World Cup corruption case to undergo further review

FIFA will further review the 2018 and 2022 World Cup corruption investigation, putting the status of hosts Russia and Qatar back in question.

FIFA said American prosecutor Michael Garcia and ethics judge Joachim Eckert want Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of its financial monitoring panel, to study Garcia’s 430-page report. Scala would then recommend details of the confidential dossier for discussion by FIFA’s executive committee.

Garcia appealed Eckert’s decision last week to close the case.

U.S. SOCCER FEDERATION: Goalkeeper Tim Howard was voted the federation’s male athlete of the year for the second time.

Howard, who had 15 saves in the Americans’ 2-1 overtime loss to Belgium in the Round of 16 at the World Cup, also won the award in 2008. He increased his career total to 55 international wins, two more than Kasey Keller’s previous American record.


LPGA: Julieta Granada played bogey free in a tough wind Thursday for a 6-under 66 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship at Naples, Florida.

Stacy Lewis was three shots behind after a late eagle.

CALLAWAY PEBBLE BEACH INVITATIONAL: PGA rookie Tony Finau shot a 9-under 63 at Del Monte and had a two-stroke lead over Billy Andrade and Lee Janzen of the Champions Tour after the opening round in Pebble Beach, California.

Finau, one of the longest drivers in golf, had nine birdies, one bogey and eagled the 331-yard par-4 11th after hitting his tee shot six feet from the pin.

DP WORLD TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP: Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay shot 5-under 67s to share the lead in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Olesen capped his round with four successive birdies starting on the seventh hole in ideal scoring conditions on the Greg Norman-designed Jumeriah Estates Earth course.

Ramsay kick-started his round with three straight birdies and was unlucky not to birdie the last when his putt lipped out.


DAVIS CUP: Despite his bad back, Roger Federer will face Gael Monfils on Friday in the second singles match when Switzerland faces host France in the final at Lille.

Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will open the best-of-five series on clay against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, was doubtful for the final after injuring his back last week during his win over Wawrinka in the semifinals at the ATP finals.

Switzerland is seeking a first victory in the team competition while France is looking for a 10th title. France leads the series 10-2.


NEW JERSEY RULING EXPECTED: U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp said he expects to rule by sometime Friday on whether New Jersey can partially lift its ban on sports gambling. He heard arguments on the matter Thursday.

The NCAA and four major sports leagues contend that a state could legally end a prohibition on sports gambling entirely, but not with conditions, including limiting betting to casinos and horse tracks.

The state government said it can lift whatever parts of its ban it sees fit so long as it does not license or authorize sports betting.

Whatever Shipp rules, it’s expected to wind up before an appeals court by next year.

– From news service reports