Browns own­ers mull buy­ing Crew

The Detroit News - - Sports - Associated Press

Cleve­land Browns own­ers Dee and Jimmy Haslam are part of group ex­plor­ing the pur­chase of the Colum­bus Crew to keep the Ma­jor League Soc­cer team in the city.

Ma­jor League Soc­cer said in a state­ment Fri­day that the own­er­ship group is mov­ing for­ward to ac­quire the team, which ap­peared headed to Austin, Texas, af­ter 22 years in cen­tral Ohio. De­tails, which in­clude plans for a new sta­dium, still have to be worked out.

MLS said the ar­range­ment will in­clude an ex­pan­sion team in Austin, where city of­fi­cials have al­ready cleared the way for the con­struc­tion of a new, pri­vately owned sta­dium.

Crew owner An­thony Pre­court had courted Austin for a po­ten­tial move since last year, con­tend­ing that the team was no longer fi­nan­cially vi­able in Colum­bus with­out a new sta­dium.

MORE SOC­CER: French author­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims of match-fix­ing sur­round­ing a Cham­pi­ons League match be­tween Paris Saint-Ger­main and Red Star Bel­grade af­ter UEFA warned them of a pos­si­ble ma­nip­u­la­tion of the re­sult.

L’Equipe news­pa­per re­ported that a Red Star of­fi­cial is sus­pected of bet­ting 5 mil­lion eu­ros ($5.8 mil­lion) on Red Star los­ing by five goals. PSG won the game 6-1.

France’s fi­nan­cial pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice told The Associated Press on Fri­day an in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been opened, but de­clined to com­ment on the re­port.

Red Star re­leased a state­ment ve­he­mently deny­ing the match-fix­ing al­le­ga­tion, say­ing no club of­fi­cial was in­volved in the al­leged “shame­ful acts.”

TEN­NIS: Al­though Roger Fed­erer fi­nally won a match in straight sets at this year’s Shang­hai Mas­ters, it didn’t save him any en­ergy.

The de­fend­ing cham­pion reached the semi­fi­nals Fri­day by beat­ing eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6 (4). His first two matches both went three sets.

“It was the same length, ac­tu­ally, as all three of my matches went the same length ba­si­cally, an hour and 52 (min­utes),” Fed­erer said. “So you see, two sets some­times doesn’t tell the truth.”

Fed­erer fin­ished the match with 10 aces and landed an im­pres­sive 71 per­cent of his first serves. He went up a break at the start of the sec­ond set, but then trailed 4-1 in the tiebreaker.

“I was happy to get out in two,” Fed­erer said. “I some­how got it done.”

Fed­erer, a two-time cham­pion in Shang­hai, will next face 13th-seeded Borna Coric. The Croat de­feated Matthew Eb­den 7-5, 6-4.

Ear­lier, fourth-seeded Alexan­der Zverev se­cured a spot in next month’s ATP Fi­nals with a 6-4, 6-4 quar­ter­fi­nal win over Kyle Ed­mund.

Zverev is the fifth player to qual­ify for the sea­son-end­ing tour­na­ment in Lon­don, join­ing Fed­erer, Rafael Nadal, No­vak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in the eight-player field.

Zverev will next play sec­ond­seeded Djokovic in the semi­fi­nals.

The Wim­ble­don and U.S. Open cham­pion de­feated sev­enth-seeded Kevin An­der­son 7-6 (1), 6-3.

COL­LEGES: Pur­due and men’s bas­ket­ball coach Matt Pain­ter have agreed on a two-year con­tract ex­ten­sion through the 2023-24 sea­son.

Ath­letic di­rec­tor Mike Bobin­ski that be­gin­ning July 2019, Pain­ter’s con­tract will con­vert to a rolling five-year term with au­to­matic oneyear ex­ten­sions that could ex­tend the agree­ment be­yond 2023-24. The school said Pain­ter also will re­ceive in­creased com­pen­sa­tion, but did not of­fer de­tails.

... Min­nesota has signed ath­letic di­rec­tor Mark Coyle to a three-year ex­ten­sion.

MMA: For­mer UFC light heavy­weight cham­pion Jon Jones will at­tempt to re­gain his belt when he re­turns from sus­pen­sion Dec. 29 in a re­match with Alex Gustafs­son.

The UFC an­nounced the main event for its tra­di­tional year-end­ing show in Las Ve­gas. Jones (22-1) is widely con­sid­ered the great­est tal­ent in mixed mar­tial arts, but he has re­peat­edly sab­o­taged his own ca­reer with mis­takes out­side the cage.

OLYMPICS: Stock­holm’s bid to host the 2026 Olympics is at risk only three days af­ter the IOC for­mally ap­proved the city among three can­di­dates.

A new coali­tion deal an­nounced to run Stock­holm’s city gov­ern­ment, be­tween a cen­ter-right al­liance and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, re­quires no tax­payer fund­ing for a Win­ter Games.

If Stock­holm drops out, the IOC will be left with Cal­gary, Al­berta, and the com­bined Ital­ian bid of Mi­lan and Cortina d’Am­pezzo.

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