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Russian Deputy PM Mutko defiant about Olympic scandal

MOSCOW — In a combative mood hours before the World Cup draw, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko defended himself and his country amid an ongoing Olympic doping scandal. Mutko aimed barbs at the IOC and international media, and singled out other countries’ doping issues, in a 77-minute news conference at the State Kremlin Palace. …

FIFA ethics judge Damiani resigns while under suspicion

GENEVA—Under suspicion in the fallout from the global offshore accounts investigation, Uruguayan lawyer Juan Pedro Damiani resigned as a FIFA ethics judge on Wednesday. Damiani was already under investigation by FIFA ethics prosecutors after being identified on Sunday in a vast leak of data from a Panama law firm specializing in tax avoidance schemes which …

FIFA ethics judge hesitates to flex muscles in World Cup investigation

GENEVA—For Qatar or Russia to be stripped of the World Cup, a key person in the legal chain needs to make use of the powers available to him. Events of recent days, however, suggest FIFA’s independent ethics judge Joachim Eckert will interpret the rules more cautiously and have added to the pessimism of critics who want the …

Rise of Atletico Madrid helps fuel football strategy, image, of oil rich Azerbaijan

GENEVA—Atletico Madrid’s stunning run to the Champions League final also announced another new player on European football’s biggest stages. Atletico’s players will walk out to face Real Madrid—and an expected global television audience of 175 million—with “Azerbaijan Land of Fire” on their shirts in Lisbon on May 24. For Azerbaijan, that’s a jackpot payoff for …