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Nasri’s doping ban extended to November

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Samir Nasri, if you can believe it, is just 31 years old.

He seems older, partly because he burst on the scene as a 17-year-old with Marseille, but mostly because his personality and numerous conflicts have exhausted our attention.

[ MORE: Arsenal beats Chelsea in PKs ]

Nasri may return to our TV screens sometime soon, but not for a bit more. He was punished for a 2016 drip treatment he received in Los Angeles.

UEFA’s ethics and disciplinary inspector successfully argued that Nasri’s six-month ban should’ve been 18 months.

The ban’s start date was moved, and his eight matches played in Turkey from August to November 2017 (Antalyspor, two goals, one assist) are being overlooked.

He’ll be a free agent then, and we’ll see what sort of market there is for Nasri.

Six clubs fined, risk FIFA transfer bans for debts to players

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ZURICH (AP) Clubs from Russia and Qatar are among six fined by FIFA and warned they risk one-year transfer bans for failing to settle debts to players.

[ MORE: Steffen to England? ]

FIFA says the clubs also face deductions of six league points if they fail to pay the debts in 30 to 90 days.

The clubs are: Kuban of Russia; Al Arabi and Al Kharaitiyat of Qatar; Zamalek of Egypt; Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates; and Mersin Idman Yurdu of Turkey.

FIFA says all failed to comply with rulings by FIFA or the Court of Arbitration for Sport “to pay significant overdue amounts of money to players.”

They were fined between 15,000 and 30,000 Swiss francs ($15,000 and $30,000).

FIFA says national soccer federations face disciplinary cases if they fail to enforce the verdicts.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Russia extends winless run ahead of World Cup

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MOSCOW (AP) Russia will go into its home World Cup without a win in seven games after drawing 1-1 with an under-strength Turkey team on Tuesday.

[ MORE: World Cup stadium guide ]

Alexander Samedov put Russia ahead in the 36th minute with an elegant chip over goalkeeper Serkan Kirintili from a tight angle off a pass from Alan Dzagoev. However, Turkey leveled in the 60th when Russia failed to close down substitute midfielder Yunus Malli, allowing the former Germany under-21 player to hit a shot low and hard from distance past Igor Akinfeev.

Fyodor Smolov could have restored Russia’s lead after getting in behind the Turkish defense in the 72nd but shot wide of the far post.

Russia opens the World Cup at Moscow’s vast Luzhniki arena June 14 against Saudi Arabia – the only team in the competition which is lower in the world rankings – and then meets Egypt and Uruguay in Group A.

Turkey hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since 2002.

Champions League Final to return to Istanbul

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Here’s a bit of news which will put smiles on Liverpool supporters’ faces ahead of the weekend’s big UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid.

The UEFA Champions League Final is headed back to Istanbul, the city known for boasting perhaps the most celebrated moment in Liverpool history.

[ MORE: Next USMNT-Mexico date set ]

Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium will host the 2020 UCL Final, 15 years after the Reds rallied from a 3-0 halftime deficit to defeat AC Milan in penalty kicks.

The 2019 final will be held in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, home of Atletico Madrid.