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May 29, 2015

U.S. football chief ‘disappointed’ in FIFA election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of U.S. football said he was “disappointed” that Sepp Blatter was re-elected on Friday as president of FIFA but added he would continue to seek “meaningful change” within the embattled organisation.

Blatter, 79, secured a fifth term after Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein conceded defeat in the vote at the annual congress of world football’s governing body in Zurich.

May 29, 2015

Soccer-U.S. Soccer chief ‘disappointed’ in FIFA election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of U.S. Soccer said he was “disappointed” that Sepp Blatter was re-elected on Friday as president of FIFA but added he would continue to seek “meaningful change” within the embattled organization.

Blatter, 79, secured a fifth term after Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein conceded defeat in the vote at the annual congress of world soccer’s governing body in Zurich.

May 28, 2015

U.S. led FIFA probe should not harm expected 2026 bid: analysts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s chances of hosting the 2026 World Cup are not likely to be hurt by a U.S. led corruption investigation that has ensnared key figures in FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, analysts said on Thursday.

“It would be hard to believe that the people who are left in power at FIFA would attempt to penalize the United States because of a multi-country international investigation,” said Rick Horrow, a sports business consultant and lecturer at Harvard Law School.

May 25, 2015

American Pharoah aims to defy history in Triple Crown bid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – History suggests that there will be nothing easy about U.S. jockey Victor Espinoza’s attempt to ride American Pharoah to a Triple Crown victory next month.

There has not been a Triple Crown winner since 1978 and one of the last attempts, by hugely popular Smarty Jones, ended in crushing disappointment.

May 21, 2015

NBA Hall of Famer Thomas maintains he is innocent of sex discrimination

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – Isiah Thomas, an NBA Hall of Famer who was named president of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s New York Liberty despite a 2007 court ruling he sexually harassed a female colleague, maintained his innocence on Thursday and said he was “proud of the man” he is today.

A federal jury eight years ago found that Thomas, then coach of the New York Knicks, made unwanted advances to team executive Anucha Browne Sanders, and it ordered Madison Square Garden and its chairman, James Dolan, to pay her $11.6 million in punitive damages for unfairly firing her after she complained about Thomas.

May 21, 2015

Ex-NFL star Ray Rice’s domestic violence charges dismissed

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – A New Jersey judge on Thursday dismissed domestic violence charges against Ray Rice brought against the former National Football League star for knocking unconscious the woman he later married after Rice completed a pretrial intervention program.

The February 2014 incident involving Rice and Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino’s elevator and others involving NFL players prompted the most popular U.S. sports league to toughen penalties for domestic violence and other off-field misconduct.

May 20, 2015

NFL didn’t push Patriots not to fight ‘Deflategate’ penalty: Goodell

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s decision not to appeal the team’s “Deflategate” penalty was made without pressure from the National Football League, Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday.

“The decision that Robert made was his decision,” Goodell said during a 25-minute news conference at the end of the NFL owners’ meeting in San Francisco.

May 19, 2015

Patriots owner Kraft says will not appeal NFL’s ‘Deflategate’ penalty

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said on Tuesday he will “reluctantly” accept rather than appeal the penalty the National Football League handed the reigning Super Bowl champions for the team’s role in the “Deflategate” scandal.

The NFL fined the club a record $1 million and forced the Patriots to give up two draft choices for purposely deflating footballs used in the team’s 45-7 playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts that put New England in the Super Bowl.

May 15, 2015

NFL players union wants Goodell to testify in Brady appeal

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – The NFL players union said its plans to call Commissioner Roger Goodell as a witness during the appeal of the four-game suspension handed to New England Patriots star Tom Brady for his role in the “Deflategate” scandal disqualifies Goodell from hearing the case.

In a letter to the league released on Friday outlining the grounds for the appeal, the union also said it will seek testimony from NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent, who issued the penalty to Brady.

May 15, 2015

Patriots’ star Brady appeals four-game ‘Deflategate’ suspension

By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Thursday formally appealed a four-game suspension for his role in “Deflategate” after his team, one of America’s most high-profile sports franchises, delivered a blistering rebuttal of an NFL investigation into the matter.

The NFL players union, which filed the appeal on behalf of Brady, called for an independent arbitrator to hear the case involving one of the NFL’s marquee players.