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Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011

Spurs expect to get Becks

LONDON (AP) David Beckham could complete his loan move to Tottenham from the Los Angeles Galaxy over the weekend.

"He could be here on Sunday possibly, if what I'm being told on the grapevine is right," Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said Friday. "The clubs are talking and there is a good chance it will happen."

Redknapp, who said last week that he hoped to sign the former England captain on a two-month loan from the Galaxy, said Beckham is likely to attend the north London club's FA Cup match against Charlton on Sunday.

"Hopefully he will come to the game," Redknapp said. "I'm not 100 percent sure, but he could be here on Sunday."

If Beckham does join this weekend, his first match for Tottenham would likely be Jan. 16 against his former club Manchester United.

Beckham previously said the only Premier League team he would consider playing for was United, which he left in 2003 after more than a decade to join Real Madrid.

But Beckham was born and raised in London, training with Tottenham as a schoolboy before joining United.

Spurs have been waiting for the Galaxy to decide whether to let the 35-year-old Beckham move on loan for a third straight winter.

Beckham wants to join a European club on loan to maintain his fitness before the Major League Soccer season starts in March and to boost his chances of being recalled to England's national team.

He made the last of his 115 international appearances against Belarus in October 2009 and missed last year's World Cup because of an Achilles' injury sustained while on loan to AC Milan.

Beckham spent the past two winters in Italy on loan at Milan, while his Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan did the same last year at English club Everton.

Redknapp wants to use Beckham's experience to help a team challenging for a second straight top-four Premier League finish and through to the knockout stages of the Champions League in its debut season.

Blatter endorses plan

DOHA (AP) FIFA president Sepp Blatter made his strongest endorsement yet of moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter, saying Friday that players should be spared from the blistering summer heat in the desert nation.

Blatter, attending the Asian Cup in Qatar, said he felt the tournament should be moved to a cooler time of the year to protect the health of the players. A similar move was initiated for this year's Asian Cup, which normally is held in the summer.

"We must play at the most adequate period to have a successful World Cup," Blatter said. "To have a successful World Cup, we have to protect actors, the players, which means (playing) in winter."

Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup in December despite fears that summer temperatures exceeding 100 degrees pose a serious health risk to players and fans.

Soon after it won the bid over the United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan, several top soccer executives led by FIFA executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer and UEFA President Michel Platini endorsed the move.

The only opposition to the move thus far has been Europe's big clubs, which fear a winter World Cup would throw their league schedules into chaos. Among those that have come out are the heads of AC Milan and Barcelona.

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