English Premier League chairman apologizes for rant | Soccer
Dave Richards, the chairman of the English Premier League, accused FIFA and UEFA of stealing the game of soccer from the English and derided his Qatari hosts' restrictions on selling alcohol before tumbling into a fountain at an official dinner. He later apologized.
English Premier League head
apologizes for rant against FIFA
The chairman of the English Premier League accused FIFA and UEFA of stealing the game of soccer from the English and derided his Qatari hosts' restrictions on selling alcohol before tumbling into a fountain at an official dinner Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.
The rants by Dave Richards, who is also a senior Football Association board member, were quickly denounced by the Premier League and English soccer's governing body.
Richards was later forced into an embarrassing apology for "any negativity" toward FIFA and UEFA while insisting his comments were "intended to be lighthearted."
During a speech, Richards repeatedly reminded an audience that included FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan the world had England to thank for soccer.
"England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game," Richards said. "For 50 years, we owned the game ... we were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else.
"Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said you're liars and they actually stole it. It was called FIFA. Fifty years later, another gang came along called UEFA and stole a bit more."
Prince Ali reminded Richards there was still a debate over whether the Chinese or the English invented the sport, but the 68-year-old Richards leapt to the defense of his country.
"It started in Sheffield 150 years ago ... ," Richards said, his voice rising. "We started the game and wrote the rules and took it to the world. The Chinese may say they own it but the British own it and we gave it to the rest of the world."
Real Madrid, Chelsea advance
Real Madrid of Spain advanced to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals with a 4-1 victory over visiting CSKA Moscow, and host Chelsea of England took until extra time to overturn a first-leg deficit and beat Napoli of Italy by the same score.
Nine-time champion Madrid posted a 5-2 aggregate victory in the home-and-home, total-goals series.
Chelsea advanced 5-4 on aggregate, as Branislav Ivanovic scored the winning goal in extra time.
Vonn wins World Cup downhill
Lindsey Vonn of Vail, Colo., won a downhill in Schladming, Austria, by nearly a second for her 12th victory of the season, the second-highest total in World Cup history.
Vonn, who clinched her fourth overall Cup title last week and her fifth consecutive downhill title last month, finished in 1 minute, 46.56 seconds. That was 0.92 seconds ahead of runner-up Marion Rolland of France.
"This definitely is my best season ever," Vonn said after her 53rd career World Cup victory, extending her U.S. record.
"Twelve wins in one season. I can't believe it's true."
Only Vreni Schneider of Switzerland has won more races in a single World Cup season, with 14 in 1988-89.
In the men's event, Klaus Kroell of Austria finished seventh — good enough to take the World Cup downhill title. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the race in 1:46.82, and Beat Feuz of Switzerland was second, 0.57 back.
Top-ranked players triumph
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia rallied to beat Pablo Andujar of Spain 6-0, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 and reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
Third-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Meanwhile, No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus improved to 21-0 this season by overwhelming fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-0, 6-2 on the women's side.
Chisora has license withdrawn
Chisora has license withdrawn
Dereck Chisora's promoter, Frank Warren, said the heavyweight fighter has had his British boxing license withdrawn indefinitely after his brawl with former WBA champion David Haye at a news conference in Germany.
Chisora faced the British Boxing Board of Control in Cardiff, Wales, to explain why he fought with Haye after losing his WBC heavyweight title challenge to Vitali Klitschko on Feb. 18.
• The U.S. Olympic Committee has extended its most lucrative domestic sponsorship deal through 2016 — a contract with Budweiser worth more than $13 million over four years.
The contract will extend Budweiser's relationship with the Olympics to 32 years. The beer brand started as the official sponsor of the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
• John Junker, 56, the Fiesta Bowl's former chief executive officer, has pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony conspiracy charge stemming from his role in an illegal campaign-finance scheme.
Junker entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Phoenix. It is his second plea agreement in the case.
The guilty pleas stem from a scheme in which the Fiesta Bowl reimbursed, with bowl funds, employees who made political-campaign contributions.
• Santa Anita is celebrating the birth of Zenyatta's colt with an equine baby shower Saturday in Arcadia, Calif.
The racetrack will give away "It's a Boy" posters free with all paid admissions and Team Zenyatta will have an autograph session before the races begin.
The superstar mare, who won 19 of 20 career races before being retired in November 2010, gave birth to a colt for the first time last Thursday in Kentucky, where she resides at Lane's End Farm. Zenyatta was voted the 2010 North American Horse of the Year.
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