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Spain Coach del Bosque Fears France

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque admitted that France will be a "terrible rival" in World Cup 2014 qualifying, but warned his squad on Sunday not to just focus on the former world champions.

Defending champions Spain were drawn against 1998 winners France in World Cup 2014 qualifying on Saturday in the biggest match-up of the tournament.

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Fortune Shines on England as France Draw Spain

Fortune shone on England at the 2014 World Cup draw on Saturday as defending champions Spain and 1998 winners France were locked on a collision course in the race for the Brazil finals.

England, one of the top seeds, were drawn with Euro 2012 rivals Montenegro, Ukraine, Poland and makeweights Moldova and San Marino in Group H.

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Phelps Hits Back with Butterfly Gold

American great Michael Phelps won the 100m butterfly in convincing fashion on Saturday to prove he is far from a spent force in swimming despite a disappointing world championships.

The defending champion, world record-holder and Olympic gold medalist was third at the turn but he swept through the field over the final 50 meters to win in 50.71sec, ahead of Poland's Konrad Czerniak and America's Tyler McGill.

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FIFA Says No Decision on World Cup Final Venue

No decision has yet been made concerning the venue of the 2014 World Cup final despite comments attributed to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke that it would be staged in Rio de Janeiro, world football's governing body insisted on Thursday night.

"Jerome Valcke merely evoked the possibility of a final in Rio. The official decision has still not been taken," FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot told Agence France Presse.

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Chess-Mad Armenia's Heroes Return in Triumph

Armenia's top chess players, lauded as heroes after winning the 2011 World Team Chess Championship this week, vowed on Friday to boost the small chess-mad country's status in the game even further.

The team's head coach said that future successes will be secured through official support and an unusual new scheme to promote the game among schoolchildren initiated by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, a keen player who also heads the country's Chess Federation.

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Dubai Decides Not to Bid for 2020 Olympics

Hit hard by the global economic crisis, the Gulf city of Dubai decided Friday not to bid for the 2020 Olympics and will focus instead on a possible candidacy for the 2024 Games.

A feasibility study found 70 percent of the infrastructure demands were already in place but that a "a bid would be better timed for 2024," the National Olympic Committee of the United Arab Emirates said.

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Lebanon Advances despite Loss to Bangladesh

Lebanon advanced to the third round of World Cup qualifying with a 4-2 aggregate win over Bangladesh, despite losing the second leg 2-0 on Thursday.

Mithun Chowdhury raised the hopes of the Bangladesh fans at the Bangabandhu National Stadium when he scored in the 52nd minute.

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Javier Hernandez Hospitalized with Concussion

Manchester United striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez missed Wednesday night's match against the MLS All-Stars after being hospitalized overnight for a concussion sustained during a training session a day earlier.

The dynamic Mexican goal scorer wasn't missed as Man United beat the MLS All-Star team 4-0.

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Goal-Line Technology Possible at 2014 World Cup

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said goal-line technology could be in use for the 2014 World Cup finals if a system is proved to be reliable and affordable.

There has been a huge push for football to follow sports such as cricket and tennis in embracing technological help for officials with the argument brought into sharp focus by England having a 'goal' ruled out against Germany at the last World Cup despite replays having shown that the ball had crossed the line.

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Chelsea Lodge Benayoun Racism Complaint

Chelsea have lodged an official protest with the Malaysian Football Association over what they claim was racist abuse suffered by their Israeli player Yossi Benayoun in Kuala Lumpur last week.

The midfielder was booed and jeered whenever he touched the ball in the 1-0 win against Malaysia in the capital of the Muslim-majority country last Friday.

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