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F1 Boss Not Optimistic about U.S. Race in 2012

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says he is "not really" optimistic about the U.S. Grand Prix taking place next year and has set American organizers a Wednesday deadline to guarantee its long-term financial backing.

Organizers for the proposed race in Austin, Texas, say they have agreed to pay the sanctioning fee to secure a spot on next year's F1 calendar, but that's not enough for Ecclestone.

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Atletico Striker Falcao Out of Madrid Derby

Atletico Madrid coach Gregorio Manzano says injured striker Radamel Falcao hasn't recovered in time to play in Saturday's Spanish league derby against Real Madrid.

Atletico was hopeful the €47 million-signing ($67 million) would recover from a leg muscle tear to play at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, but Manzano ruled out the Colombian international on Friday.

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Concern as Violence Rises at German Stadiums

At a time when Germany is playing its best football in years, the organization behind it is trying to tackle problems threatening to tarnish its image.

Referees under probe by tax authorities and the plague of fan violence, especially in lower-tier leagues, are keeping the football federation busy half a year before Germany goes to the European Championship as a favorite for the title.

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Mourinho Happy with Benzema-Higuain Conundrum

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said on Friday that he was happy to have a headache over whether to field Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuain in Saturday's derby with Atletico Madrid.

The strike duo were paired together for the first time this season in the 6-2 Champions League humbling of Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday, with Benzema scoring twice and Higuain also on target.

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Lewis Hamilton Optimistic about 2012 F1 Season

Despite only being in fifth place ahead of the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton describes 2011 as "a year of growth" and is expecting McLaren to field a competitive car from the start of the next Formula One season.

The 26-year-old Briton is coming off his third victory of the year after winning at the Abu Dhabi GP, but he has struggled most of the season behind the Red Bulls and its winner of the drivers' championship, Sebastian Vettel.

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Mancini: City Won't Win Champions League

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says his team of international stars has no chance of winning the Champions League — even if the Premier League leaders manage to scrape through their group on the final matchday.

After losing 2-1 at Napoli on Tuesday, City must defeat Bayern Munich at home on Dec. 7 and rely on the Italian side failing to beat already eliminated Villarreal to snatch a top-two finish in Group A.

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United: Injured Anderson Out until February

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says Brazil international Anderson will be out of action until February because of a knee injury, further limiting the team's midfield options at a crucial time of the season.

Ferguson says Anderson, who last played for United on November 2, has "been sent to Portugal to see a specialist who operated on him before."

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Tsonga Beats Nadal to Reach Semis at ATP Finals

Whatever Rafael Nadal tried to throw at Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the ATP World Tour Finals on Thursday, the Frenchman always appeared one step ahead.

Now Nadal is hoping he hasn't left his passion for the game behind him.

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Rogge: Preparations for Sochi Olympics on Track

IOC President Jacques Rogge has praised Russian organizers for making significant progress in preparations for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Rogge is in the Black Sea resort for meetings of the European Olympic Committees. He was taken on a tour of the venues Thursday by Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of Sochi's local organizing committee.

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Federer Beats Fish 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 at ATP finals

Roger Federer finished the group stage at the ATP World Tour Finals with a perfect record after beating Mardy Fish 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 Thursday for his third win at the season-ending tournament.

Federer started the match with the same kind of ruthless efficiency that helped him beat Rafael Nadal in just one hour on Tuesday, breaking Fish three times in the first set.

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