Qatar bans sale of beer at World Cup stadiums in about-face
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar has banned the sale of beer at World Cup stadiums. It was a sudden U-turn on the deal the conservative Muslim emirate made to secure the soccer tournament only two days before the opening game. The move was the latest sign of the tension of staging the event in the autocratic country where the sale of alcohol is heavily restricted. It’s also a significant blow to World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser and raised questions about how much control FIFA retains over its tournament. When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, the country agreed to FIFA’s requirements of selling alcohol in stadiums. But the details were only released in September, just 11 weeks before the first kickoff. Friday’s statement from FIFA said non-alcoholic beer will still be sold at stadiums.
Judge wins AL MVP in runaway; Goldschmidt takes NL prize
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees has won the American League MVP award, and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt took the NL prize. After hitting 62 home runs this season to break the AL record, Judge easily beat out Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani in an MVP race some thought might be close. The 6-foot-7 outfielder received 28 of 30 first-place votes and two seconds for 410 points from a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel. Ohtani, last year’s winner, was picked first on two ballots and second on the other 28 for 280 points. Goldschmidt won the NL award for the first time after a couple of close calls earlier in his career. Padres third baseman Manny Machado came in second.
Titans offensive coordinator arrested for speeding, DUI
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing is free on bond after being arrested on charges of speeding and driving under the influence early Friday morning. Downing was released from the Williamson County Jail just before 7 a.m. CST on $2,500 bond after being booked in about two hours earlier. The Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over Downing. The arrest came just hours after the Titans beat the Packers 27-17 in Green Bay on Thursday night. Downing’s offense turned in its best performance this season as Tennessee won for the seventh time in eight games. The Titans say in a statement they are gathering information.
Duvernay-Tardif back with Jets after working on residency
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Veteran guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has signed with the Jets’ practice squad. He stepped away from football after spending the last two months of last season with the Jets so he could focus on working on his medical residency program at a Montreal-area hospital. The 31-year-old offensive lineman opted out of the 2020 season while with Kansas City to work on the front lines of the pandemic as an orderly at a long-term care facility in Montreal. He returned to playing football midway through last season and was traded from Kansas City to New York. Duvernay-Tardif played in eight games with the Jets but put his NFL career on hold again to focus on his medical career.
NFL shifts Bills’ game vs. Browns to Detroit due to storm
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The NFL is relocating the Bills’ home game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit on Sunday because of a lake-effect snowstorm set to hit the Buffalo region. The move to relocate the game comes before the storm even began. The forecast is for between 1 to 3 feet of snow in the region through the weekend. The switch in sites means the Bills will play back-to-back games in Detroit. They’re scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Man United takes ‘appropriate steps’ after Ronaldo interview
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Manchester United says it has “initiated appropriate steps” in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan. The Premier League club’s legal team was waiting to review the full footage of the 90-minute interview in which Ronaldo criticized manager Erik ten Hag, teammates and the owners. The 37-year-old Ronaldo is in Qatar to play in his fifth World Cup with Portugal. But his future at Old Trafford looks to be over. United officials were not aware any interview had taken place and had to wait until it was broadcast.
Griner has begun serving sentence in Russian penal colony
WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner has begun serving her nine-year sentence for drug possession at a Russian penal colony. That’s according to statements from her lawyers and agent on Thursday. Her lawyers say they visited her last week at a penal colony in Mordovia, about 350 kilometers (210 miles) east of Moscow. They say, “Brittney is doing as well as could be expected and trying to stay strong as she adapts to a new environment.” The Biden administration has been trying for months to negotiate the release of Griner and another American jailed in Russia, Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan.
Analysis: NFL’s appeal to women isn’t about pink jerseys
There used to be a time when the NFL thought appealing to female fans meant pink jerseys and bedazzled apparel. Not anymore. Those stereotypes are long gone. The league has made it a priority to increase opportunities for women in every aspect of the sport from front-office positions to the sidelines. The NFL had the most women in on-field assistant coaching role at the beginning of the 2022 season with 15 than any men’s professional sport. Sam Rapoport, a former professional quarterback in a women’s tackle football league, has spent two decades working to expand career opportunities for women in the NFL. She points to the stats to prove her point.
Soccer-mad Germans turning their backs on World Cup
BERLIN (AP) — Normally when the World Cup comes around, Germans happily wave their country’s flag and enthusiastically back their team. Not this time. Anyone walking around Berlin just days before the World Cup starts in Qatar on Sunday will struggle to notice any sign that the tournament is happening. There are no flags, no signs, no public viewing events. Bars are boycotting the tournament and many fans say they won’t watch in protest against human rights abuses in Qatar.
LPGA purses will top $100M in 2023, a record for tour
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — More than $100 million will be awarded to LPGA players for the first time in 2023. That’s an increase of about 18% over what was planned for this season and more than doubling what was paid out on the tour just a decade ago. A total of 33 official events next year will have a combined $101.3 million in purses, the tour announced while unveiling the schedule. That slate of tournaments includes two events in China. The LPGA has not played there since October 2019. It has canceled each of its last five planned events in China after the coronavirus pandemic.