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FIFA President Gianni Infantino has suggested having 16 three-team groups if the World Cup expands to 48 countries.
Members of the FIFA Council received a recommendation from the governing body setting out four proposed formats, including sticking to a 32-team World Cup.
But Infantino wants to add 16 teams. He previously suggested a 32-team knockout round before the group stage, when the other 16 finalists enter.
If the new plan is approved by the FIFA Council at a meeting next month, the World Cup would expand to 48 nations from 2026, and the top two teams from the 16 groups would advance to a new round of 32.
Julia Rocha, the former head of the Nicaraguan soccer federation, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy in federal court in New York in the corruption scandal that has engulfed FIFA.
Rocha faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count. He also has agreed to forfeit nearly $300,000. . . .
In Champions League yesterday, Sevilla and FC Porto grabbed the final two spots in the last 16, while Juventus and Borussia Dortmund finished up as group winners.
FC Porto breezed into the knockout phase with a 5-0 rout of Leicester, which had already secured top spot in the group on its competition debut and rested many starters. A late equalizer by substitute Marco Reus earned Borussia Dortmund a 2-2 draw against defending champion Real Madrid and first place in Group F. Sevilla had a 0-0 draw with Lyon, while Juventus had a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb.
Russian sanctions extended
Two days before the release of a new report into Russian doping, the International Olympic Committee extended the provisional sanctions imposed on the country over allegations of systematic cheating.
The sanctions, originally designed to apply until the end of this year, were put into place following the first report by the World Anti-Doping Agency that alleged state-sponsored doping in Russia.
Under the measures, the IOC will not organize or "give patronage" to any sports events or meetings in Russia. In addition, the IOC urges all Olympic winter sports federations to "freeze their preparations for major events in Russia," including world championships and World Cups and "to actively look for alternative organizers." . . .
Yokohama Stadium will host the baseball and softball competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Yokohama was among the venues approved by the IOC executive board for the five new sports on the Tokyo program, along with karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.
Names: Turner into 'Bama Hall
The late Kevin Turner, the former Patriots fullback, is being inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Turner and fellow former NFL players Carnell Williams, Jeff Herrod and Takeo Spikes are part of the eight-person class announced. They'll be inducted on May 13, 2017.
Turner was an Alabama team captain in 1991 who went on to play eight seasons in the NFL with the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. He died on March 24 after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Former Cowboys linebacker Dave Edwards, who played in Dallas for 12 seasons and won one Super Bowl, died in Lake Whitney, Texas. He was 76.
Max Chilton will return to Chip Ganassi Racing next season as the fourth IndyCar driver for the team. Chilton was a rookie last year with Ganassi in the No. 8 and was 19th in the IndyCar standings.
The French Tennis Federation named Yannick Noah as France's Fed Cup captain for next year.
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