LONDON -- The United States hopes Qatar will cooperate with the World Cup bidding investigation, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday, insisting that the Gulf nation being a key ally in the fight against Islamic State militants was irrelevant in any considerations about pursuing a corruption case. By Rob Harris. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SOC--CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUNDUP
MADRID -- Chelsea, Arsenal, FC Porto and Roma are among the teams in contention for the last five places available in the round of 16 of the Champions League. By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 750 words by 2300 GMT, photos.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Brazilian organizers give their latest progress report to the IOC on preparations for next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, amid a deep recession and a wave of budget cuts. By Stephen Wilson. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1500 GMT, photos, video.
VIENNA -- Two-time overall champion Anna Fenninger is expecting to return to World Cup skiing for the first race of the 2016-17 season after a year-long injury layoff. By Eric Willemsen. SENT: 370 words, photos.
Roger Federer says his coaching relationship with his "childhood idol" Stefan Edberg has ended, and the six-time Grand Slam singles champion will not travel with him next year. SENT: 330 words.
LONDON -- Chelsea will be assured of a place in the next round Champions League by not losing to FC Porto. By Rob Harris. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2145 GMT, photos.
PIRAEUS, Greece -- Arsenal needs to beat Olympiakos either 2-0 or by one goal if it scores three times, if the English team is to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League for the 16th straight season. By Derek Gatopoulos. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2200 GMT, photos.
MADRID, Spain -- Cristiano Ronaldo dismissed rumors that he wants to leave Real Madrid and said coach Rafa Benitez is doing a good job at the club. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 420 words, photos.
PARIS -- Perhaps the only thing more disturbing than the scale of the corruption that U.S. investigators are uncovering in football is the thought that a sizeable chunk of the indicted administrators would soon have had a hand on the sport's richest prize of all: the World Cup. By Sports Columnist John Leicester. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1800 GMT, photos.
MANCHESTER, England -- Louis van Gaal is 18 months and $375 million into his "process" of rebuilding Manchester United. What's it got him? So far this season, a playing squad lacking balance and depth, accusations that he is betraying United's heritage of attacking football, and an ignominious exit from the group stage of the Champions League. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SOC--CLUB WORLD CUP-SPONSOR
TOKYO -- FIFA signed its first major new sponsor on Wednesday after a gap of more than two scandal-filled years. By Jim Armstrong. SENT: 360 words, photos.
Players from English soccer club Carlisle have thrown their support behind the vast clean-up operation at houses badly affected by severe floods brought by Storm Desmond in northwestern England and Scotland. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 670 words, photos.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- After months of negotiations, the IOC on Wednesday approved the cycling venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, including the cost-cutting move of indoor track events to a facility located two hours from the host city. By Stephen Wilson. SENT: 450 words, photos.
CRI--CAIRNS COURTS CASE-MCCULLUM
DUNEDIN, New Zealand -- New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum says he stands by the evidence he gave at the perjury trial of former teammate Chris Cairns, although Cairns' acquittal has raised questions over whether he was believed by a jury in London. SENT: 630 words, photos.
HOBART, Australia -- Fast bowler James Pattinson has replaced the injured Mitchell Starc in Australia's team for the first test against the West Indies beginning Thursday, while visiting captain Jason Holder said there would be few changes to the side that lost by 10 wickets in a tour match. SENT: 550 words, photos.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Golden State piled on 44 points in the first quarter en route to a 131-123 win at Indiana on Tuesday, extending their perfect start to the NBA season to 23-0. SENT: 410 words, photos.
WASHINGTON -- Washington returned to the top of the NHL Metropolitan Division with a 3-2 shootout win against Detroit on Tuesday, with T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring in the shootout. SENT: 645 words, photos.
-- TEN--WTA AWARDS -- Serena Williams wins the WTA's Player of the Year award. SENT: 110 words.
-- JUM--AUSTRIA-SCHLIERENZAUER -- The Austrian ski federation says ski jumper Gregor Schlierenzauer is taking a break from competing. SENT: 130 words.
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