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The World Cup in Qatar could start one day earlier than scheduled. A person familiar with the proposal tells The Associated Press that FIFA is looking at a plan to let the host nation play Ecuador on Nov. 20. The person says a decision could be made within days by a committee comprised of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the heads of the six continental soccer bodies. The proposal has been favored by Qatari officials and South American soccer body CONMEBOL. The World Cup is set to open on Nov. 21 with the Netherlands facing Senegal.

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This week’s new entertainment releases include new music from Calvin Harris and a host of his musical friends, the four-part docuseries “My Life as a Rolling Stone” which takes an individual approach to each iconic band member, and Ron Howard tackles the riveting story of the 2018 rescue of a boys’ soccer team from inside a watery cave in the film “Thirteen Lives.” And straight out of San Diego’s Comic-Con, here comes “The Sandman.” Neil Gaiman, who wrote the acclaimed series of graphic novels, developed and is executive producer for the 10-episode series debuting Friday on Netflix starring Tom Sturridge.

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In soccer-mad England, which sees itself as the home of the world’s game, women and girls finally have a team full of heroes who look like them. Some 7,000 singing, dancing, flag-waving fans — many of them mothers and daughters — jammed into central London’s Trafalgar Square on Monday to celebrate England’s victory in the 2022 women’s European championship. It was the first major victory by any England soccer team in 56 years. The tournament, hosted by England and watched by record audiences on television and in stadiums across the country, was the culmination of years of investment in women’s soccer. Organizers now hope there will be opportunities for more girls to play the game in England.

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England beat Germany 2-1 in the final of the European Championship after extra time to win its first major women’s soccer title. Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal on a rebound in the second half of extra time after Germany failed to clear a corner. The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes at Wembley with Lina Magull for Germany canceling out Ella Toone’s goal. The good-natured atmosphere inside the stadium drew contrasts with violent scenes when the England men’s team lost its European Championship final to Italy at the same stadium a year ago. England’s title comes 56 years after its only major men’s title which was also an extra-time win at Wembley over Germany at the 1966 World Cup.

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The England women’s soccer team is the talk of the nation and capturing hearts and minds because of its run to the European Championship final. Messages of support and praise have come from the royal family and prime minister. There are some key reasons behind the growing success of “The Lionesses.” The massive injection of cash into the women's game is beginning to pay off in terms in improved standards of play and higher viewing figures. Women's soccer is more professional and has better coaching. England also has a national team coach with expertise in the women's game.

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Former U.S. women’s national team star goalkeeper Hope Solo has pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, almost four months after she was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in North Carolina with her 2-year-old twins inside. Solo also was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and resisting a public officer in connection with the March 31 incident. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that her attorney said the remaining two charges were voluntarily dismissed. A judge gave Solo a suspended sentence of 24 months and an active sentence of 30 days. She was given 30 days' credit for time she spent at an in-patient rehabilitation facility.

Green Bay police say their internal affairs department is conducting a review after a video on social media showed an officer grabbing Packers running back A.J. Dillon during a Saturday night soccer match at Lambeau Field. Video posted on social media showed Dillon in the end zone greeting fans in the stands during the exhibition match between FC Bayern Munich and Manchester City FC. Dillon appeared to be on the verge of doing a Lambeau leap into the crowd when the video showed an officer grabbing him by the back of his collar and giving him a shove.

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Alex Morgan converted on a penalty in the 78th minute and the U.S. national team won the CONCACAF W Championship 1-0 over Canada on Monday night to secure one of the region’s spots in the 2024 Olympics. As FIFA President Gianni Infantino watched from a private box, the United States finally broke a stalemate when Rose Lavelle was fouled in the box and Morgan fooled Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan on the penalty. It was Morgan’s 118th overall career goal. Jamaica defeated Costa Rica 1-0 in overtime earlier Monday to claim third place in the tournament.

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A lawsuit alleges that a Mississippi high school soccer player with a rare skin disease was bullied and physically assaulted for months, with school officials failing to respond. The parents of the 15-year-old boy have sued the Pass Christian school district, a principal and a community college. They seek unspecified damages, saying all three failed to protect their son. The student has Darier disease, which can cause wart-like blemishes on irritated skin. The parents allege teammates repeatedly tormented their son, with assaults during a 2021 soccer camp at Jones College in Ellisville. Pass Christian School Superintendent Carla J. Evers says the district disciplined the students involved.

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The U.S. women’s national team will play Canada in the final of the CONCACAF W Championship for a spot in the 2024 Olympics. The United States beat Costa Rica 3-0 in the semifinals on Thursday night, on goals from Emily Sonnett, Mallory Pugh and Ashley Sanchez. Canada downed Jamaica 3-0 in the late game to advance to earn the other spot in Monday’s championship. The four teams finished atop their groups to qualify for the region’s berths at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The winner of the W Championship additionally earns one of the region’s spots in the Olympics.

Train drivers at eight British rail companies will go on strike later this month in the second large-scale industrial action set to affect commuters in July. The Aslef train drivers’ union said Thursday members will walk out for 24 hours on July 30 over pay disputes. The disruptions are expected to affect sports fans attending the Commonwealth Games, which kick off in Birmingham on July 28, and the opening weekend of the English Football League. The announcement came after the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said workers will strike on July 27. Union leaders want a pay rise to combat soaring inflation — currently at 9.1% — and a deepening cost-of-living crisis as energy and food bills climb.

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