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Soccer federation to investigate racist abuse in Spain

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MADRID (AP) Soccer officials in Spain say they will investigate the alleged racist abuse that led an English team to abandon a game in protest.

The Andalusian soccer federation said Thursday it will look into what happened in the Under-18 friendly game last week between Queens Park Rangers and Spanish club Nervion in Seville.

QPR CEO Lee Hoos said Wednesday the team was “forced to abandon” the match because of “abuse from opposition players.”

The Andalusian federation says it will open the investigation even though it was not involved in the organization of the game. It says it does not tolerate racist abuse and praised QPR players for abandoning the match if they were subject to abuse.

The Spanish soccer federation and Nervion did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

QPR close in on USMNT’s Geoff Cameron

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Geoff Cameron looks set to head back to Queens Park Rangers, but this time permanently.

Cameron, 34, spent last season on loan at QPR from Stoke City and the U.S. men’s national team midfielder was a huge hit at Loftus Road.

He currently has one year left on his contract at Stoke but Pro Soccer Talk understands that QPR are waiting for Cameron’s situation at Stoke to be sorted out before making their move. It is believed Cameron’s future at Stoke will become clearer in the coming 24 hours, as he prefers a permanent move away from the bet365 Stadium rather than another loan deal.

The versatile American didn’t travel with Stoke City’s first team squad on their preseason tour of the Netherlands and is among eight players — Bojan, Gianni Imbula, Kevin Wimmer, Mame Biram Diouf and Moritz Bauer are also among that list — who were not part of Nathan Jones’ plans as he rebuilds the Potters following their relegation from the Premier League during the 2017-18 season.

Cameron ranks sixth all-time in terms of PL appearances for Stoke and played in six-straight seasons in England’s top-flight, as the Potters finished in ninth place three seasons on the trot under Mark Hughes during that stretch.

Following Stoke’s relegation Cameron went on loan to QPR and played 19 times for the west London club but suffered a serious ankle ligament injury in December and he didn’t fully recover until April. Before that injury he was hailed as a key man in QPR’s early-season push for promotion under former boss Steve McLaren, but that push fell apart midway through the season and coincided with Cameron’s injury.

QPR’s new manager, Mark Warburton, has already signed eight new players this summer but he’s spent a grand total of $70,000 with the R’s believed to be in a seriously restricted financial situation following their overspending and relegation from the Premier League in 2015. They are expected to make an outside push for the playoffs in the Championship this season, with a midtable finish more likely.

As for Cameron, the Massachusetts native has been linked with a return to Major League Soccer with the LA Galaxy and others but the former Houston Dynamo star has previously revealed his desire to stay in Europe and particularly in England.

A mainstay of the USMNT under Jurgen Klinsmann, Cameron has made 53 appearances for the U.S. and scored four goals. He was influential in their run to the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup and their appearance in the semifinals of the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

However, Cameron hasn’t featured for the USMNT since 2017 after criticizing former head coach Bruce Arena and the U.S. Soccer Federation in the wake of their shocking failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals.

FA Cup preview: Four 4th-round replays on Tuesday

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Come early February, the last thing any club wants to see on their schedule is the dreaded FA Cup fourth-round replay sandwiched between league fixtures on the weekends either side, but that’s the reality for eight clubs from England’s top four divisions on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Liverpool suffer PL title slip-up in draw at West Ham ]

Fortunately for Premier League sides, the vast majority has already advanced or been knocked out, thus they’re on hiatus until the weekend. The same can’t be said for Wolverhampton Wanders (Tuesday) or Brighton & Hove Albion (Wednesday).

League One side Shrewsbury Town had their hearts broken by Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolves in a 2-2 draw at Montgomery Waters Meadow 10 days ago. The PL new boys found themselves a goal down deep into stoppage time, until Matt Doherty headed home Adama Traore’s cross in the 93rd minute to force Tuesday’s replay at Molineux Stadium. Wolves’ second-leading goal scorer, Diogo Jota (five goals in PL play), will miss the game after picking up a knock in Saturday’s victory over Everton.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Championship side Brentford will host National League Premier (fifth-division) side Barnet at Griffin Park following the two side’s 3-3 draw last Monday. Brentford led 1-0 at halftime before an explosion of goals saw them fall 2-1 behind by the 53rd minute, then back in front by the 72nd, and finally level at three goals apiece following Daniel Sparkes’ sensational free kick off the underside of the crossbar.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Liverpool’s draw with West Ham ]

FA Cup fourth-round replay schedule

Tuesday — all games at 2:45 p.m. ET

Wolverhampton Wanderers v. Shrewsbury Town
Brentford v. Barnet
Queens Park Rangers v. Portsmouth
Newport County v. Middlesbrough

Wednesday

West Bromwich Albion v. Brighton & Hove Albion — 3:05 p.m. ET

QPR to pay $55 Million Financial Fair Play penalty

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The other shoe finally dropped in the English Football League’s case against Queens Park Rangers regarding Financial Fair Play.

QPR on Friday agreed to pay a $55 million fine to the EFL, with payments spread out over the next ten years, for breaching Financial Fair Play rules in 2014 as the club made its push to return to the Premier League. QPR also agreed to pay all the court costs – as part of the $55 million settlement – and are banned from signing new players in the January 2019 transfer window.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Ahead of the 2013-2014 season, QPR spent lavishly, signing the likes of Charlie Austin, Matt Phillips and Karl Henry, in addition to a first-team squad that already included Loic Remy, Ji-Sung Park and Adel Taraabt (all three would go out on loan). Ultimately, QPR’s nearly $100 million wage bill represented 195 percent of of the club’s revenue. Over a three-year period, Financial Fair Play regulations in the Championship state a team cannot lose more than $17 million per season.

Of course, while Financial Fair Play rules were put into place to keep clubs from overspending and harming their future, if QPR’s board and group of owners could afford to write off the costs and cover it from their other business assets, then as long as the club is in good shape, perhaps there shouldn’t have been a penalty.

In any case, it was probably worth it for QPR. Austin’s 18 goals helped drive QPR back into the Premier League, and despite lasting one season, the television and parachute payments are still keeping the club afloat.

Union sign ex-Arsenal, West Brom, Hull striker Simpson

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Former Arsenal prospect Jay Simpson is landing on the shores of the U.S.A.

In a move that Philadelphia hopes will replicated Bradley Wright-Phillips’ arrival in New York, the Union have landed the 28-year-old striker from Lleyton Orient.

[ MORE: Arsenal’s Zelalem on the move? ]

Simpson was Arsenal property from 1997-2010, but only managed three League Cup appearances and two goals. He went on loan to West Brom in 2008-09, accumulating his only 13 Premier League appearances and scoring once.

The bulk of his experience has been in the Football League Championship with Hull City. He nabbed 12 goals in 78 appearances. He also played for QPR, Millwall, and most recently Leyton Orient.

From PhiladelphiaUnion.com:

“Jay brings goal-scoring prowess to our team, in addition to a valuable veteran presence, as he has demonstrated with multiple clubs in England,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He has played at the highest levels of club soccer, including in the Premier League, and we are excited to add a forward of his quality to our squad.”

The signing comes hot on the heels of defender Giliano Wijnaldum, the brother of Liverpool attacker Georginio Wijnaldum.

Follow @NicholasMendola