LONDON (AP) — Faced with the threat of financial sanctions aimed at the Russians, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich announced on Wednesday that he was trying to sell the Premier League club that has become a trophy-winning machine thanks to its lavish investment.
The billionaire oligarch’s decision to sell his most high-profile asset is one of the clearest signs yet that Russia’s business elite is feeling the repercussions of President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
A potential buyer had previously gone public to reveal that Abramovich was trying to sell with a floating price of at least $2.5 billion. Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss said he “received an offer to buy Abramovich from Chelsea on Tuesday” along with three other people.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals signed coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim to extensions Thursday that keep them under contract with the team through 2027.
Those moves give some security to the two men who helped guide the franchise to rapid improvement over the past three seasons but also oversaw a stunning slump last season after a 10-2 start to the schedule.
Kingsbury was hired ahead of the 2019 season, largely due to his expertise in managing quarterbacks. Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray in Oklahoma was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the same offseason. The Kingsbury-Murray pairing has been steadily improving, going from 5-10-1 in 2019 to 8-8 in 2020 to 11-6 in 2021.
Keim is in his 23rd season with the Cardinals and ninth as general manager after being promoted to the role in 2013.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson’s recovery from a right foot injury has improved to the point where he can gradually return to basketball activities, the New Orleans Pelicans said Wednesday.
However, there is no schedule left for when he could play in a game.
The announcement came after doctors reviewed recent imaging of Williamson’s foot and saw evidence of “improved bone healing”.
MONTREAL (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens will be allowed to have full capacity at the Bell Center sooner than expected.
The Quebec government had designated March 14 as the return to 100% capacity at sites across the province, but the deadline was brought forward on Wednesday.
That means the Canadiens will be able to fill their arena to capacity when they host the Seattle Kraken on March 12. It will be the first time Montreal has had a full crowd in three months.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods is still moving the needle in golf even when he’s barely playing.
The PGA Tour informed players on Wednesday that Woods was the winner of the new $40 million “Player Impact Program” which rewards those who generate the most positive interest in golf as measured by five metrics.
Woods won the $8 million prize against Phil Mickelson, who claimed on Twitter in December that he was the winner.
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Liberty was fined a WNBA record $500,000 for chartering flights to away games during the second half of the season last year and for other violations of league rules, according to a person familiar with the fine.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Wednesday because no official announcement of the fine had been made.
Liberty owners Joe and Clara Tsai, who have been very pushy trying to find better travel accommodations for WNBA teams, paid for the charters as well as a trip to Napa Valley over the holiday weekend work. This trip was a benefit that far exceeded the compensation allowed for players.
– By AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
SYRACUSE, NY (AP) — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said on a sports radio show Wednesday that there is a plan in place for his departure.
“There’s a plan,” Boeheim told ESPN Radio in Syracuse.
Boeheim did not reveal details of the arrangement as it could affect recruitment. He said the university will decide when to make it public and he expects to have a say in the selection of his replacement.
Boeheim, 77, the second coach in Division I history with 997 wins behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, is nearing the end of his 46th season at the helm.
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — UMass has fired men’s basketball coach Matt McCall, effective at the end of the season.
McCall is 58-81 in five seasons at Amherst. He will coach the Minutemen (12-16, 5-11 Atlantic 10) throughout the conference tournament.
UMass has only reached the NCAA Tournament once since making seven consecutive trips from 1992 to 1998 under John Calipari and Bruiser Flint, including a trip to the Final Four in 1996 which was canceled for violating the rules .
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee fired coach Pat Baldwin on Wednesday, a day after a first-round loss in the Horizon League tournament wrapped up its fifth consecutive season.
The Panthers went 57-92 overall and 34-59 in the league during Baldwin’s five-year tenure.
Milwaukee had high hopes this season following the arrival of five-star rookie Patrick Baldwin, the coach’s son. Patrick Baldwin was ranked the eighth national prospect in his high school class according to the composite recruiting site rankings compiled by 247Sports.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Canelo Álvarez has chosen the next set of challenges for himself at the top of the boxing world.
The undisputed world super middleweight champion will move up to light heavyweight for the second time on May 7 to face WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs) in Las Vegas.
If Álvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) wins, and if Gennady Golovkin defeats Ryota Murata in Japan in April, Álvarez and Golovkin will complete their highly entertaining trilogy in late summer or early fall.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE SOCCER
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford goaltender Katie Meyer, who memorably led the Cardinal to victory in the 2019 NCAA College Cup championship game, has died. She was 22 years old.
The cause of death has not been revealed. Stanford announced for the first time the death of a student in one of its residence halls on Monday. On Tuesday, the university confirmed that it was Meyer, an international relations specialist.
Meyer stopped two shots on goal to lead Stanford to a 5-4 shootout win over North Carolina after a scoreless draw in the 2019 championship game.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was charged Wednesday with attempted murder and multiple assault charges after authorities said shot at a van carrying a man accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old child. former family member.
Velasquez was arrested Monday after chasing a pickup truck carrying Harry Goularte through the busy streets of three Silicon Valley towns, ramming the vehicle with his own pickup truck during an 18-kilometer high-speed chase, prosecutors said.
Velasquez fired multiple times at the vehicle with a .40 caliber pistol, wounding Goularte’s stepfather, who was driving, in the arm and torso, prosecutors said.
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