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FIFA World Cup

Pele says 'nothing serious' with him

Pele says 'nothing serious' with him, is looking forward to spending holidays with his family
Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press

SAO PAULO - Brazilian great Pele says he is not seriously ill, easing fears Thursday that his health deteriorated even though a hospital said he was in intensive care and undergoing renal support treatment.

The 74-year-old Pele used his official Twitter account to deny widespread reports that said his condition worsened and that he was put in intensive care to treat a urinary tract infection.

5 investigated in FIFA WCup bid corruption probe

3 FIFA board members among 5 men under investigation in FIFA World Cup bid corruption probe
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - Five officials, including three long-serving FIFA executive committee members, are being investigated in the corruption probe into the bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

A person familiar with the cases confirmed the names Thursday to The Associated Press after the five were identified in European media reports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the FIFA probe is confidential.

Germany leads FIFA rankings as minnows move up

Germany leads FIFA rankings as minnows move up standings after upset results
The Associated Press

ZURICH - Germany still leads the FIFA rankings while Canada rose 12 positions to No. 110 after playing Panama to a scoreless draw.

Germany, the World Cup champions, stayed ahead of Argentina, Colombia, Belgium and the Netherlands in an unchanged top five.

Two of Europe's smallest nations made big gains after upset results. The Faroe Islands climbed 82 places to No. 105 after beating Greece 1-0 in a European Championship qualifier.

UK mulls criminal probe into FIFA bids case

UK's Serious Fraud Office mulls criminal investigation into World Cup bid allegations
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - A criminal investigation into allegations of World Cup bidding corruption could be opened in Britain, with authorities urging whistleblowers to come forward with information.

The Serious Fraud Office is pursuing "every reasonable line of inquiry, including working closely with appropriate overseas authorities," the government department said according to a letter sent to a British legislator.

Valcke: FIFA faces 'years' to rebuild reputation

FIFA's Jerome Valcke says will take 'years to rebuild our reputation' after scandals
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke acknowledged Tuesday that it will take "years to rebuild our reputation" following the World Cup bidding corruption investigation.

But Valcke insisted that Sony and Emirates airline are not ending their FIFA sponsorships to protest against allegations of bribery and favour-seeking that have engulfed world football in the four years since Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar was voted the 2022 hosts.

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