Sports Extra

NFL

Vilma and three others file a lawsuit against Goodell, NFL

NEW ORLEANS – The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of three players suspended in connection with the bounty investigation, calling Commissioner Roger Goodell “incurably and evidently biased.”

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove on Thursday in federal court in New Orleans, highlighted a flurry of legal activity surrounding the punishment of four players for what the NFL said was their roles in a program that paid improper cash bonuses for hits that injured opponents.

Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who is suing separately in the same court, asked a judge to overturn his suspension while also requesting a temporary restraining order and injunction that would allow the linebacker to quickly return to work and keep working while his case is pending.

Goodell, meanwhile, filed a motion to dismiss defamation claims that Vilma made in his initial lawsuit against the commissioner in May.

Soccer

Goaaaaaaaaaal! Or no goal? We’ve got replay for that.

ZURICH – Soccer finally embraced goal-line technology.

The sport’s governing body said Thursday it will introduce the format at the seven-team Club World Cup in Japan in December, with plans to use it in Brazil at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup.

FIFA will use both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems in Japan after they won “unanimous” support from the International Football Association Board panel.

The English Premier League is expected to adopt one of the systems – which are expected to cost up to $250,000 per stadium – during next season.

Hawk-Eye is a British camera-based system already used in tennis and cricket. GoalRef is a Danish-German project using magnetic sensors to track a special ball.

Arsenal investors reproach Kroenke over his leadership

LONDON – A simmering feud between the major shareholders of Arsenal erupted Thursday when American owner Stan Kroenke was accused of selling the club’s best players and replacing them with cheaper ones.

In the letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri wrote to Kroenke expressing “deep reservations” about how he runs the club after captain Robin van Persie declined to sign a new contract.

Usmanov and Moshiri own just less than 30 percent of Arsenal through investment company Red & White, but they haven’t been allowed to join the board by Kroenke, who also owns the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

Olympic Basketball

Parker eyes a potential spot on the French roster

PARIS – San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker was included on the 12-man roster for France’s Olympic basketball team despite a left eye injury that could keep him sidelined.

A final decision on his participation in the London Olympics is expected to be announced in the coming days after Parker meets with the Spurs’ medical staff.

France will be missing Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, who still is recovering from a left ankle injury he suffered during the NBA playoffs.

France’s first game at the Olympics is against the United States on July 29.

Deng will represent the NBA on Britain’s Olympic team

LONDON – Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is the only NBA player on a British Olympic basketball squad missing Charlotte Bobcats duo Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens.

Deng has recovered sufficiently from a left wrist injury to be included on the 12-man squad announced Thursday.

Britain’s squad is its first Olympic basketball team since 1948.

Associated Press