FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 file photo, President of FIFA Sepp Blatter arrives at the Culloden Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland. FIFA says President Sepp Blatter will not go to Canada for Sunday's Women's World Cup final, amid criminal investigations into soccer's governing body. Secretary General Jerome Valcke will also be absent from the biggest event in women's soccer, it was reported on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a Sunday newspaper interview that French and German presidents applied political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively. Blatter told Welt am Sonntag that ''there were two political interventions'' from former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German counterpart Christian Wulff before the hosts were announced on Dec. 2, 2010. ''Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives.


Posted: July 5, 2015, 2:01 am

Columbus Crew midfielder Ethan Finlay (13) passes the ball against Orlando City during the first half of an MLS soccer game, Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Kei Kamara set up Ethan Finlay's two goals, and the Columbus Crew rallied to beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Saturday night.


Posted: July 5, 2015, 1:54 am

England's Laura Bassett (6) jumps into the arms of Steph Houghton after England defeated Germany 1-0 in the FIFA Women's World Cup third-place soccer match in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Saturday, July 4, 2015. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)

Days after a gut-wrenching loss, England finished its deepest run in the Women's World Cup with an uplifting victory. Houghton's nifty legwork prevented an own goal and Fara Williams scored on a penalty kick in the 108th minute, leading England to a 1-0 victory over top-ranked Germany in the third-place game Saturday. ''This is the team we wanted to be,'' coach Mark Sampson said.


Posted: July 5, 2015, 1:30 am

Argentina's Lionel Messi seats on the pitch during the trophy ceremony at the end of the Copa America final soccer match at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, July 4, 2015. Chile defeated Argentina 4-1 in a penalty shoot out after the game ended in a 0-0 draw. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Lionel Messi has come up short again in his attempt to succeed with Argentina's national team.


Posted: July 5, 2015, 1:27 am

Chile's players hold up the trophy after the Copa America final soccer match against Argentina at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, July 4, 2015. Bravo made a save and striker Alexis Sanchez converted the winning penalty as host Chile defeated Argentina 4-1 in a shootout after a 0-0 draw in the Copa America final on Saturday, finally winning its first major title.(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The wait is finally over for Chile. The title drought continues for Argentina. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo made a save and striker Alexis Sanchez converted the winning penalty as the hosts defeated Argentina 4-1 in a shootout after a 0-0 draw in the Copa America final on Saturday, finally winning its first major tournament.


Posted: July 5, 2015, 1:15 am

Chile players celebrate after defeating Argentina in their Copa America 2015 final soccer match at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, July 4, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno

By Gideon Long SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile won the Copa America for the first time on Saturday when a cheeky penalty from Alexis Sanchez clinched a shootout victory over Argentina and glory for the host nation's golden generation in front of their own fans. Lionel Messi stepped up to score Argentina's first spot kick but, as the first three Chileans converted unerringly, Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega missed.


Posted: July 5, 2015, 12:57 am

Japan celebrates after beating England in the semifinals of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium.  Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

By Steve Keating VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Four years ago the Japan women's soccer team, inspired by a nation recovering from a devastating earthquake and tsunami, lifted their reeling country's spirits by winning the World Cup. Japan will defend that crown on Sunday in Vancouver against the United States and this time coach Norio Sasaki said his team needs no such motivation as they bid to join Germany as the only country to claim back-to-back titles. "In 2011 Japan suffered a great earthquake and tsunami and the people in Japan really got interested in the Women's World Cup," Sasaki told reporters before this team went out for the their final practise session at BC Place.


Posted: July 5, 2015, 12:28 am

England celebrates their victory over Germany in the third place match of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium. England defeated Germany 1-0 in extra time. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Fara Williams struck an extra-time winner from the penalty spot as England defeated Germany 1-0 to claim third place in the Women's World Cup on Saturday. The Lionesses gained some consolation for their heartbreaking loss to Japan in the semi-final as they produced a gritty display to beat the twice world champions for the first time. A fiercely competitive game, scoreless after 90 minutes, was decided three minutes into the second period of extra time when England sub Lianne Sanderson was pulled down in the box by Tabea Kemme and Williams coolly slotted home.


Posted: July 4, 2015, 11:45 pm

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