TIME celebrities

Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Trial Delayed After Appeals Court Intervenes

2015 Susan G. Komen D.C. Race For The Cure
Kris Connor—WireImage/Getty Images WWE Legend Hulk Hogan attends the 2015 Susan G. Komen D.C. Race for the Cure at The National Mall on May 9, 2015 in Washington DC.

Amid a flurry of motions, a Florida appeals court orders a slowdown on a trial that was previously scheduled to begin on July 6

A Florida appeals court has halted a trial that was scheduled to begin on Monday between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media over the publishing of the celebrity’s sex tape.

Responding to an emergency motion by Gawker on Thursday, three judges at the Florida Second District Court of Appeal ruled the trial judge had violated a rule of civil procedure by moving ahead with the trial too soon after pleadings in the case.

“Although we easily understand why [Terry] Bollea [Hogan’s real name] and the circuit court went to lengths to preserve the July 6 trial date, their efforts were futile from the outset — by the time the court entered its June 19 order scheduling the trial for July 6, the window for doing so had been closed for weeks,” states a 14-page opinion.

This is the second time that the Florida appeals court has thrown some cold water on the rulings of County Judge Pamela Campbell. Earlier in the case, an injunction order that required Gawker to remove its post was overturned as an unconstitutional prior restraint.

Nevertheless, Hogan has been allowed to move ahead on claims his privacy and publicity rights were violated through the posting of an excerpt of a 30-minute sex tape involving the professional wrestler. The judge has allowed him to amend his claims to add punitive damages. Hogan has demanded as much as $100 million.

Gawker looks to raise a defense that its post was newsworthy given discussion of a possible affair and Hogan’s own comments in the media. It’s not altogether clear how much the First Amendment will factor into the actual trial. The media company’s constitutional arguments that Hogan’s claims are precluded by free speech may have to await appellate review once a jury issues its verdict. The trial would likely examine how Gawker got the tape, what it knew about it, how it used it to its advantage, and Hogan’s injuries. More clarification about what Hogan will have to prove should come once the judge resolves jury instructions.

In the meantime, the trial will be delayed, and once it gets going, the sex tape will be aired in court. But thanks to a decision by Campbell on Wednesday, the sex tape will only be shown to the jury, judge and attorneys in the case. Over the objections of Gawker and intervening media companies, the monitor will be turned away from the public gallery in the courtroom.

No new trial date has been set yet.

This article originally appeared on HollywoodReporter.com

TIME Sports

Meet the British Soccer Player Bringing Lance Armstrong Back to the Tour de France Route

during stage twelve of the 2010 Tour de France from  Rodez to Revel on July 17, 2010 in Revel, France.
Bryn Lennon—2010 Getty Images Lance Armstrong during stage twelve of the 2010 Tour de France from Rodez to Revel on July 17, 2010 in Revel, France.

The disgraced cyclist took drugs to help him win the famous race

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is this month heading back to the scene of some of his most celebrated, and infamous, victories—the route of the Tour de France—and he has a retired English soccer player to thank. Armstrong will cycle stages 13 and 14 a day ahead of the professional peloton at the Tour de France in mid-July. He will be joining former soccer player Geoff Thomas’s 21-day charity ride, One Day Ahead.

Despite the controversy Armstrong’s involvement has caused—the president of the world’s cycling body International Cycling Union’s (UCI), Brian Cookson, has called it disrespectful—Thomas thinks it has made the world take notice of his fundraising race, which will benefit a leukemia charity.

“It is all about publicity and about raising funds,” says Thomas, who formerly captained the English soccer team, Crystal Palace. “I knew I opened a can of worms by doing this.”

Armstrong has acknowledged he foresaw trouble. Thomas “and everybody involved caught a ton of grief. We knew there would be criticism,” Armstrong told the Telegraph last month. The cyclist famously won the Tour seven times before being stripped of his titles for using performance-enhancing drugs.

On July 3, Thomas and his team of 12 cyclists, who have raised close to $1 million, will start the first stage in Utrecht, in The Netherlands, one day ahead of the professionals. Armstrong will join them two weeks later in France on July 17.

While there might be some who would like to see Armstrong attack a mountain again, as he used to do with such eyebrow-raising success, Thomas was careful to not put Armstrong on any iconic climbs, where fans tend to line up days before the event. “We don’t want to show disrespect to the Tour itself and he [Armstrong] doesn’t want to do that either.”

Thomas says that what convinced Armstrong to join One Day Ahead was the opportunity to work with the cancer community again, something he missed since leaving the foundation he started, Livestrong. “All he wants to do now is get back on that track where he can just be an influence in the cancer community,” says Thomas.

Armstrong’s book It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back to Life, detailing the cyclist’s struggle with testicular cancer, pushed Thomas onto the road to recovery after the soccer player was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer in 2003. When he went into remission in 2005, Thomas cycled the full 2,200 mile-long route two days ahead of Armstrong, who was competing in the Tour de France that year.

Despite both being professional athletes who battled cancer and started their own charities, the parallels end there. “I am a sportsman. And what he did as a sportsman I don’t agree with,” says Thomas. “I think he was a great sportsman…but the sad truth is the culture of cycling then and for a long time during his career was tainted by the doping scandals. And he played a part in that.”

For Thomas, Armstrong’s reconciliation with Emma O’Reilly, the Dublin-born massage therapist whom Armstrong sued for slander when she attempted to talk about his doping, signals a change in a person who was known back in 2000 for being, according to Thomas, a “nasty guy.”

“I thought if she can forgive him, then other people have as well and there is probably a few that never will,” Thomas tells TIME. “I separate the sportsperson and the person himself… what I see is a guy who survived cancer himself, inspired millions and raised over $500 million for his foundation.”

Thomas, who has been fundraising assiduously over the last 10 years, hopes One Day Ahead will have a positive impact for his charity, Cure Leukemia. But it may come at a cost: giving Armstrong a chance to revisit the route where he cheated his way to victory might leave some spectators with a sour taste.

TIME Soccer

U.S. Files Formal Extradition Request For Seven FIFA Officials

Argentine businessmen Mariano Jinkis and Hugo who are wanted by U.S. prosecutors in a FIFA bribery investigation, are escorted by police officers after they turned themselves in to authorities in Buenos Aires
Enrique Marcarian —REUTERS Argentine businessmen Mariano Jinkis and his father Hugo who are wanted by U.S. prosecutors in a FIFA bribery investigation, are escorted by police officers after they turned themselves in to authorities in Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 18, 2015

The requests are based on a U.S. probe into alleged bribery

(ZURICH) — The United States has submitted a formal request for Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials arrested as part of a corruption probe in Zurich in May, Swiss officials said Thursday.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice said the requests were received July 1, within the 40-day deadline required.

They are based on a U.S. federal probe into alleged bribery and racketeering worth more than $150 million involving high-ranking officials at soccer’s world governing body.

All seven men, who face around 20 years in prison, have already objected to extradition.

They will be heard by Zurich police and granted a 14-day period to respond to federal officials about the extradition request, after which the Federal Office of Justice will rule on whether to extradite them. That ruling can be appealed to Switzerland’s top criminal court and supreme court.

The seven men, arrested May 27 in early-morning raids at a luxury Zurich hotel, include FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands and former FIFA vice president Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay.

Costa Rican soccer federation president Eduardo Li was arrested two days before he was due to formally join FIFA’s executive committee.

Former Brazilian federation chief Jose Maria Marin led the 2014 World Cup local organizing committee and is a member of the FIFA panel organizing the Rio de Janeiro Olympics tournaments.

The others are Venezuela FA chief Rafael Esquivel; FIFA staffer Julio Rocha, a development officer from Nicaragua; and Costas Takkas, a Briton who works for CONCACAF President Webb.

The seven are among 14 indicted by the U.S. Justice Department. Four more men have entered guilty pleas in the wide-ranging corruption case.

TIME celebrities

Pippa Middleton Runs Marathon at 5,000 Ft. — One Week After 54-Mile Bike Ride

Pippa Middleton Finishes London To Brighton Bike Ride For British Heart Foundation
Anthony Harvey—Getty Images Pippa Middleton Finishes the London To Brighton Bike Ride For British Heart Foundation on June 21, 2015 in Brighton, England

The 31-year-old was raising money for the Tusk Trust

Pippa Middleton is one fierce athlete.

Just one week after competing in a 54-mile charity bike ridealongside her brother James, the super-fit sister of Princess Katehas completed the Safaricom Marathon in Kenya, Africa, PEOPLE confirms exclusively.

The race is a particularly grueling one because of the thinner high-altitude air at more than 5,000 ft. There are two versions – the half and full marathon – and naturally, she opted to do all 26.2 miles, which runs through the Lewa Conservancy.

(The spot has a romantic tie to Kate: Prince William proposed nearby during a 2010 safari.)

Pippa and her friends were raising money for the conservation charity Tusk Trust, of which William is a patron.

“Pippa ran exceptionally well in a very tough marathon, wearing the Tusk cap,” a spokeswoman at Tusk tells PEOPLE. “We are absolutely delighted to have her support.”

It was a record-breaking year for the marathon, as 1,400 runners from about 20 different countries challenged themselves to do the run in temperatures that reached the 80s.

Pippa is not the only royal sibling in Africa, as Prince Harry is also on the continent for his dream job working alongside a veterinarian in Namibia.

Although Harry will miss the christening of his niece, Princess Charlotte, this Sunday, Pippa is expected to attend – and perhaps even score a coveted spot as a godparent.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Baseball

Carrasco Loses No-Hitter With One Strike to Go in 9th Vs. Rays

Carlos Carrasco
Steve Nesius—AP Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game July 1, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

For the third straight night, the Indians took a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Rays

(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Carlos Carrasco came within one strike of throwing the Cleveland Indians’ first no-hitter since 1981 on Wednesday night, giving up an RBI single to Joey Butler over leaping second baseman Jason Kipnis’ glove in an 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

For the third straight night, the Indians took a perfect game into the sixth inning against the Rays. This time, Carrasco retired the first 19 batters before walking Butler with one out in the seventh.

Washington’s Max Scherzer lost a perfect game with one strike to go on June 20, but he finished with a no-hitter, the second in the major leagues this season.

Carrasco walked Asdrubal Cabrera leading off the ninth, then struck pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer with a pitch. Grady Sizemore, also pinch hitting, grounded into a force play and Kevin Kiermaier struck out to bring Butler to the plate with a crowd of 11,394 at Tropicana Field on its feet.

Butler lined an 0-2 pitch over Kipnis, who jumped high in the air to make an attempt at catching the ball and fell flat to the ground as the line drive landed cleanly in the outfield.

Carrasco smiled, clapped into his glove several times and pointed at the second baseman in appreciation of his effort.

The 28-year-old right-hander was lifted after his career-high 124th pitch and Austin Adams got the final out. Carrasco received pats on the back and hugs in the dugout after his 13 strikeout performance.

The last Indians’ pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Len Barker, who had a perfect game against Toronto on May 15, 1981.

For the third straight night and fourth time in seven games, the light-hitting Rays failed to get a baserunner until after the fifth inning.

Toronto’s Marco Estrada took a perfect game into the eighth inning before Logan Forsythe broke up the bid with an infield single a week ago. Sizemore broke up Cody Anderson’s pursuit of perfection with a seventh-inning home run Monday, and Curt Casali doubled for the first hit off Cleveland’s Danny Salazar in the sixth on Tuesday night.

Facing the Rays less than two weeks after yielding 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay, Carrasco breezed into the seventh this time.

After walking Butler, Evan Longoria hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Carlos Santana, who stepped on the bag and tagged Butler out in a rundown between first and second.

Brandon Moss homered and drove in five runs for the Indians. He had a two-run double off Alex Colome (3-4) in the second and a three-run homer off C.J. Riefenhauser in the eighth. Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and David Murphy also drove in runs for Cleveland.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Manager Terry Francona said there is no timetable for when OF Nick Swisher (knee) could return. Swisher is running in the outfield.

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (oblique) gave up one run over four innings in a rehab start for Class A Charlotte. … 1B James Loney (broken left middle finger) had two hits for Charlotte and appears close to returning.

UP NEXT

Indians: 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (3-9) will start Thursday’s series finale. He is 1-5 with a 4.00 ERA in nine road starts.

Rays: 2013 AL All-Star Matt Moore will make his first start since elbow ligament replacement surgery last year on Thursday. The left-hander hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 7, 2013 at Kansas City. “I’m anxious, I’m excited,” Moore said. “I feel ready.”

 

TIME Soccer

English Loss Sets Up Japan-U.S.A. World Cup Soccer Final

The defending champions advanced to play the United States in the championship game

(EDMONTON, Alberta) — Laura Bassett scored into her own net during second-half stoppage time, giving Japan a 2-1 victory over England in a Women’s World Cup semifinal.

The decisive goal Wednesday came when Japan’s Nahomi Kawasumi drove up the right side and sent a cross into the middle for Yuki Ogimi. Bassett reached out with her right foot and caught the ball flush, inadvertently sending it toward her net. The ball struck the crossbar and bounced in just before goalkeeper Karen Bardsley could get across.

The defending champions advanced to play the United States in the championship game at Vancouver on Sunday. It’s a rematch of the 2011 championship game in Germany, when Japan won on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw.

Bassett was inconsolable at the end of the match, lying flat on the ground, her face in the turf. She then needed assistance from teammates and her coach before leaving the field.

It was a torturous finish for the sixth-ranked Lionesses, who have made their deepest run in four World Cup appearances. England had never won an elimination game until this year.

England will remain in Edmonton to play top-ranked Germany in the third-place match Saturday. Germany lost 2-0 to the United States on Tuesday.

England lost despite controlling much of the second half against the fourth-ranked Japanese. And that was despite what Japan coach Norio Sasaki had said a day earlier, when he suggested his players were “superior.”

The teams traded penalty kick goals seven minutes apart in the first half.

Aya Miyama opened the scoring in the 33rd minute by driving the ball into the open left corner while Bardsley guessed the wrong way.

The penalty was set up when Mizuho Sakaguchi’s long kick from Japan’s side of the field found Saori Ariyoshi free up the right side. As Ariyoshi got control of the ball, she was pushed from behind by Claire Rafferty.

The Lionesses responded on Fara Williams’ penalty kick in the 40th minute. She threaded a shot just inside the left post, barely out of the reach of diving keeper Ayumi Kaihori.

That penalty came off corner kick to the right of the Japan net. Williams’ kick into the area bounced between four players before Steph Houghton got control, took a step toward the net and went down when Ogimi appeared to catch the back of Houghton’s foot.

England had the Japanese on their heels during a four-minute span of the second half.

Toni Duggan, from just inside the penalty area, had her line-drive kick go off the crossbar in the 62nd minute. A minute later, Ellen White was set up in the middle, and got a shot off that Kaihori punched away.

And in the 66th minute, Jill Scott headed Williams’ corner kick just wide of the left post.

The game was played on Canada Day — the nation’s 148th birthday — in front of a slow-arriving crowd. The attendance was announced at 31,467 in a stadium that holds more than 53,000. The crowd would’ve been would have been much larger had England not eliminated the host country in the quarterfinals last weekend.

The Lionesses have already created a buzz back home as just the third English team — including the men — to reach a World Cup semifinal, joining the 1966 champion and 1990 men’s squads.

England began the day by receiving a royal pep talk from Prince William, who spoke to the players and staff by phone.

Manchester United and English national team captain Wayne Rooney has become a fan. Rooney posted a note of support on his Twitter account Wednesday, writing in part: “We’re all behind you, let’s go one step closer an get to the final.”

Women’s coach Mark Sampson also attempted to rally support by providing fans back home an excuse to be late for work Thursday.

Because the game didn’t start until midnight in England, Sampson and the nation’s Football Federation on Twitter posted a “late-to-work” form that’s already signed by the coach.

TIME College Sports

Meet the First Openly Transgender Swimmer to Compete in the NCAA

transgender harvard swimmer Schuyler Bailer
Marvin Joseph—The Washington Post/Getty Images Schuyler Bailer is the first openly transgender collegiate athlete.

Incoming Harvard freshman Schuyler Bailar will compete on the men's team after coming out as transgender

An incoming Harvard University freshman will become what is believed to be the first openly transgender student to compete as a swimmer in the NCAA.

Schuyler Bailar was initially recruited for the women’s team but was torn about his participation after coming out as a transgender man this year—until Bailar’s coach coordinated an offer from the university to join either the men’s team or the women’s team.

“It’s half terrifying and half exciting,” Bailar told the Associated Press. “I’m just kind of embracing it with open arms.”

Harvard men’s swimming coach Kevin Tyrrell said the rest of the team was immediately in favor of extending an invite to Bailar.

“Through high school I grew my hair out, I conformed, I dressed in the high heels to prom — and I was miserable,” Bailar said. “I did succeed in swimming because that was really my only outlet.”

[AP]

TIME World Cup

America, Meet Soccer Star Carli Lloyd, Your Newest Sports Hero

in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Semi-Final Match at Olympic Stadium on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Canada.
Minas Panagiotakis—Getty Images Carli Lloyd celebrates setting up Kelly O'Hara's goal in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Semi-Final Match at Olympic Stadium on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Canada.

Her penalty, and perfect pass to second goal-scorer Kelly O'Hara, ensure a crucial U.S. victory in soccer's World Cup

Going into this year’s women’s World Cup, certain U.S. players stole the spotlight. Abby Wambach, the world’s all-time leading international goal scorer, trying to win her first World Cup in the twilight of her career. Forward Alex Morgan, heir to Mia Hamm. Goaltender Hope Solo, for all the off-field controversies.

But step aside, ladies. For this World Cup is now Carli Lloyd’s.

Lloyd, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner making her third World Cup appearance, is no stranger to soccer fans. But for the millions of more casual viewers tuning into America’s quest for its first World Cup since 1999, she’s now a water-cooler fixture. Lloyd has scored a goal in each of Team USA’s knockout-round victories on the way to the World Cup final, which will be played on July 5, when the U.S. will face the winner of Wednesday’s Japan-England semifinal.

Against Germany in Tuesday night’s semifinal, Lloyd’s second-half penalty kick gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Later, Lloyd stayed patient while dribbling in the goal box, waiting until Kelley O’Hara was in position to take her perfect pass and boot the insurance goal into the net. U.S. 2, Germany 0.

So America, if you’re not already invested in the World Cup, meet Carli Lloyd. A few quick essentials:

1. Lloyd has a history of shining in big moments: Sports Illustrated put her on the cover of its World Cup preview, with the tagline: “She’s Got Clutch.” No cover jinx in this World Cup — far from it. Lloyd scored the gold-medal winning goals in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. All this bodes well for Team USA’s chances on Sunday.

2. Her ex-Team USA coach, Pia Sundhage, dissed Lloyd in a New York Times profile that ran earlier in the World Cup.

“Carli Lloyd was a challenge to coach, by the way,” Sundhage said offhandedly at one point, her fork dangling as she considered Lloyd, who is a top midfielder for the United States. “When she felt that we had faith in her, she could be one of the best players. But if she began to question that faith, she could be one of the worst.”

She took a bite of salad. “It was so delicate, so, so delicate,” she said.

But so, so good. If coaching Lloyd, 32, has been a challenge, it’s certainly been worth any headaches. Lloyd called Sundhage’s comments “confusing.” America and Sweden played to a 0-0 draw during the knockout stage of this year’s World Cup.

3. Lloyd, who grew up in southern New Jersey and attended Rutgers University, credits a lot of her success to training with a former Australian pro player named James Galanis, described by the Wall Street Journal as “paunchy and bespectacled,” and someone who “comes off like a wizard instructor from the Harry Potter films.” Lloyd was supposed to take a ski trip with some friends while she was at Rutgers; Galanis told her if she was serious about making the US team, she had to skip the vacation.

To the cheers of many Americans, Lloyd put in the work. All that’s left is a World Cup win.

TIME Baseball

White Sox Ace Sale Strikes Out 10 For 8th Straight Game

Chris Sale
Jeff Roberson—AP Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 30, 2015, in St. Louis

Chris Sale fanned Jhonny Peralta in the sixth inning for his 10th strikeout

(ST. LOUIS) — White Sox pitcher Chris Sale has struck out at least 10 for the eighth straight game, matching the best run in major league history.

Sale reached the mark Tuesday night at St. Louis. Pedro Martinez also struck out 10 in eight straight starts in 1999 for Boston.

Sale fanned Jhonny Peralta in the sixth inning for his 10th strikeout.

TIME Soccer

U.S. Heads to World Cup Final With 2-0 Win Over Germany

"I knew what I had to do"

(MONTREAL) — Carli Lloyd buried a penalty kick, Hope Solo got another shutout and the United States beat top-ranked Germany 2-0 on Tuesday night to advance to the title match at the Women’s World Cup.

Lloyd’s penalty kick in the 69th minute went into the right side of the goal less than 10 minutes after Celia Sasic shot wide on a penalty kick for Germany.

“Just slotted it home. I knew what I had to do,” Lloyd said.

Solo has posted five straight shutouts for the United States in the tournament. Kelley O’Hara came in off the bench and scored in the 85th minute, delighting the pro-American crowd.

The second-ranked United States will play the winner of Wednesday night’s match in Edmonton between defending champion Japan, ranked No. 4, and sixth-ranked England. The final is set for Sunday at Vancouver’s BC Place.

“It’s a dream come true,” Lloyd said. “This is what we trained for.”

It was the fourth World Cup meeting between Germany and the U.S. In each of the first three games, the winner went on to win the title.

The marquee matchup led to lines of fans waiting to get in about three hours before the game. The line for the main souvenir stand snaked up a half-dozen ramps to the building’s third level at one point.

The stadium built for the 1976 Olympics, where the East German men won the gold medal, was filled nearly to its blue fabric roof, mostly with fans cheering for the United States. The crowd was announced at 51,176.

Previous games in Montreal had the stadium less than half full, with the upper bowl completely empty.

The United States had several good chances from the start. Julie Johnston missed on a header off a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan’s breakaway in the 15th minute was stopped by goaltender Nadine Angerer.

There was a scary moment in the first half when Germany’s Alexandra Popp and American midfielder Morgan Brian collided in front of the U.S. goal following a free kick from about 25 yards out.

Television cameras caught blood in Popp’s hair, and Brian was prone on the field for several minutes. Both players returned to the match.

After a scoreless first half, Lloyd had a header bounce inches wide to open the second.

Sasic’s penalty kick came after Johnston fouled Popp in the box. Sasic fooled Solo, who went right, but her kick went wide left, prompting a roar from the crowd.

Sasic went into the match as the tournament’s high scorer with six goals.

Shortly thereafter, Annike Krahn got a yellow card for fouling Morgan in the box, but replays showed it occurred just outside. Lloyd’s penalty kick was her third goal in three matches.

O’Hara scored on Lloyd’s left-footed cross.

The United States tweaked its formation for the match. Morgan started up top, with Lloyd as an attacking midfielder with Rapinoe and Tobin Heath on the wings.

The U.S. had success in its quarterfinal against China when it had Lloyd roaming up top and Brian back as a holding midfielder. Lloyd scored the lone goal in the 1-0 victory.

The United States improved to 3-1 against Germany in World Cup matches and 19-4-7 overall.

The United States has won two World Cup titles, but none since 1999. The Americans have appeared in the semifinals of all seven of the women’s tournaments.

Germany has also won the title twice, in consecutive tournaments in 2003 and ’07.

This tournament has played out with FIFA embroiled in scandal.

Earlier Tuesday, FIFA confirmed that President Sepp Blatter would skip the World Cup final, as U.S. officials pursue a criminal investigation into the game’s ruling body.

Blatter’s second-in-command, secretary general Jerome Valcke, also will be absent from the biggest event in women’s soccer “due to their current commitments in Zurich,” FIFA said in a statement Tuesday.

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