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Sports in brief

SOCCER

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FORMER FIFA OFFICIAL BANNED FOR LIFE

ZURICH — Four years after stepping down in disgrace, former FIFA vice president Jack Warner was banned from soccer for life Tuesday, accused of repeated acts of bribery related to World Cup bidding votes.

Warner, a long-time ally of president Sepp Blatter who was allowed to resign from FIFA in 2011 with his "presumption of innocence" maintained, is currently fighting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago on U.S. charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering.

Also, Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber said he'd be prepared to follow up the search of Blatter's FIFA office by ordering the same kind of unannounced visit at Michel Platini's UEFA headquarters. Platini, who is the head of European soccer's governing body, was questioned Friday about a 2011 payment from FIFA which led to a criminal case being opened against Blatter. Platini said that he doesn't "fear a (FIFA) suspension because I have done nothing wrong."

MORE SOCCER

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: A goalkeeping blunder by David Ospina helped Olympiakos beat host Arsenal 3-2 and leave the Gunners in danger of their first group-stage exit in 16 years. … Barcelona needed two goals in the final 10 minutes in the absence of injured star Lionel Messi to come back for a 2-1 home win over Bayer Leverkusen and take the Group E lead. … Host Zenit St. Petersburg beat Gent 2-1 to take the top spot in Group H. … Goalkeeper Jaume Domenech made two saves in the closing stages to help Valencia win 1-0 at Lyon.

WORLD CUP: Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko said a lack of hotel accommodations for teams and officials is a major problem facing 2018 organizers.

WNBA

Indiana reaches finals

Tamika Catchings scored 14 to lead visiting Indiana to a 66-51 victory over New York in Game 3, advancing the Fever to the WNBA Finals. Indiana will face Minnesota in the championship series that begins 3 p.m. Sunday and will air on Ch. 28. Catchings, who is retiring at the end of next season, helped the Fever stave off elimination for the fourth time this postseason.

TENNIS

Venus hits milestone

Venus Williams earned her 700th career victory by beating German qualifier Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of Wuhan Open in China. Defending champion Petra Kvitova.

AUTOS

New team picks driver

Haas F1 named veteran Romain Grosjean as its lead driver. The 29-year-old Frenchman has been with Lotus for the past five years. He has competed in 78 Formula One races and has 10 podium finishes. Haas F1 will make its official debut at the Australian Grand Prix on April 3.

COMPLAINT FILED: In a challenge to Formula One's status quo, Force India and Sauber lodged a complaint with the European Union charging that the sport's rule-making and revenue-sharing mechanisms are unlawful, unfair and harmful.

XFINITY: Pocono Raceway added a race from the second-tier series to its 2016 schedule.

Times wires

Sports in brief 09/29/15 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 9:36pm]
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