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Sports Briefs

Published:Friday | November 11, 2016 | 11:00 AM

 

Ref's home burned, Greek leagues suspended

ATHENS, Greece (AP) Greece is enlisting anti-terrorism police to investigate a suspected arson attack on a top referee's home, which prompted the suspension of all league games.

Sports Minister Giorgos Vassiliadis says the left-led government is also prepared to pull domestic clubs out of European competitions unless "normality" is restored.

Greek football has been plagued for years by persistent fan violence and allegations of corruption and match-fixing.

The government briefly delayed the start of the top division in September, arguing that a festering squabble involving the federation, league organisers, and clubs posed serious security concerns.

League matches were indefinitely suspended after Wednesday's blaze, in which nobody was hurt.

Former Venezuelan football boss pleads guilty in NY

NEW YORK (AP) Former Venezuela football federation president Rafael Esquivel has pleaded guilty to federal charges in New York.

The case is part of a U.S. investigation into corruption among senior figures in the sport and its top governing body, FIFA.

Esquivel pleaded guilty yesterday to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. Prosecutors say he participated in bribery schemes related to the awarding of contracts for the media and marketing rights.

He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.

Esquivel was president of the Venezuelan football federation from 1988 to 2015.

Rangers terminate Barton's contract

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Joey Barton's ill-fated stint in Scottish football is over after less than six months.

The hot-headed and outspoken English midfielder had his contract terminated by Rangers yesterday, seven weeks after being suspended by the Glasgow club over a training-ground row with his manager and a teammate.

Rangers announced Barton's departure in a two-sentence statement.

Barton left Burnley in the offseason after helping get the team promoted to the English Premier League, and arrived at Ibrox saying he would prove himself to be the best player in Scotland.

He made only eight appearances for Rangers. In his last week at the club, he was off work suffering from stress.