WORLD SPORTS at 0000 GMT

TOP STORIES:

SOC--CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Failing to top a Champions League group often comes back to bite teams when the competition really gets going in the round of 16. Maybe not this season. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 680 words, photos. With 8 separates.

SOC--FIFA-WORLD CUP

ROISSY, France " After campaigning for a 40-team World Cup, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is now leaning toward an even bigger expansion to 48. SENT: 370 words, photos.

OLY--RUSSIAN DOPING-PARALYMPICS

MOSCOW " Russia accuses the International Paralympic Committee of "extortion" after it demands Russian officials pay for extra drug-testing following the country's doping scandal. SENT: 240 words.

OLY--DOPING RETESTS

ASTANA, Kazakhstan " Kazakhstan weightlifter Ilya Ilyin, one of the sport's biggest names, has been stripped of his two Olympic gold medals. SENT: 280 words, photo.

SOC--NEYMAR-BARCELONA TRANSFER

MADRID " Spanish prosecutors want to punish Neymar, his father, Barcelona, and the player's Brazilian club because of an investment group's claim that they concealed the value of the star's transfer fee. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 540 words, photos.

CAR--F1-ABU DHABI GP

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates " Nico Rosberg can finish in the top three at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and win his first Formula One championship. So, what will be his approach? Trail Lewis Hamilton around the track, go hard out for the race win, or avoid the fight for fourth between Sebastan Vettel and Max Verstappen? By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 680 words, photo.

RGU--ITALY-PARISSE SUSPENDED

ROME " Italy captain Sergio Parisse will miss the home rugby test against Tonga on Saturday after being suspended for three weeks. SENT: 110 words, photos.

OLY--RIO-TICKET REFUNDS

RIO DE JANEIRO " Olympic organizers in Rio de Janeiro are trying to hand over almost $3 million in ticket refund payments due to 13,000 people. One big problem. They can't find them. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 350 words, photo.

SOC--REAL MADRID-FRUSTRATED COENTRAO

MADRID " An embarrassing hand-ball that nearly cost Real Madrid a win in the Champions League has prompted Fabio Coentrao to reassess what has been a disappointing return to Madrid. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 530 words, photo.

BOX--CRUZ'S MOMENT

Becoming a world champion for the first time isn't the only motivation driving Orlando Cruz ahead of his WBO lightweight title fight on Saturday. "I want to quieten the homophobic people talking bad to the LGBT community," he says. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 480 words, photo.

CRI--AUSTRALIA-SOUTH AFRICA

ADELAIDE, Australia " Three uncapped players will start in the least experienced Australia lineup in decades as the host bids to avoid a series sweep by South Africa in the third test " a day-night match " at Adelaide Oval. By John Pye. Play starts at 0330 GMT.

Other Stories:

" SOC--Man United-Ibrahimovic " Ibrahimovic secures another season at United " if he wants. SENT: 180 words, photo.

" FBN--NFL Preview " Cowboys, Redskins both rolling for Thanksgiving showdown. SENT: 440 words, photos.

" FBN--NFL-Manage That Money " Among NFL players' main challenges: Managing big bucks. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 710 words, photos.

YOUR QUERIES: Questions and story requests are welcome. Contact your local AP bureau or the AP International Sports Desk in London by telephone at 44-2074274105 or email lonsports@ap.org.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 22 Jan 2017 00:33:46 Processing Time: 330ms