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Despite turmoil, Sepp Blatter re-elected FIFA president

05.29.15 at 2:00 pm ET
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Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

As expected, Sepp Blatter was re-elected as president of FIFA for a fifth term during Friday’s election in Zurich, although there was enough opposition that Blatter did not win on the first vote.

Blatter had 133 votes to 73 for Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. Because no candidate won two-thirds of the vote, there was to have been a second vote in which the winner would only need a majority. However, Prince Ali, a FIFA vice president for the past four years, conceded defeat and withdrew.

Two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected executive committee remember remained in custody during Friday’s election. They are fighting extradition to the United States, where they would face corruption charges related to tournaments held in North America.

Blatter denied having any role in the alleged bribery, blaming others for embarrassing the sport and saying it was impossible to be responsible for everyone’s behavior.

Blatter, 79, has been president for 17 years.

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Bomb threat made against FIFA congress as election begins

05.29.15 at 9:34 am ET
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Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

A bomb threat was made against the venue of the FIFA congress and presidential election, according to police in Switzerland.

“An anonymous threat against the FIFA congress was received,” FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke said. “A search was carried out. The premises have been cleared by the authorities.”

Said a Zurich police spokesman: “It was decided that the congress room will be searched by specialists from local police. The police action is still ongoing, but so far no one had to be evacuated.”

FIFA’s presidential elections are set for Friday. Sitting president Sepp Blatter is running for a fifth term in office. Many officials have called for Blatter’s resignation following the corruption scandal that resulted in the arrests of 14 people.

Blatter has refused to resign and is running in what projects to be a particularly close election. The incumbent will face off against Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan. U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati has said the the American vote will go to Prince Ali.

In his address to the congress Friday, Blatter defended himself.

“You can’t ask everyone to behave ethically just like that,” Blatter said.

In order to win the election, a candidate must win a two-thirds majority of the 209 voting-eligible members in attendance. If no candidate wins by such a margin, there will be a second vote requiring a simple majority.

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Report: Dwyane Wade, Heat at standstill in contract talks

05.29.15 at 8:47 am ET
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Dwyane Wade‘s future with the Heat apparently is in doubt.

The three-time NBA champion, who has spent his entire career in Miami since being drafted in 2003, is preparing for the possibility of leaving the team this summer. According to The Associated Press, contract talks between the two sides are at “an impasse.”

Wade’s contract would pay him $16.1 million next season, and Wade has the right to opt out and enter free agency. According to an AP source, he has not yet decided whether to opt out.

“He’s trying to figure out how things should transpire and if he can reach another agreement with the Heat,” the person said.

Wade took a pay cut last year, opting out of his contract that had two years and around $41 million remaining, in order to give the team more financial flexibility to retain LeBron James.

When James left anyway, Wade signed a two-year deal for $31 million with an option for the second year (next season). Wade has said repeatedly that he wishes to stay with the Heat for the entirety of his career.

This summer, the Heat also are faced with trying to re-sign point guard Goran Dragic.

“We have a backcourt that we’re thinking about that I’ll feel very good about,” team president Pat Riley said in his end-of-season interview about the possibility of a full season of a Dragic-Wade backcourt.

Wade is Miami’s career leader in games, points, assists and steals.

Read More: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson goes on Twitter rant about contract

05.29.15 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
NHL playoffs: Lightning at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: U-20 World Cup, United States vs. Myanmar, midnight (FS1)
College softball: World Series, LSU vs. Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College softball: World Series, Michigan vs. UCLA, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Adrian Peterson brought some clarity to his dispute with the Vikings, tweeting his frustration that his contract is not fully guaranteed.

There had been speculation that Peterson was skipping this week’s voluntary three-day practice session because he felt the Vikings did not support him enough during his legal problems last season. However, he indicated the issue is only about his contract.

Peterson apparently wants the Vikings to guarantee money due in the final two years of his deal, especially after he lost money during last season’s suspension.

Tweeted Peterson: I know hundreds of players that wished their team would’ve HONORED the contract! But instead got threw to the side like trash.

Peterson has three years and about $45 million remaining on his contract. If he is on the roster for Week 1, his $12.75 million salary for 2015 is guaranteed, but not the final two years.

Tweeted Peterson: A lill crazy how one side has so much power that they can do as they please when it comes to the contract! But when the other-side (player’s) feels for whatever reason! Family, Change of scenery or simply – what they feels just might work best for them! Those same laws don’t apply! It’s all about honoring you’re contract! Sounds like free will is being a lil challenged to me!

Peterson later indicated his anger is directed at the players’ lack of power, not at the Vikings in particular.

Wrote Peterson: This is not against the Vikings. I am just frustrated that our union did not get guaranteed contracts for its players.

The Vikings have another set of voluntary practices next week, but Peterson is not required to show up until minicamp that starts June 16.

— Eagles coach Chip Kelly responded to allegations from traded running back LeSean McCoy that he intentionally got rid of the team’s good black players by denying race played a role in any of his offseason decisions.

“I’ve got great respect for LeSean. However, in that situation, I think he’s wrong,” Kelly said Thursday. “We put a lot of time in looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players, and color’s never been one of them.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Chip Kelly, LeSean McCoy, Ryan Clady

Russian Sports Minister on FIFA investigations: ‘We’ve got nothing to hide’

05.28.15 at 11:16 am ET
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Vitaly Mutko spoke Wednesday. (Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

Vitaly Mutko spoke Wednesday saying. ‘”We’ve got nothing to hide.” (Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

Adding to the current chaos surrounding FIFA, President Vladimir Putin defended the organization on Thursday, saying the arrests made Wednesday were “another blatant attempt by the United States to extend its jurisdiction to other states.”

Swiss prosecutors had announced a criminal investigation into Russia being awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar receiving 2022’s.

“We’ve got nothing to hide,” Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told The Associated Press. “We’re prepared to show everything. We’ve always acted within the law.”

The Swiss prosecutors invaded FIFA headquarters and seized computers along with records to further look into whether those decisions were rigged.

The U.S. is conducting a separate investigation, but authorities on both the Swiss and U.S. side were working together.

Though corruption rumors have swirled around the organization during Sepp Blatter’s 17 years as president, he was not cited in the investigations.

“We welcome the actions and the investigations by the U.S. and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football,” Blatter said in a statement.

Diego Maradona told Radio La Red, a Buenos Aires radio station, that he was “treated like a crazy person” when he complained of the corruption in FIFA.

“Now the FBI has told the truth,” he said.

In addition, former Brazilian soccer star Romario said to the AP, “someone had to eventually arrest them one day.”

Acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York Kelly T. Currie told the AP that the 161-page, 47-count indictment, which included wire fraud, money laundering and racketeering conspiracy, described decades of “brazen corruption.”

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Read More: FIFA, Sepp Blatter,

J.J. Watt: Texans will use ‘Hard Knocks’ selection to bring team together

05.28.15 at 9:25 am ET
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This year’s edition of the HBO documentary series “Hard Knocks” will follow the Texans through training camp.

As a rule, teams can refuse the show if they’ve been in the playoffs the last two seasons, if they have a new head coach or if they have been the show’s subject in the last 10 years. Since Houston fits none of this criteria, one of nine teams that doesn’t, the Texans are set to be featured for 2015.

The show was created in 2001 and since then the Ravens, Chiefs, Jets, Dolphins and Falcons have each been subjects once, while the Cowboys and Bengals have been so twice.

“We’ll use it as an opportunity to show the world what our team is about, the hard working guys we have, some of the great personalities that we have on our team,” J.J. Watt said via team’s website.

“I think it’s something that, as fans of the game, always love to watch, but as a player I don’t know if you ever really advocate for it for your own team because you know what it brings,” he added. “But I think that our team’s going to do a great job avoiding any distractions, and I think we’re going to use it to bring us together as a team. We’re going to use it to help showcase our team to the world and I think that when you’re put in a situation like this, you just have to try and use it your advantage.”

The Texans released a trailer Wednesday, serving as a bit of a sneak peek into what the show will focus on.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the rest of the country to see that we’ve got a first-class group of players and coaches,” Texans owner Bob McNair told ESPN, “and this is the way we would like to see the game presented and these are the type of participants in the game. I think it’s something that can be very positive, not just for us but for the league. I’m quite proud of our players and the way they do represent us.”

Read More: Houston Texans, J.J. Watt,

Mayor Marty Walsh on D&C: ‘Zero tolerance for spending taxpayers’ money’ on stadiums, venues for Boston 2024

05.28.15 at 9:02 am ET
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Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about Boston 2024, specifically taxpayers’ money when it relates to the Olympics potentially coming to Boston. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

A report obtained by the Boston Business Journal highlights the need for public spending for the games to come to Boston. Walsh tried to clarify the report Thursday.

“What the report was based on the document that was submitted to the USOC for the Olympics to come to Boston, it’s based on a concept,” said Walsh. “The final bid that would be put in, which would be I think December or January, that is going to be the actual plan with what is going to be put forth. In that actual plan is going to have to spell out how you’re actually going to pay for the venues, and where the venues are going to be located and how the financing would work.”

Walsh then went on to explain his view on taxpayers’ money and how it will be used.

“I have zero tolerance for spending taxpayers’ money on building stadiums or building venues for the Olympics,” Walsh said. “Now as far as infrastructure, I view that differently. The reason why I view that differently is regardless of where the venues are in the City of Boston, if we improve the infrastructure whether it is the roads, a side walk, a crosswalk, lighting, whatever the case may be, that is something that is beneficial to residents of our city, or even if there is a venue outside of Boston. Let’s say there is a venue in another city in Massachusetts, and there is infrastructure there — those infrastructure improvements are beneficial short term and long term for the residents of that area. That is money that should have been spent.

“When I look at the MBTA, I see an opportunity here — let’s assume we get the Olympics, and [in] 2017 they announce Boston as the Olympic city and we’re going to move forward — now we have a date of 2024 that we need to make sure that the MBTA is running properly, is upgraded, is state of the art because of the volume of people that will want to be moving around the city and the Commonwealth. We need to have a reliable transportation system. That forces us, and that forces all of us to work together to improve the MBTA.

“If we don’t get the Olympics, what I am afraid of with the MBTA is [what we] are having [this winter] in 2024 — we’re having the same conversation we had this year [that] we had in 2010 when we did some legislation in the state house and in 1997. Two other times we were working to fix the MBTA. This gives us an end date that we need to make it move forward. The conversation of the Olympics over the next two years allows us, Boston, to go around the world and promote our city on a world stage. Whether or not we get the Olympics or not, there’s a benefit for us to be involved in the conversation.”

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Read More: Boston 2024, Marty Walsh,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Bears DL Ray McDonald arrested again

05.28.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
College softball: World Series, Tennessee vs. Florida, noon (ESPN)
College softball: World Series, LSU vs. Auburn, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College softball: World Series, Alabama vs. Michigan, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College softball: World Series, UCLA vs. Oregon, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: French Open, 5 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Ray McDonald

Ray McDonald

— Two days after being arrested for domestic violence and child endangerment and then being cut by the Bears, lineman Ray McDonald was arrested again, this time for violating a restraining order.

McDonald was issued the restraining order after Monday’s incident, in which he allegedly broke down a bedroom door to get to his ex-fiancee, who was with their infant child. His attorney denies that he or McDonald were notified of the restraining order, which barred him from returning to the home in Santa Clara, California.

McDonald went to the home to meet with a private investigator, his lawyer said, at a time when his ex-fiancee was not home. He was arrested at a fast-food restaurant Wednesday afternoon and booked on $5,000 bail.

Cut by the 49ers in December after what the team called a “pattern of poor decision-making,” McDonald signed a one-year deal with the Bears this offseason.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, Bears team chairman George McCaskey expressed concern for the alleged victim.

“The overriding emotion for me was sadness,” McCaskey said of his reaction to McDonald’s Monday arrest. “Sadness for the child, for the child’s mother and for the entire situation. Domestic violence is a vexing social problem. The NFL has had some high-profile cases including this one, and the NFL because it’s a leader in a society is called upon to take action, which we are doing. We’re not going to do it by ourselves, but I think we have an opportunity to make an impact.”

— Vikings coach Mike Zimmer made it clear that the Vikings have no intention of trading Adrian Peterson, despite the running back’s lack of cooperation since his return from his suspension last season.

Speaking to the media Wednesday during the second day of OTAs — which Peterson is skipping — Zimmer dismissed any suggestion that the team might move Peterson.

“He’s really got two choices. He can either play for us or he cannot play,” Zimmer said. “He’s not going to play for anybody else, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Antonio Smith, Mike Smith, Ray McDonald

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: FIFA says election will go on despite officials’ arrests in soccer corruption probe

05.27.15 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Twins, 1:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Warriors, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Ducks at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Dnipro vs. Sevilla, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Exhibition, Manchester City at Toronto, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: French Open, 5 a.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

— After decades of rumors and reports about corruption at soccer’s highest levels, 14 soccer executives were indicted Wednesday for their alleged roles in a bribery scandal related to tournaments in the United States and Latin America, and Swiss federal prosecutors opened criminal proceedings regarding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Six soccer executives, in Switzerland for a FIFA congress and general election, were arrested during an early morning raid at their luxury hotel and detained pending an extradition request from the United States.

Officials in the United States said four people, including former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, and two sports marketing companies already entered guilty pleas.

“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systematic and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” U.S. Attorney General Lorretta Lynch said.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is expected to win a fifth term, was not among those arrested. A FIFA spokesman said the organization would cooperate with authorities and welcomes an opportunity to clean up the organization, but he added that Friday’s election would go on as scheduled and there would be no re-vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice released a statement after the arrests, reading: “The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against persons unknown on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money laundering in connection with the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cups. In the course of said proceedings, electronic data and documents were seized [Wednesday] at FIFA’s head office in Zurich.”

— Former Saints receiver Joe Horn hasn’t played in seven seasons, but he’s as angry as ever at commissioner Roger Goodell. Horn, who also played for the Chiefs and Falcons during his career from 1996-2007, called Goodell “the devil” when discussing the state of the NFL.

“Here’s what I don’t like. I don’t like what Roger Goodell is doing. He has so much power that he can almost shut people down. I just don’t like him,” Horn told TheFootballGirl.com (via ESPN.com). “And I don’t like that on draft day these kids don’t know that they’re hugging the devil. I hate to see kids that are lost and then happy but they really don’t know that the man they’re hugging will rip their throat apart. If he has an opportunity to take money from them, or there’s a situation where they’re guilty before they go to court, he’ll rip them apart. And there’s nothing no one can do about it. If the owners are happy with Roger Goodell, the fans, the media, no one can take his job from him. I hate it.”

Horn, who was fined $30,000 by Goodell’s predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, for hiding a cell phone in the goalpost padding and taking it out during a touchdown celebration in 2003, said he does not have a problem with Tom Brady trying to “get ahead” for his alleged role in Deflategate. However, Horn said Bill Belichick should be suspended one year for the issue, because the coach “knows what everyone is doing.”

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Read More: FIFA, Joe Horn, Michael Sam, Sepp Blatter

Stephen Curry takes hard fall, returns in Warriors loss

05.26.15 at 9:16 am ET
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The NBA witnessed one of its scariest moments of the postseason Monday night, when Warriors point guard Stephen Curry took a worrisome tumble in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Curry, attempting to block the Rockets’ Trevor Ariza, was upended and hung in the air before crashing down hard on his head and shoulders. He would remain face down on the hardwood for minutes before walking off the court on his own power.

“That was the worst (fall ever) because you’re in the air for a long time,” Curry said after the game. “And not knowing how you’re going to hit the floor, knowing that it’s going to happen, it’s inevitable, but you’re up there just trying to brace yourself.”

After taking the fall in the second quarter, this year’s NBA MVP would return in the third, as the Warriors suffered a 128-115 loss. Before returning, Curry underwent the necessary concussion protocol for full clearance.

“It was all minor stuff compared to how it looked,” Curry said. “But I’ll get some good rest (Monday night) and be ready to go … since it happened to now, nothing has gotten worse.”

Overcoming the fall, Curry finished the game with 23 points in 31 minutes. The Warriors now lead the series 3-1 as they return home for Game 5 Wednesday night.

Read More: Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Stephen Curry,