Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been suspended for three months, FIFA announced on Thursday.
During the 90-day ban, Blatter cannot "represent FIFA in any capacity, act on the organisation’s behalf, or communicate to media or other stakeholders as a FIFA representative," FIFA said in a statement.
The suspension stems from criminal proceedings that were opened against Blatter last month amid accusations that he signed an "unfavorable" deal for FIFA and made a "disloyal payment" to Michel Platini, president of Europe's governing body for the sport. Platini and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke have also been banned for 90 days.
In a statement Thursday, Blatter's lawyers said their client was "disappointed that the Ethics Committee did not follow the Code of Ethics and Disciplinary Code, both of which provide for an opportunity to be heard."
"Further, the Ethics Committee based its decision on a misunderstanding of the actions of the Attorney General in Switzerland, which has opened an investigation but brought no charge against the President. In fact, the prosecutors will be obliged by law to dismiss the case if their investigation, barely two weeks old, does not establish sufficient evidence," they continued.
"President Blatter looks forward to the opportunity to present evidence that will demonstrate that he did not engage in any misconduct, criminal or otherwise,” the statement concluded.
Issa Hayatou, the longest-serving vice president on FIFA's executive committee, will serve as the acting president during Blatter's ban.
Blatter has been the head of FIFA since 1998, though numerous accusations of corruption and scandals have befallen the organization since then.
Earlier this summer, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch opened up an investigation into bribery and corruption within FIFA.
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Jessica Mendoza, whose history-making broadcast debut as Major League Baseball's first female analyst prompted a sexist backlash, is taking the situation in stride.
"Any time there is a change, there’s normally a lot of resistance. I think the [thing I was most] excited about was the aftermath and how much support there really was," she said Thursday on ABC's Good Morning America.
“Yes, I am a female, but I want it to get to the point where, let’s think about what I am saying, what I am doing, and not so much the sex that I am. I want to get to a point when we hear a female voice on NBA, NFL, or just anything in men’s sports, and it is like, ‘Sweet. She’s doing a good job.’”
Support poured in from both men and women for the analyst after Atlanta sports radio host Mike Bell called out Mendoza, an analyst and 34-year-old Olympic softball gold medalist, on Twitter, using a derogatory insult from the movie Anchorman.
“Really? A women's softball slugger as guest analyst on MLB Wildcard Game? Once again ESPN too frigging cute for their own good,” he wrote.
“You guys are telling me there isn't a more qualified Baseball player ESPN can use than a softball player? Gimme a break!” he wrote in another tweet.
Mendoza said she saw Bells’ incendiary tweet and decided not to read it.
“Just before I was going to click on it, I thought, ‘You know -- Why?’ Why even give it the attention? I didn’t even want to open it, so I have actually yet to read it,” she explained.
Due to the comments, Bell was suspended from his daily radio show for two weeks. He apologized for his tweeted statements Wednesday.
Mendoza became the first female analyst to call a nationally televised Major League Baseball playoff game this past Tuesday -- the American League Wild Card matchup between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. Mendoza began appearing on Major League Baseball broadcasts after fellow sportscaster and former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling was suspended for an anti-Muslim tweet.
Mendoza said she accepts Bell's apology and wants to move forward.
“I accept his apology,” she said. “To me, it really was about the fact that he came after me because I was a woman.” “I feel very confident…. I’m looking forward to the future,” she continued.
Mendoza works for ESPN, which shares the same parent company, the Walt Disney Company, as ABC News.
Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Justin Bieber might want to watch his back.
MMA fighter Ronda Rousey has a bone to pick with the singer, and you don’t want to be on this woman’s bad side.The UFC's undefeated bantamweight champion tells Cosmopolitan she’s no longer a Belieber because Bieber was rude to her little sister.
Rousey says she and her 16-year-old sister, Julia, were at the Cannes Film Festival this year when they spotted Bieber taking some photos.
“My little sister is really hard to impress and we really didn’t care about anybody that was at the Cannes Film Festival, but I wanted to spend some time with her,” she recounts. “Justin Bieber was over there taking pictures with some ladies and she suddenly got really excited. She was like, ‘Do you think he would wanna take a picture with me?’”
Ronda says she assured her sister that Bieber would be willing. But when she approached the pop star and asked if he would take a photo with Julia, instead of nicely obliging, Bieber allegedly told her, “I’ve already taken a billion pictures today, OK? A billion.”
Before she could plead with him any further, he walked away and left her sister on the verge of tears.
“Yeah, I don’t think I’d wanna hang out with him,” Ronda says. “I’m not a Belieber. I was, but not anymore.”
Rob Carr/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Sean Rodriguez turned the National League Wild Card game into the Wild West Wednesday night — landing more hits than his entire team in a bizarre dugout brawl with a Gatorade cooler.
The incident, captured on video, happened during the 7th inning of the game with the Cubs, when Chicago's pitcher was beaned at the plate. The Pirates were down 4-0 at that point.
Both benches cleared, but when the incensed Rodriguez returned to the dugout, he unleashed a grand slam on the cooler.
The cooler eventually fell down onto the ground.
In the wake of the incident, a "Pirates Water Cooler" parody Twitter account emerged.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here’s the latest scores and winners: NL WILD-CARD GAME Chi Cubs 4, Pittsburgh 0 NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE Montreal 3, Toronto 1 N-Y Rangers 3, Chicago 2 Vancouver 5, Calgary 1 San Jose 5, Los Angeles 1
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- The Chicago Cubs followed the lead of their ace Jake Arrieta Wednesday night, eliminating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card Game.
A pair of home runs from Dexter Fowler and rookie Kyle Schwarber gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead early on, giving Arrieta more run support than he would need. The Cubs righty pitched a complete game shutout, striking out 11 Pirates. He allowed just four hits.
The game may have given Pirates fans a feeling of deja vu, considering they were eliminated in the same game last year by the San Francisco Giants. In that loss, opposing pitcher Madison Bumgarner also went all nine innings, allowing just four hits and one walk, while striking out 10.
Arrieta actually hit two Pirates batters, prompting what the Cubs saw as retaliation in the seventh inning. Pirates relief pitcher Tony Watson hit Arrieta in the side, bringing both teams' benches onto the field. Pirates infield Sean Rodriguez was among the more animated combatants, and after the teams returned to the dugout, Rodriguez was seen pummeling a gatorade cooler.
In the wake of the incident, a parody Twitter account was born.
The Cubs will go on to face their longtime rival St. Louis Cardinals in one of the National League Division Series matchups, beginning on Friday.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A police review board is recommending departmental charges for two officers who mistakenly tackled and arrested former tennis star James Blake in New York City, according to a memo.
The letter to Blake from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, dated Oct. 6, says that charges of excessive force and abuse of authority were both substantiated.
Blake was tossed to the ground outside a Midtown hotel last month by an officer looking for someone else. At the time, he was waiting to be picked up to go to the U.S. Open. He suffered cuts and bruises in the incident, which was captured on video, and during which he was held down by several officers.
The CCRB recommended disciplinary action for abuse of authority for one of the officers and charges for use of force for the other, according to the document.
However, the board's determination is merely advisory -- the NYPD commissioner is authorized to take action.
Commissioner Bill Bratton apologized to Blake at the time.
"I want to express my appreciation to the Civilian Complaint Review Board for their quick and thorough review of the incident during which I was attacked on September 9, 2015," Blake said in a statement. "I have complete respect for the principle of due process and appreciate the efforts of the CCRB to advance this investigation."
The NYPD said it was aware of the CCRB's findings and that the department's internal review is ongoing.
Photo by Mark Cunningham/Detroit Lions/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Fresh off the National Football League's 12th game in London in the last eight years, the league announced on Wednesday that it would continue to hold games abroad through at least 2025, and would explore other locations outside of the United Kingdom.
A resolution approved by the league's teams expands on a 2011 resolution that allowed the NFL to schedule games in the U.K. through 2016. League Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the agreement "marks an important step in our long-term international growth."
"Fans in the U.K. have responded incredibly well to the regular-season games we have played in London since 2007," Goodell added. "We think it's time to expand our International Series to other countries and respond to the growing interest in our game not only in the U.K., but elsewhere around the world."
A schedule of internationally hosted games for 2016 is expected to be announced later this year, with the U.K. and other nations in contention to host games.
A view from the press box as the South Carolina Gamecocks take on the University of Central Florida Knights during the third quarter on September 26, 2015 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages)(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- This weekend's football game between the University of South Carolina and Louisiana State University will be moved from Columbia, S.C. to Baton Rouge, La., after storms and flooding led officials to believe the event would unduly stress USC's infrastructure.
"Yesterday, we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel classes for the week due to the stress 34,000 students would place on the region's recovering infrastructure," USC President Harris Pastides said in a statement. "There is no doubt 85,000 fans would exact the same toll."
Kickoff time for the game has yet to be announced. LSU and USC are in opposite divisions of the Southeastern Conference, meaning they play each other only twice every twelve years -- one at each team's field. LSU was originally scheduled to host USC in 2020, though there has been no word on whether the teams could potentially move that game to Columbia.
"We want to support South Carolina in anything they want to do," LSU head coach Les Miles said Wednesday.
LSU had its season opener cancelled due to lightning storms.
"We want to do the right thing and do what is best for all concerned," USC head coach Steve Spurrier said in a statement. "It appears the best thing is to travel to LSU."