CupFIFA announced its proposed slot allocation for the expanded 48-team World Cup on Thursday, including an automatic place for Oceania, 16 places for Europe - up from 13 - and a six-team inter-zonal playoff tournament for two more spots. The proposals will be submitted to the FIFA Council at its next full meeting in Bahrain in May for a final decision, FIFA said.IOC disqualifies four Russians from London Olympics over dopingThe International Olympic Committee said on Thursday it had disqualified four Russian athletes from the 2012 London Olympics after re-tests of their samples came back positive for banned substances.
The IOC said all four - Victoria Valyukevich, a triple jumper who was eighth in the women's competition, hammer throwers Gulfiya Khanafeeva and Mariia Bespalova, and weightlifter Khadzhimurat Akkaev, who did not compete due to a back injury, had tested positive for anabolic steroid turinabol. Messi behaviour on pitch "impeccable", says Luis Enrique | Daily Mail Online.
By Richard MartinBARCELONA, April 1 (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique defended the integrity of his team's talisman Lionel Messi on Saturday after the Argentine was hit with a lengthy ban from international football for insulting an assistant referee.Messi was handed a four-game suspension by on Tuesday for the incident during Argentina's 1-0 win over Chile in a World Cup qualifier, forcing him out of his side's 2-0 defeat by Bolivia.
Messi is suspended for Barca's La Liga game at Granada on Sunday after collecting five yellow cards in the league season, although he has only committed seven fouls in the campaign, receiving the majority of the bookings for dissent."Those numbers are incredible, he is super respectful towards referees and he never causes controversy," Luis Enrique told reporters on Saturday."