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Diego Armando Maradona
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Madrid police talk to Maradona after altercation at hotel

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MADRID (AP) Police say they were called to investigate an altercation involving Diego Maradona and a woman at a hotel in Madrid.

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Authorities said officers were dispatched Wednesday after a call from the hotel, but found no evidence of any disturbance after talking to Maradona and the woman.

Authorities said they couldn’t confirm if the woman was a hotel guest or Maradona’s girlfriend.

Spanish media on Tuesday released a video of Maradona threatening a reporter who tried to talk to him at the hotel in Madrid.

Maradona is in the Spanish capital to watch former club Napoli play Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Diego Maradona to get ambassador role with FIFA

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 09: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (L) and Diego Maradona arrive for The Best FIFA Football Awards 2016 on January 9, 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
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ZURICH (AP) Diego Maradona is getting an ambassador’s role with FIFA.

The governing body wants to ensure the Argentina great “has a major role in FIFA’s activities to promote the game across the globe,” including with its Legends team.

FIFA says the 56-year-old Maradona will be involved in “relevant development projects.”

Maradona announced his new role Thursday, hailing FIFA as “clean and transparent” under President Gianni Infantino.

Maradona feuded with former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and long-time Argentina soccer leader Julio Grondona, a FIFA senior vice president who died in 2014.

Last month, Maradona played soccer at FIFA headquarters on his first visit since a November 2009 disciplinary hearing over a profane post-match rant. Maradona, the Argentina coach at the time, was banned from the 2010 World Cup draw in South Africa.

USMNT fall in latest FIFA rankings

U.S. men's national soccer team coach Bruce Arena, left, talks to captain Michael Bradley during a practice session Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Carson, Calif. Coach Arena opens camp with the team in the same training complex where he spent the past eight years running the LA Galaxy. Arena returned to the U.S. team in November to salvage its run for World Cup qualification. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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The latest batch of FIFA world rankings have been released following the conclusion of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Bruce Arena’s U.S. men’s national team have fallen one place to 29th, with CONCACAF rivals Mexico climbing one place to 17th and Costa Rica falling two places to 19th.

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With the USMNT having two key World Cup qualifiers next month and then the Gold Cup, plus more World Cup qualifiers, to look forward to over the summer, Arena’s men will have ample opportunity to try and break into the top 20.

The top five is unchanged with Argentina in first place, Brazil in second, Germany in third, Chile in fourth and Belgium in fifth. France is the only mover in the top 10, moving up to 6th spot and trading places with Colombia in the process.

There’s no doubt who the big winners are from the latest rankings as the newly crowned Champions of Africa, Cameroon, moved up a massive 29 spots to 33rd, while runners up Egypt moved up 12 places to 23rd. While Burkina Faso moved up 15 places to 38th and DR Congo is up 12 spots to 37th.

Below is the latest list of the top 25 teams in the world.


  1. Argentina
  2. Brazil
  3. Germany
  4. Chile
  5. Belgium
  6. France
  7. Colombia
  8. Portugal
  9. Uruguay
  10. Spain
  11. Switzerland
  12. Wales
  13. England
  14. Poland
  15. Italy
  16. Croatia
  17. Mexico
  18. Peru
  19. Costa Rica
  20. Iceland

29. USA

Leverkusen midfielder Calhanoglu forgoing salary during ban

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LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu will forgo his salary and bonuses for the duration of his four-month FIFA suspension for breach of contract.

“Bayer had nothing to do with the events at the time. But the club is hit hard by the penalty in a sporting and financial way. That’s why it’s evident to me not to harm the club any further,” Calhanoglu said in a Leverkusen statement Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Turkey international was a youth player at Karlsruhe when he was paid 100,000 euros after agreeing to sign for Turkish club Trabzonspor. But he extended his contract with Karlsruhe in 2011 and went on to join Hamburger SV in 2013. He switched to Leverkusen in 2014.

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Calhanoglu’s appeal against the FIFA ban was denied last week by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled Calhanoglu must also pay 100,000 euros ($108,000) in compensation to Trabzonspor.

Leverkusen has criticized the timing of the ban, which means Calhanoglu will miss the club’s Champions League matches against Atletico Madrid and the rest of the Bundesliga season.

“Although Bayer Leverkusen had nothing to do with the events in 2011, we are now being heavily punished. Now we’re missing a very important player during a decisive part of the season,” Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller said.

The club said Calhanoglu would continue to train with the team, that “he will support his teammates as a fully fledged team member to the best of his ability even without competitive games,” and that it will help Calhanoglu maintain his athletic performance.

Calhanoglu is also suspended for Turkey’s World Cup qualifying match at home against Finland on March 24.

Cameroon rounds out Confederations Cup field

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Cameroon won its fifth African Cup of Nations title on Sunday and the team has now captured the final spot in this summer’s FIFA Confederations Cup.

[ MORE: Cameroon captures AFCON crown after strong second half ]

The Indomitable Lions round out the eight-team field that will play in Russia in June, one year ahead of the 2018 World Cup which will also take place in the European nation.

[ MORE: Four players whose stock rose after USMNT camp ]

The competition will begin on June 17 when hosts Russia take on New Zealand.

Here’s the full field for the 2017 Confederations Cup:

Group A

Russia
New Zealand
Portugal
Mexico

Group B

Cameroon
Chile
Australia
Germany