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Sports Briefs

Published:Wednesday | July 26, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Floyd Mayweather (left) and Conor McGregor

Interim Spanish FA head defends 'friend' Villar


The new interim head of Spain's football federation defended Angel Maria Villar yesterday, saying he'd bet his life that his "friend" and the man he has replaced is innocent of corruption charges.

While Villar remains in prison without bail awaiting the outcome of a criminal investigation, the new federation president is Juan Luis Larrea, the body's treasurer under Villar for three decades.

Larrea backed his old boss a day after Villar was suspended from his job for a year by Spain's top sports authority, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

"I will never say that I am not his (Villar's) friend," Larrea said at the federation's general assembly after being named Villar's replacement. "I completely trust that the federation has been run correctly."

Rio shut out of World Cup qualifiers


Brazil's football confederation says the country will complete its World Cup qualifying schedule without playing a single match in Rio de Janeiro, site of the 2014 World Cup final at the famed Maracana stadium.

The CBF said yesterday that Brazil's final qualifier will be October 10 in Sao Paulo against Chile. The five-time World Cup champions have already qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia.

The Maracana stadium has been infrequently used since last year's Olympics as the state of Rio de Janeiro - the stadium owner - local clubs, and the stadium operator have battled over unpaid bills and control of the venue.

Mayweather-McGregor fight to be shown live in movie theatres


Movie theatres around the US will show the August 26 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor.

The bout between the undefeated boxer and the Irish Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion will cost $99.95 on high-definition pay-per-view TV. Tickets for the fight at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena will range from $500 to $10,000 - and there aren't many $500 seats.

Meanwhile, movie theatre tickets for the fighting spectacle of the year are being sold at $40 per adult in advance. A complete list of participating theatres can be found at .

Fathom Events and Mayweather Promotions announced the partnership on Tuesday.

Mayweather is coming out of retirement for a boxing match against a UFC star who has never boxed professionally.