Qatar bans the sale of beer in World Cup stadiums
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar has banned the sale of beer at World Cup stadiums. It was a sudden U-turn on a deal made by the conservative Muslim emirate to secure the football tournament just two days before the opening match. The move was the latest strain to stage the event in the autocratic country where the sale of alcohol is severely restricted. It’s also a major blow to World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser and has raised questions about how much control FIFA retains over its tournament. When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, the country accepted FIFA’s requirement to sell 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 in stadiums.
Titans offensive coordinator arrested for speeding, DUI
FRANKLIN, Tennessee (AP) — Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing is free on bail 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 about two hours earlier. The Tennessee Highway Patrol stopped Downing. The stoppage comes just hours after the Titans beat the Packers 27-17 in Green Bay on Thursday night. Downing’s offense turned into his best performance this season as Tennessee won for the seventh time in eight games. The Titans say in a statement that they are gathering information.
Bills’ McDermott keeps things light amid heavy snow
BUFFALO, NY (AP) — Bills coach Sean McDermott is trying to keep things light as a major snowstorm hits Buffalo and disrupts the team’s schedule. He says the lake-effect storm that has already dumped more than a foot of snow in some places can be a bonding experience for his team. The Bills are preparing to pull out and travel to Detroit on Saturday. That’s where they’ll be the “home” team for a game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Buffalo is 6-3 and is off a two-game losing streak.
Analysis: The NFL’s appeal to women isn’t about pink jerseys
There was a time when the NFL thought appealing to female fans meant pink jerseys and dazzling 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 to courtside positions. The NFL had the most women in the assistant coach role on the field at the start of the 2022 season with 15 of any men’s professional sport. Sam Rapoport, a former professional quarterback in a women’s soccer league, has spent two decades working to expand career opportunities for women in the NFL. He points to the stats to prove his point.
World Cup fans ready to celebrate despite stadium beer ban
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Fans are flocking to Qatar to watch and participate in the first-ever World Cup in the Middle East. The last-minute decision not to serve spirited beer in stadiums was widely welcomed by the country’s conservative Muslims and ignored by giddy fans. Meanwhile, the country’s large Asian workforce also enjoyed the celebrations as the end of the tournament is likely to see an economic slowdown. Qatar has been criticized for its treatment of workers, although Doha has made changes to its labor laws.
Column: enjoy a couple of months without Bama and Nick Saban
The Alabama Crimson Tide is playing a football game on Saturday which means…well, absolutely nothing. Do not be Cruel. That’s how things work in Tuscaloosa. The SEC championship is out of reach. Any hope of claiming a berth in the college football playoffs is gone. Which means there is no chance of Bama winning his seventh national title since the arrival of Nick Saban. Which means, of course, that the season is effectively over for the Tide. It’s been a dozen years since Alabama was in this spot, playing a regular season game with no potential impact on the national championship race.
LPGA purses to exceed $100 million in 2023, a record for the tour
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — More than $100 million will be awarded to first-time LPGA players in 2023. That’s about an 18 percent increase over what was expected this season and more than double what was paid on tour just a decade ago. A total of 33 official events next year will have a total of $101.4 million in purses, the tour announced as it unveiled the schedule. That tournament slate includes two events in China. The LPGA hasn’t played there since October 2019. It has canceled each of its last five scheduled events in China following the coronavirus pandemic.
Manchester United take ‘appropriate measures’ after Ronaldo interview
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Manchester United say they have “initiated appropriate measures” in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan. The Premier League club’s legal team were waiting to review the full 90-minute interview footage in which Ronaldo criticized manager Erik ten Hag, team-mates and 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 over. United officials were unaware of any interview and had to wait until it was broadcast.
German football fans who turn their backs on the World Cup
BERLIN (AP) — Normally when the World Cup arrives, Germans happily wave their country’s flag and enthusiastically support their team. Not this time. Anyone walking through Berlin just days before the World Cup in Qatar kicks off on Sunday will struggle to notice any signs that the tournament is underway. There are no flags, signs, public events. Bars are boycotting the tournament and many fans say they won’t watch to protest human rights abuses in Qatar.
Spain surpasses the United States for first place in the FIBA men’s rankings
For the first time in 12 years, USA Basketball is not at the top of the men’s world rankings. FIBA, the sport’s governing body, has updated its rankings — and Spain is in first place, a sliver ahead of the United States having been there ever since.
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