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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The leader of the United Arab Emirates made a surprise visit on Monday to Qatar as it is hosting the World Cup — his first since leading a yearslong four-nation boycott of Doha over a political dispute that poisoned regional relations.

Kentucky and Michigan finally played their London game, but organizers aren’t exactly running a fast break to get back to the British capital. The Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase was delayed because of the coronavirus, and then Sunday’s game tipped off an hour before England played Senegal in the World Cup. Basketball Hall of Fame president and CEO John Doleva says “we’ve certainly had our hurdles.” The Wildcats beat Michigan 73-69 in the marquee game at O2 Arena before 8,242 fans as part of a doubleheader that featured Marist against Maine earlier. That’s less than half the sold-out crowds of the regular-season NBA games held at the O2 between 2011 and 2019.

The College Football Playoff is two years away from expanding, and those involved in growing the format from four to 12 teams have already said those first two seasons will be a test run. They are committed to the basics of the format: 12 teams, six conference champions and six at-large teams, but the door has been left open for tweaks for 2026 and beyond. The field has been for the second-to-last four-team CFP. No. 1 Georgia will play No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl. No. 2 Michigan faces No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. Now, let’s take this season’s final selection committee rankings and apply the future format.

African champion Senegal was outplayed by England and given a reality check as it was eliminated in the last 16 at the World Cup. Senegal was missing its best player in Sadio Mane through injury. It was also hampered by the absence of other key players against England. It still held hopes of launching a strong challenge but the 3-0 loss was a bitter end to a disappointing campaign for Africa’s top-ranked team. Coach Aliou Cisse and key players like captain Kalidou Koulibaly, midfielder Idrissa Gueye and striker Mane may not be around for the next World Cup in 2026.

Qatar's strict rules regarding alcohol have drawn attention as it hosts the World Cup. Fans cannot buy beers at stadiums in the Muslim country, but they can in the fan zones. There are also hotel bars and night clubs serving alcoholic beverages. In addition, there’s a liquor store where non-Muslim residents and visitors can shop after applying for a government-issued license. Drinking alcohol is considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Kylian Mbappé is the top scorer. Lionel Messi has been thrilling fans with his goals and dribbles. So what about Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the other superstars at the World Cup?

 

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