The World Cup in Qatar keeps provoking outrage and breaking taboos.
Seven years before the 2022 tournament kicks off in the wealthy emirate, FIFA recommended a break with soccer tradition Tuesday — moving its marquee tournament to November and December instead of the usual June-July time slot.
A FIFA task force meeting in Doha agreed that playing in the cooler months at the end of the year would protect players and fans from 104-degree heat in Qatar's summer. But the decision angered many in Europe because highly profitable leagues will be shut down for several weeks in the middle of their seasons.
"We expect the clubs to be compensated for the damage that a final decision would cause," European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a former Germany great, said in a statement.
The EPFL, a group representing Europe's top leagues, said the World Cup will cause "great damage" to domestic competitions when slotted into the broader Nov. 19-Dec. 23 period suggested by FIFA.
Next month's final approval for the switched dates seems to be a formality from a FIFA executive committee chaired by President Sepp Blatter, who has long insisted November-December is the only realistic option for the tournament.
Some of those same officials surprisingly chose Qatar in December 2010 despite the gas-rich country's lack of soccer tradition and vote-rigging claims implicating several voters and bid candidates.
Olbermann taken off air
Keith Olbermann was taken off his ESPN show for the rest of the week after making insulting comments about Penn State students.
On Monday, a Penn State alum tweeted to Olbermann the phrase "We Are!" and a link to an article about students raising more than $13 million to fight pediatric cancer. Olbermann replied "...Pitiful." Olbermann, who often spars with commenters on Twitter, then refused to back down in several more tweets, saying he was referring to Penn State students in general and not the fundraising.
"It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN," the network said Tuesday. "We have discussed it with Keith, who recognizes he was wrong. ESPN and Keith have agreed that he will not host his show for the remainder of this week and will return Monday.
Olbermann also apologized on Twitter on Tuesday, saying, "I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the students there who did such a great fundraising job."
Still no logo for Browns helmet
The Browns are sticking with tradition. Like it or not. The only NFL franchise whose primary logo is also its iconic helmet, Cleveland updated the design with a bolder orange and a brown facemask, subtle changes the team believes honors its history and hints at bigger variations to the Browns' new uniforms.
Team president Alec Scheiner said the team spent two years working on modifying the team's primary and secondary logos as well as the Nike-designed uniforms, which will be unveiled April 14. The Browns' helmets will also remain logo-less.
... The Giants released veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka in a move that clears about $4.8 million of space under the salary cap.
around the horn
Auto racing: David Ragan will drive Kyle Busch's car in the Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Atlanta, while 18-year-old Erik Jones will drive Busch's car in the Xfinity Series.
Skiing: France's former downhill world champion Marion Rolland is retiring after sustaining serious knee injuries the past two years.
WNBA: Atlanta re-signed center Erika de Souza, retaining the center, who has been with the team since its inaugural 2008 season.