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Originally published November 26, 2012 at 7:19 PM | Page modified November 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM

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Brazilians name mascot for 2014 World Cup | Soccer

Brazilians selected the name "Fuleco" for the armadillo mascot for the 2014 World Cup after a three-month vote derided by some fans as undemocratic.

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Soccer

Brazilians pick 'Fuleco' as name

for mascot of 2014 World Cup

Brazilians selected the name "Fuleco" for the armadillo mascot for the 2014 World Cup after a three-month vote derided by some fans as undemocratic.

FIFA officials said more than 1.7 million people in Brazil took part in the vote to select the name. The other choices were Zuzeco and Amijubi.

Polls across the country had shown the vast majority of Brazilians were not pleased with the names picked for public voting, and critics said organizers should have allowed fans to choose other names.

Fuleco comes from the Portuguese words "futebol" (football) and "ecologia" (ecology), and FIFA said it "seamlessly represents the way in which the FIFA World Cup can combine the two to encourage people to behave in an environmentally friendly way."

Soccer's governing body said Fuleco received 48 percent of the vote, while 31 percent went for Zuzeco and 21 percent for Amijubi.

The mascot of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was a leopard called Zakumi. The mascot of the 2006 World Cup in Germany was a lion called Goleo.

Chants mar match in England

English soccer faced an investigation after a Premier League match between Tottenham and West Ham was marred by anti-Semitic abuse by fans.

West Ham pledged to impose lifetime bans after some of its supporters were heard Sunday making chants about Adolf Hitler and also praising Italian team Lazio after an apparent anti-Semitic stabbing of a Tottenham fan Wednesday in Rome.

"I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing," Israel midfielder Yossi Benayoun, who is on loan at West Ham from Chelsea, wrote on Twitter.

"There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination in football," the Football Association said after launching a formal investigation.

Tottenham is known to have a large Jewish fan base that has long been subjected to anti-Semitic abuse at matches.

Player imposes ban on himself

Hannover midfielder Lars Stindl, 24, has been suspended for a match in the Bundesliga, Germany's top league, after pointing out he should be banned for getting five yellow cards this season.

When Stindl was cautioned Saturday in a 5-0 loss to leader Bayern Munich, the honest player told his team it should trigger a one-match ban.

Hannover published the story on its website with the message: "Hats off, Lars!"

NHL

U.S. mediators to join labor talks

Federal mediators are entering the stalled NHL labor talks, with the season's first 2 ½ months already lost because of the lockout.

George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, said the parties had agreed to use the agency. He assigned three mediators to assist negotiations — deputy director Scot Beckenbaugh, director of mediation services John Sweeney and commissioner Guy Serota.

But Serota was removed later in the day because, Cohen said, "within one hour after I issued a press release ... it has been called to my attention that there are issues involving an allegedly hacked Twitter account associated with commissioner Guy Serota."

Cohen said Serota was removed "to immediately dispel any cloud on the mediation process, and without regard to the merits of the allegations."

The mediation service has been part of some contract negotiations involving the NFL and NBA. The sides in the NHL talks are to meet separately with mediators Wednesday.

"While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labor dispute at the earliest possible date," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHL Players' Association, said, "We look forward to their involvement as we continue working to reach an equitable agreement for both the players and the owners."

Olympics

Rogge backs longer doping bans

Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said he supports proposals to double the length of doping bans to four years as a way of keeping drug cheats out of the Games.

The World Anti-Doping Agency is planning to raise the penalty from two to four years for serious drug violations in the next version of the global anti-doping code, which comes up for approval next year and goes into effect in 2015.

"We are waiting for the final text but already what is on the table today is something that is heartening for us," Rogge said in Amsterdam.

Rogge said the proposal "is something that satisfies us in that it endorses increasing sanctioning for what I would call heavy doping."

He said the change would be in line with the IOC's previous failed attempt to bar any athlete given a ban of more than six months from competing in the subsequent Olympics.

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