World Cup teams nix armbands that were seen as snub to Qatar
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — FIFA’s threat of on-field punishment for players has pushed World Cup teams to back down. They abandoned a plan Monday for their captains to wear armbands that were seen as a rebuke to host nation Qatar’s human rights record. Just hours before the first players wearing the armbands in support of the “One Love” campaign were set to take the field, FIFA warned they would immediately be shown yellow cards. That changed the calculus for the seven European teams. They may have expected to merely be fined. The standoff was just the latest dispute that threatened to overshadow play on the field. Since being awarded the World Cup hosting rights in 2010, conservative Muslim Qatar has faced criticism of its treatment of low-paid migrant workers as well as its criminalization of homosexuality.
World Cup ticketing app problem delays fans at England-Iran
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Problems with FIFA’s mobile application for World Cup match tickets caused hundreds of fans to miss the start of England’s match against Iran. Fans said their tickets had disappeared from their phone apps and lines began to form outside the Khalifa International Stadium about an hour before the 4 p.m. kickoff in Doha. The lines cleared at a ticketing help desk about 30 minutes into the game. It was unclear if each ticket holder’s problem was resolved or if fans had simply been sent in to see the game. FIFA acknowledged “some spectators are currently experiencing an issue with accessing their tickets.”
Barred from stadiums at home, Iran women travel to World Cup
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Games in soccer-crazed Iran have sparked women’s protests for years. Now as Iran faces off against its political foe England for the country’s opening match in Doha on Monday, an even bigger women’s protest movement is roiling the country and threatens to overshadow the game. Women, barred from soccer stadiums at home, turned up at the match amid unrest wracking their country, spurred by the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police. The protests first focused on the state-mandated hijab, or headscarf, for women. It has since morphed into one of the most serious threats to the Islamic Republic since the chaotic years following its founding.
Analysis: How ’bout them Cowboys! Dallas is most impressive
Dak Prescott was nearly perfect in directing a balanced, dynamic offense. Micah Parsons again wreaked havoc in leading a dominant defense. Behind Prescott and Parsons, Dallas dismantled Minnesota and put the rest of the NFL on notice with a convincing 40-3 victory on the road against a team that had won seven straight games. No team owns a more impressive win this season. The 7-3 Cowboys are unlikely to win the NFC East. They trail the Philadelphia Eagles by two games and already lost to them. But they proved why they’ll be a dangerous team that nobody will want to face in January.
Kelce scores 3 touchdowns, Chiefs rally past Chargers 30-27
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce for their third touchdown of the game with 31 seconds remaining, and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied past the Los Angeles Chargers 30-27 to stay atop the AFC. Mahomes hit Kelce on a short crossing route that Kelce took to the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown, concluding a six-play, 75-yard drive that took just 1:15. The Chargers had pulled ahead 27-23 on Justin Herbert’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer with 1:46 left. The Chiefs swept the season series from Los Angeles and took a three-game lead in the AFC West. Kansas City leads four teams by one game in the conference.
Cowboys crush Vikings’ 7-game win streak with 40-3 romp
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys sacked Kirk Cousins a career-most seven times in a 40-3 victory over Minnesota. That slammed the Vikings’ seven-game winning streak to a screeching halt. Tony Pollard had two touchdown catches for Dallas with a career-high 189 yards from scrimmage. Dak Prescott was flawless at quarterback, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for two scores in his return from injury and Brett Maher made four field goals including a 60-yarder to end the first half. The Cowboys improved to 7-3 with their biggest road win in franchise history. The Vikings fell to 8-2.
Bills beat Browns 31-23 after snow shifts game to Motor City
DETROIT (AP) — Josh Allen threw a go-ahead, 5-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs late in the first half and Buffalo beat the Cleveland Browns 31-23 after the NFL moved the Bills’ home game to Detroit due to several feet of snow blanketing western New York. The Bills avoided blowing a third straight halftime lead by scoring on all five of their possessions in the second half and doing a better job protecting the ball. Cleveland rallied within eight points, setting up an onside kick in the final seconds that Bills receiver Gabe Davis failed to grab and running back Taiwan Jones knocked out of bounds.
AP Top 25 Reality Check: Michigan joins Ohio St. in 900-club
Moving toward the latest monumental matchup between Michigan and Ohio State, the Big Ten rivals share another Associated Press college football poll milestone. Michigan became the second school, joining Ohio State, to appear in at least 900 rankings since the media poll started in 1936. The Wolverines were ranked third and the Buckeyes second, behind No. 1 Georgia, in the AP Top 25. Ohio State has been ranked 963 times, that’s 79 percent of all AP polls. Michigan’s 900 appearances represents 74 percent of all polls.
Staley, VanDerveer back Griner at S Carolina-Stanford game
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and Hall of Fame Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer each wore white long-sleeved T-shirts featuring Brittney Griner’s name and image during their game Sunday. Top-ranked South Carolina topped No. 2 Stanford 76-71 in overtime in a matchup of the past two NCAA champions. Before South Carolina boarded the bus and left Maples Pavilion, Staley had her Gamecocks write letters to Griner. On the arena concourse, a “Dear BG” table with an invitation to “Write a letter to Brittney Griner” collected hundreds of hand-written messages. The 32-year-old Griner is serving a nine-year sentence for drug possession at a Russian penal colony.
World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Qatar loses opener, US up on Day 2
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The first World Cup in the Middle East finally began Sunday night with a flashy opening ceremony and a loss by host Qatar against Ecuador. Two of the best players in the world were ruled out of the tournament with injuries before it even began. France striker Karim Benzema is out after hurting his left thigh and Senegal forward Sadio Mane has a leg injury. Monday’s matches consist of the United States against Wales, England versus Iran and the Netherlands facing Senegal. Eight of the 13 team captains of European nations have planned to wear “One Love” armbands promoting inclusivity but they could face penalties for breaking rules regarding FIFA-issued uniforms.