Leicester - title win sparks rise in global merchandise sales

(Reuters) - Leicester City's march to the Premier League title has been accompanied by a boost in sales revenue, with global exports of club merchandise more than doubling this season. According to statistics released on Friday by DHL, the club's official logistics partner, the United States is now importing more Leicester shirts, mugs and general merchandise than any other country, four times more than the next biggest importer, Australia. Leicester merchandise has been exported to 66 countries in all - more than twice as many as at the start of the season - while the efforts of Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and the forward, Shinji Okazaki, have boosted sales in Italy and Japan respectivel

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Fri, 13 May 2016 06:34:44 -0400
Soccer-Hazard can take Chelsea back to the top, says Matic

LONDON (AP) -- It's the final round of games in Europe's top leagues this weekend. Here's a look at what's at stak

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Thu, 12 May 2016 16:14:47 -0400
Montagliani becomes CONCACAF - 3rd president in a year

By Brian Homewood MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Canadian businessman Victor Montagliani was elected president of CONCACAF, the embattled governing body for soccer in North, Central America and the Caribbean, on Thursday. Montagliani, head of his country's soccer association, won by 25 votes to 16 after vowing to make the organization more corporate. "Football is a business and as president you must be able to work the corners of the global corporate community," the eventual winner said in a 10-minute speech to CONCACAF's 41 members before the vot

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Thu, 12 May 2016 15:47:20 -0400
Norwich City-Everton Preview

In-form Nice winger Hatem Ben Arfa was left out of the France squad for the European Championship as coach Didier Deschamps unveiled a 23-man squad with no surprise inclusions on Thursday. Ben Arfa scored 17 goals in 33 French league matches this season but was not selected in Deschamps' main group of players for the tournament starting in France on June 10. Despite Karim Benzema's suspension from the national team because of his involvement in an extortion scam over a sex tape involving France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, Deschamps had many offensive options at his disposa

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Thu, 12 May 2016 12:02:55 -0400
Manchester rivals vie for final Champions League place

Roberto Martinez was fired by Everton on Thursday with three years left on his contract after failing to get the best out of what is widely regarded as the club's strongest squad in years. It is the first major call by Everton since billionaire Farhad Moshiri bought a stake in the English Premier League club in February to become its majority shareholder. A 3-0 loss to Sunderland on Wednesday left Everton in 12th place in the Premier League with one game remaining, at home to Norwich on Sunda

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Thu, 12 May 2016 10:50:08 -0400
Soccer-Canada - Montagliani elected president of CONCACAF

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Canada's Victor Montagliani was elected president of CONCACAF on Thursday, beating Bermuda's Larry Mussenden. Montagliani won 25 of the 41 votes, against Mussenden's 16, said acting secretary general Ted Howard in announcing the result. CONCACAF governs soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbea

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Thu, 12 May 2016 10:41:43 -0400
Pochettino extends deal with Tottenham through 2021

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Victor Montagliani has been elected as CONCACAF's third president in a year, tasked with leading the recovery of the confederation following years of corruption scandal

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Thu, 12 May 2016 09:05:48 -0400
Soccer-Beckham backs Spurs duo to inspire England at Euro 2016

Barcelona and Real Madrid are gearing up for the decisive final round of the Spanish league, when both face critical away matches that will decide the title. Barcelona leads Madrid by one point and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker, but the team led by Lionel Messi is also under more pressure to come through. A win at Granada would give Barcelona back-to-back titles and an eighth league title in 12 year

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Thu, 12 May 2016 08:04:07 -0400
Soccer-Focus on Pellegrini and Van Gaal as season reaches climax

There's plenty at stake Sunday when Manchester City and Manchester United vie for the last Champions League qualification place from the Premier League. With the league trophy in the hands of Leicester and the three relegated teams already confirmed, the attention on the final day of the Premier League season focuses on whether City or United will join Leicester, Tottenham and Arsenal in Europe's elite competition next season. The blue half of Manchester is in contro

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Thu, 12 May 2016 07:27:26 -0400
Soccer-De Bruyne will be Belgium - Euro playmaker - coach

Mauricio Pochettino has extended his contract as Tottenham manager through 2021. Tottenham made the announcement on Thursday, near the end of a season in which they challenged for the Premier League title. Tottenham says the Argentine coach's backroom team has also agreed to contract extension

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Thu, 12 May 2016 00:50:27 -0400
Quintero has 2 goals and an assist in Earthquakes 3-1 win

Jose Mourinho is certain he will be managing a club within two months but says the delayed appointment will compromise preseason preparations. The 53-year-old Portuguese has been strongly linked with the Manchester United job but speaking from Mexico on Wednesday, he claimed to ''know nothing'' about a move to Old Trafford to replace Louis van Gaal. Mourinho, who was fired as Chelsea manager in December, was back in the dugout on Wednesday in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City to coach a FIFA Legends team, featuring Ronaldinho and Fabio Cannavaro, against a Mexican All-stars sid

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Wed, 11 May 2016 23:56:34 -0400
Soccer-Mexican championship quarterfinal results

Blas Perez scored his second goal of the night and second of the season on a bicycle kick in the 89th minute in the Vancouver Whitecaps' 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire on Wednesday. The 35-year-old Perez opened the scoring for the Whitecaps (5-5-2) in the 36th minute. Perez was only on the field after subbing in for Masato Kudo following an ugly incident in the 11th minut

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Wed, 11 May 2016 23:04:38 -0400
Soccer-US championship results and standings

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) -- Dillon Serna scored two minutes after entering as a second-half substitute and the Colorado Rapids beat 10-man Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Wednesday nigh

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Wed, 11 May 2016 21:03:28 -0400
Soccer-US championship results and standings

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Keegan Rosenberry scored his first MLS goal in the 63rd minute and the Philadelphia Union tied the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-2 on Wednesday nigh

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Wed, 11 May 2016 20:07:01 -0400
Russia 2018 CEO disputes WADA, says no state-backed doping

Sunderland completed its latest escape from relegation in the English Premier League on Wednesday - and consigned bitter northeast rival Newcastle to the second tier in the process. A 3-0 win over Everton guaranteed safety for Sunderland with a game to spare this season, justifying its decision to hire survival specialist Sam Allardyce as manager in October. Under Allardyce, who has yet to be relegated from the English top flight in 25 years as a manager, Sunderland lost just one of its last 10 matches - and that was against champion Leiceste

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Wed, 11 May 2016 17:57:43 -0400
Soccer-Mussenden, Montagliani battle to lead CONCACAF out of crisis

Sunderland completed its latest escape from relegation in the English Premier League on Wednesday - and consigned bitter northeast rival Newcastle to the second tier in the process. A 3-0 win over Everton guaranteed safety for Sunderland with a game to spare this season, justifying its decision to hire survival specialist Sam Allardyce as manager in October. Under Allardyce, who has yet to be relegated from the English top flight in 25 years as a manager, Sunderland lost just one of its last 10 matches - and that was against champion Leiceste

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Wed, 11 May 2016 17:30:55 -0400
Soccer-Newcastle thank fans after relegation confirmed

A stoppage-time equalizer from substitute Christian Benteke earned Liverpool a 1-1 draw at home to Chelsea in the English Premier League on Wednesday. Eden Hazard put Chelsea ahead with a superb solo goal in the 32nd minute, taking possession about 30 meters out and gliding past three Liverpool players before sending a shot into the bottom corner of the net. Liverpool, which faces Sevilla in the Europa League final next week, rallied in the second half of manager Juergen Klopp's 50th match in charge and Hazard's Belgium teammate Benteke headed the equalizer from close range in the second minute of injury tim

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Wed, 11 May 2016 15:05:59 -0400
Soccer-Ekeng had serious heart problems, tests show

Sweden coach Erik Hamren on Wednesday promoted six players from the team that won the European Under-21 trophy last year to the 23-man senior squad he's bringing to the European Championship in France next month. Goalkeeper Patrik Carlgren, defenders Victor Nilsson Lindelof and Ludwig Augustinsson, midfielders Oscar Lewicki and Oscar Hiljemark and Celta Vigo striker John Guidetti were key players in the U-21 team that beat Portugal on penalties in the fina

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Wed, 11 May 2016 14:26:13 -0400
Soccer-Russian championship results and standings

Soccer star Zinedine Zidane's childhood home in Marseille is being demolished, part of an urban renewal project aimed at rehabilitating a blighted area of the southern French city. Journalists and neighbors crowded around as construction vehicles on Wednesday went to work tearing apart ''Building G,'' unofficially referred to as the ''Zidane building,'' in the Castellane neighborhood of northern Marseill

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Wed, 11 May 2016 14:10:47 -0400
Soccer-West Ham leave home as English landscape changes

NEW YORK (AP) -- Orlando City SC coach Adrian Heath has been suspended one game for entering the field during the match against the New York Red Bull

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Wed, 11 May 2016 11:54:56 -0400
Soccer-Slovenian championship results and standings

England forward Danny Welbeck will miss the European Championship after being ruled out for nine months by Arsenal on Wednesday because of a knee injury. Arsenal said Welbeck has had surgery on his right knee after scans showed Welbeck sustained ''significant cartilage damage'' when he attempted a tackle during the English Premier League game against Manchester City on Sunday. The 25-year-old Welbeck only returned to action in February after 10 months out with a left knee injur

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Wed, 11 May 2016 10:27:50 -0400
Soccer-Juve pair Buffon and Barzagli sign up until 2018

SWANSEA, Wales (AP) -- Francesco Guidolin will stay on as Swansea coach for another two years after keeping the team in the Premier League in his brief time in charg

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Wed, 11 May 2016 06:38:36 -0400
Soccer-Palace - Joe Ledley may miss Euro with fractured leg

By Adriana Garcia VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Almost everything Lionel Messi does looks effortless but the Barcelona forward insists a lot of practice goes into trying to perfect the free-kicks which have contributed a sizeable chunk of his goals this season. The 28-year-old Argentine has scored seven goals from direct free-kicks in this year's La Liga, the latest in Sunday's 5-0 triumph over Espanyol. Messi now has 23 goals from free-kicks in his career at the club, equaling the previous record of former Barcelona star Ronald Koema

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Wed, 11 May 2016 05:17:02 -0400
Soccer-Ranieri, Aguero pick up monthly Premier League awards

By Adriana Garcia VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) - Luis Suarez could become Barcelona's highest scoring Uruguayan in Saturday's La Liga match at Granada, having equaled in only two seasons what compatriot Ramon Alberto Villaverde Vazquez aggregated in his decade-long stint with the club. The 29-year-old's brace against Espanyol in Barca's 5-0 triumph last Sunday saw him reach 81 goals for the Catalans to equal the record of Villaverde Vazquez who had joined the club in 1954 and played 10 seasons, scoring 81 goals in 224 games. In only his second season at Barcelona, Suarez has struck 50 goals in all competitions this season to help the team remain in contention for a domestic double, overtaking his previous record of 49 for Ajax in the 2009-2010 campaig

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Wed, 11 May 2016 04:13:30 -0400
EXCLUSIVE-UPDATE 1-Soccer-FIFA warns Nepal FA to get house in order or will step in

By Karolos Grohmann BERLIN (Reuters) - FIFA has warned troubled Nepal football association (ANFA) to reinstate suspended executive committee members and immediately call a congress or risk intervention of the world soccer's governing body. In a letter sent to ANFA General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan dated May 9 and seen by Reuters, FIFA's acting Secretary General Markus Kattner said ANFA had failed to act according to its own statutes and should this issue persist it could establish a FIFA "normalization committee." Ganesh Thapa, former president of ANFA, was banned in November 2015 for 10 years and fined 20,000 Swiss francs for a series of acts of misconduc

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Tue, 10 May 2016 19:16:42 -0400
Soccer-FIFA unveil 2026 World Cup bidding process

By Brian Homewood MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - FIFA unveiled the timetable of its delayed bidding process for the 2026 World Cup on Tuesday, with president Gianni Infantino's plans for a 40-team tournament to be decided upon by October and a final decision on the hosts to be made in May 2020. A FIFA source said they had considered increasing this wait period to 12 years or more and that there had been no discussions about allowing a continent to host successive World Cups. This could mean that with Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup, Europe would have to wait until at least 2030 before staging the tournament agai

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Tue, 10 May 2016 16:45:29 -0400
Soccer-Israeli championship champions group results and standings

Real Madrid returned to the top of the Associated Press Global Football 10 on Tuesday after two wins in a week. Zinedine Zidane's side advanced to the Champions League final at the expense of Manchester City with a 1-0 second leg victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, before defeating Valencia 3-2 in the Spanish league to maintain its title charge. ''The Champions League semifinal second leg against Manchester City was a dour one but Real Madrid was in control as they booked its ticket to the final in Milan,'' Umaid Wasim of Dawn newspaper in Pakistan sai

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Tue, 10 May 2016 16:41:32 -0400
Soccer-England boss delays naming Euro 2016 squad until Monday

Real Madrid returned to the top of the Associated Press Global Football 10 on Tuesday after two wins in a week. Barcelona is runner up after staying atop the Spanish standings with an emphatic 5-0 win over Espanyol, while Bayern Munich is third after winning the Bundesliga title. Luis Suarez is player of the week after scoring twice in Barcelona's wi

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Tue, 10 May 2016 15:27:44 -0400
Soccer-Romanian championship play-offs results and standings

Manchester United's team bus was attacked on the way into Upton Park as the Premier League squad arrived for Tuesday's match against West Ham. Objects were thrown at the bus as United arrived at West Ham's last ever game at the Boleyn Ground, ahead of its move to the Olympic Stadium next seaso

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Tue, 10 May 2016 08:58:07 -0400
Bayern starts rebuilding squad with 2 new arrivals

MILAN (AP) -- Silvio Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest has agreed to negotiate exclusively with a group of Chinese investors for the possible sale of a stake in AC Mila

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Tue, 10 May 2016 07:51:18 -0400
Soccer-Bayern swoop for Sanches, Hummels in strong show of intent

Bayern Munich has started to rebuild its squad as coach Pep Guardiola prepares to leave after three seasons. Bayern brought in Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels on Tuesday and signed an 18-year-old rising Portuguese star to one of the richest contracts in Bundesliga history. The moves come one week after Bayern was eliminated in the semifinals of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, the third consecutive season Bayern has gone out at the penultimate stage against Spanish oppositio

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Tue, 10 May 2016 07:30:00 -0400
Soccer-I am happy at Leicester, says Vardy

(Reuters) - Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has given the Premier League champions further encouragement that he will stay with them next season by saying he is happy at the club. Vardy, who has scored 24 Premier League goals this season and was named player of the year by the Football Writers' Association, has played a pivotal role in taking his team from 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the campaign to champions of England. "We've just won the league and will be playing in the Champions League next yea

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Tue, 10 May 2016 06:39:00 -0400
Soccer-Bayern Munich sign Sanches from Benfica

The Berlusconi family holding company Fininvest called a board meeting for Tuesday noon to open exclusive talks with a consortium of Chinese investors over the sale of AC Milan soccer club, a source close to the matter said. The asset is one of the most cherished ones by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who last summer failed to complete a sale of the club to Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol. A person who followed the negotiations said Berlusconi changed his mind at the last minut

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Tue, 10 May 2016 04:26:47 -0400
Indonesia wants Special One to train national team

By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The "arrogance" of senior officials brought corruption-related turmoil to world soccer but important governance reforms could restore its credibility, according to influential sports administrator Kevan Gosper. Former International Olympic Committee Vice President Gosper served last year on FIFA's reform committee, which was formed as part of the governing body's response to U.S. authorities indicting a raft of senior soccer officials and marketing executives for corruption. With that backdrop, FIFA holds its first annual Congress under new president Gianni Infantino in Mexico this week, hoping to bring its 209 member associations up to speed on reforms to clean up the gam

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Mon, 09 May 2016 22:11:45 -0400
Soccer-Argentine championship results and standings

China plans to have more than 70,000 soccer pitches available for everyone to use by 2020 as the country continues to map out ways of revitalizing the sport, the government said on Tuesday. President Xi Jinping is an avid soccer fan and China is in the midst of a plan to turn its national team into one of the world's best by 2050, though the sport has been damaged by match-fixing scandals and poor performances on the field. China has worked since 2009 to promote grassroots soccer and crush illegal gambling syndicates but admitted last year its efforts were still laggin

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Mon, 09 May 2016 18:33:44 -0400
Soccer-Olympic stadium wont be fortress, says West Ham - Bilic

With less than three months to go until the start of the games, work on parts of Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Park and Olympic Village was halted on Monday amid fears for the safety of workers, Brazil's Ministry of Labor and Employment said. Officials who reviewed work on a television tower in the Olympic park and digging work at the Olympic village shut down operations at those and two other sites. "We have no intention of hampering the event," Robson Leite, the ministry's regional superintendent, told reporter

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Mon, 09 May 2016 10:44:04 -0400
After Leicester title, Ranieri has open offer to coach Italy

The Swiss Federal Court has cleared the way for former Nicaraguan soccer official Julio Rocha to be extradited to the United States after rejecting his appeal to be sent to his home country, the court said in a statement on Monday. Rocha, a former FIFA development officer and president of the Nicaraguan Football Federation, was among seven people arrested at a Zurich hotel a year ago in the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into corruption surrounding world soccer body FIFA. U.S. federal prosecutors in New York accuse Rocha of demanding and taking bribes of $150,000 in connection with the sale of marketing rights to World Cup qualifying game

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Mon, 09 May 2016 09:05:39 -0400
Soccer-Infantino gives positive vision before first FIFA Congress

Michel Platini will resign as UEFA president after failing to overturn his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which cut his sanction from six to four years. Platini called the verdict a ''deep injustice'' and said he will now step down from the UEFA position he has held since 2007. CAS effectively removed Platini from world soccer by ensuring his ban ''corresponds to the duration of a presidential term,'' the court said in a statemen

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