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.
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.
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.
World Cup fans ready to celebrate despite stadium beer ban
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Fans are pouring into Qatar to watch and be part of the first World Cup in the Middle East. A last-minute decision to not serve beer with alcohol at stadiums was largely welcomed by the country’s conservative Muslims and shrugged off by giddy fans. Meanwhile, the country’s vast Asian labor force also enjoyed the celebrations as the end of the tournament likely will see an economic slowdown. Qatar has faced criticism over its treatment of laborers, though Doha has made changes to its employment laws.
Freshman dunk highlights No. 1 South Carolina win vs Clemson
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Zia Cooke scored 15 points and Aliyah Boston added 12 points and six rebounds in No. 1 South Carolina’s 85-31 victory over Clemson on Thursday night. It was the Gamecocks’ 12th straight win over their rival. Cooke and the Gamecocks used smothering defense and accurate shooting to take control early. Freshman Ashlyn Watkins had 14 points including a breakaway, one-handed dunk in the final period. Things will get a lot tougher for South Carolina next time out when it heads to No. 2 Stanford on Sunday in an early season showdown.
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 $101.4 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.
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.
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.
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.
Spain overtakes USA for No. 1 spot in FIBA men’s rankings
For the first time in 12 years, USA Basketball is not atop the world men’s rankings. FIBA, the sport’s governing body, has updated its rankings — and Spain is in the top spot, a sliver ahead of the U.S. The four-time defending Olympic champion Americans moved into the top spot after winning the FIBA world championship in 2010, and had been there since.