English Premier League high-fliers Tottenham failed to offer some cheer to absent manager Harry Redknapp as they suffered their first Europa League defeat of the season, losing 1-0 to Rubin Kazan in Group A.
The NBA bargaining table is still empty, with the league's owners too busy digging their heels in to pull up a chair and the players having far too much fun exploring the overseas opportunities to sit in some meaningless meeting right now.
The special police unit "Organized Crime" swooped at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning two weeks ago. Around 40 players, managers and officials from nine Turkish football clubs as well as three Turkish FA leaders were arrested in connection with an eight-month-long investigation into organized match-fixing. Among them was Fenerbahce president Aziz Yildirim, one of the most powerful and richest men in Turkey. In a second wave of arrests, another 20 men were apprehended. The police allege match rigging on an industrial scale; politicians, media and the supporters are shocked. "If only five percent of the allegations are true, it would be terrible for sport in Turkey," said Huseyin Celik, the deputy chairman of the ruling AKP party.
With the NBA lockout expected to last months and even eat into next season, Nets point guard Deron Williams has decided to explore his options in Europe. The All-Star is in talks with Turkish club Besiktas (the same team for which Allen Iverson briefly played last season), and according to coach Ergin Ataman, an agreement has been reached.
1. FIFA corruption. It's been a long time since anybody thought of FIFA as a bunch of do-gooders, but this has been a damaging year for its reputation nonetheless. As Sepp Blatter's merry troupe was courted by World Cup bidders, two members (Nigeria's Amos Adamu and Tahiti's Reynald Temarii) were suspended for offering to sell their votes, and the rest of the executive committee did nothing to quell suspicions that it was standard practice by giving the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to mega-rich, risky options Russia and Qatar, respectively. Blatter says he wants to give soccer to the world -- though South Africa saw not a cent of the $2 billion profit that FIFA, which refuses to pay tax in host countries, made from last summer's World Cup.
NEW YORK -- In the end, Allen Iverson was, well, Allen Iverson. He was repentant for some of his childish behavior. But not really. He acknowledged his transition to the final phase of his NBA career would have been easier had he been more willing to accept a lesser role, but then declared that he "wouldn't put my talent behind anybody." Indeed, if Friday was the last look America gets of Iverson -- sitting in front of a handful of cameras and a surprisingly sparse group of reporters at the St. Regis Hotel, where he announced his decision to sign with the Turkish club Besiktas -- before his eventual induction ceremony in Springfield, Mass., then Iverson did not disappoint.
We're halfway through the Champions League group stage, which means it's midterm report-card time for Europe's elite. In this evaluation, though, you don't get a straight grade -- you're on a curve based on how you've performed relative to expectations.