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IOC drops Blatter from WADA board

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Wayne Rooney, Danny Ings and Jonjo Shelvey miss England training

England captain Wayne Rooney reflects on scoring his record-breaking 50th goal for the Three Lions.
The ESPN FC panel answer your tweets on starting with Harry Kane or Wayne Rooney, Prince Ali or Michel Platini as next FIFA President and whether or not Lionel Messi is way ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Wayne Rooney faces a fitness race to play for England against Estonia on Friday after sitting out training on Tuesday.

Danny Ings, who received his first call-up this month, and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey also did not train.

The FA reported that all three players suffered knocks while playing for their Premier League clubs last weekend, though Manchester United's Rooney played all 90 minutes in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

Ings played 76 minutes for Liverpool while Shelvey played 86 for...

IOC drops Sepp Blatter from World Anti-Doping Agency board

Sepp Blatter will no longer serve as a representative on the World Anti-Doping Agency's foundation board.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter will no longer serve as one of the representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the foundation board for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Blatter's 16-year-term as an IOC member ended in August after he did not seek re-election, but the 79-year-old's term on the WADA board ran through the end of 2015.

"The IOC is in the process of choosing a new member of the WADA Foundation Board,'' the Olympic body said in a statement. "Mr. Blatter is no...

Euro 2016 Forecast: Will Netherlands, Ireland miss out?

The ESPN FC crew share their thoughts on the Netherlands' chances of qualifying for Euro 2016 as they trail Turkey by two points in Group A.

The final week of UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying begins on Thursday, and 15 berths will be claimed by Oct. 13.

Though only five berths have been officially claimed (Austria, Czech Republic, England and Iceland, plus host France), most of the top teams have nearly sewn up their spots. That means the remaining drama lies largely in teams jockeying between second place (and an automatic berth) and third place (and a playoff), or among countries fighting simply to make the playoffs.

Remember that the top two teams in each of the nine groups qualify directly, along with the best of the nine third-place teams. The other eight third-place teams enter home-and-home playoffs for the final four places in France.

Here's how ESPN's Soccer Power Index forecasts the final games of group play, with odds for qualifying either directly or for the playoffs. All percentages are based on 10,000 SPI simulations. (For more information on SPI, see Nate Silver's explainers here, here and here.)

The nine groups are divided into three categories based on the remaining drama expected:


 By PA Sport

Germany, Bayern legend Gerd Muller suffering from Alzheimer's

Gerd Muller was a scoring machine for Bayern Munich during the 1969-70 season.
Gerd Muller, 69, has been dealing with Alzheimer's disease, Bayern Munich has confirmed.

Bayern Munich have confirmed reports that their former striker Gerd Muller, who was Germany's all-time leading goalscorer until Miroslav Klose broke his record at the 2014 World Cup, has Alzheimer's.

Bayern published a statement on their website confirming that Muller, who turns 70 on Nov. 3, is receiving treatment for the illness and that no official celebrations will therefore be held.

The statement read: "For a long time Gerd Muller has unfortunately been very ill, he suffers from Alzheimer's...

FIFA ruling to move Palestine-Saudi Arabia WC qualifier 'invalid' - Blatter

Four FIFA sponsors - Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Visa and McDonald's - have called for beleaguered president Sepp Blatter to resign immediately.

ZURICH -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter is continuing regular business at world football's governing body after defying pleas from sponsors to quit immediately, presiding over a dispute between international federations on Tuesday.

Blatter, 79, is determined to stay in power until an emergency election in February, despite being under criminal investigation in Switzerland over alleged financial wrongdoing while running FIFA and at risk of being suspended by his organization's own ethics committee.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Gareth Bale fit for Wales, says team are ready for final Euro 2016 qualifiers

Gareth Bale is fit for Wales final two Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Wales are "ready" ahead of Saturday's European Championship Group B qualifier away to Bosnia-Herzegovina which could see them end their 58-year absence from a major tournament, Gareth Bale said as he declared himself fit to play.

Real Madrid forward Bale has been battling a calf injury he sustained on Sept. 15, but he came on for 20 minutes during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid and insists he is fully fit.

Wales need just one more point to secure a place in the Euro 2016 finals in France,...