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FIFA say there's Norway Blatter has quit Qatar

FIFA are denying that Sepp Blatter told the Norwegian FA last month that the decision to grant the 2022 World Cup to Qatar will be reversed. A statement says reports do "not reflect what actually happened during the FIFA President's visit to Oslo". They also deny that Blatter (left) linked Qatar's rulers with funding Islamic State terrorists. "We are getting closer to narrowing the dates for the FIFA World Cup to two options - January-February 2022 or November-December 2022," says FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke. "Staging a World Cup in and around the oppressive summer months of Qatar is simply not an option."


The January transfer window is assuming critical importance for a number of Premier League clubs, most particularly Liverpool, whose performances haven't matched their aspirations. Trailing by 15 points after 11 games played, the League runners-up are expected to be busy. Reports have Brendan Rodgers expressing interest in Stoke 'keeper Asmir Begovic, Paris Saint-Germain's out-of-favour playmaker Yohan Cabaye, and attacking midfielder Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund). Minus Luis Suarez, the team's strike rate is a serious concern so the Reds are eyeing up strikers Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow) and Jackson Martinez (Porto). Admitting he might have difficulty persuading established stars to Anfield, Rodgers is also concentrating on younger players, including winger Patrick Roberts (17) of Fulham and 15-year-old Norwegian playmaker Martin Odegaard.


Olympic gold medal winner John Joe Nevin (right) makes his first home appearance as a professional boxer at the 3Arena on Saturday night. Fighting on the undercard of the Matchroom promotion of Matthew Macklin's WBC world title eliminator against Jorge Sebastian Heiland, Nevin says: "I want to be the one to take over Irish boxing." This will be Nevin's third pro bout. In America last month, in his first fight since suffering two broken legs in a shocking attack in Mullingar, Nevin knocked out his opponent after just 86 seconds. "Saturday night is going to be great," he promises.


The world bicycle speed record was broken on Friday last when French cyclist Francois Gissy reached 207 mph in 4.8 seconds. Gissy, who has a specially designed rocket fitted to the bike, said afterwards, "I'm lucky my head is still bolted on the body."