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Reuters Sports Schedule at 1630 GMT on Wednesday, Jan 8

Reuters

Reuters sports schedule at 1630 GMT on Wednesday:

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SOCCER

Qatar World Cup

Valcke comments on 2022 World Cup timing stir controversy

LONDON - An announcement from FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would not be played in the summer created yet more controversy around the finals on Wednesday. (SOCCER-WORLD/QATAR (UPDATE 2, moved, by Mike Collett, 800 words)

We have also moved four factboxes

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English League Cup semi-final first leg

Manchester City v West Ham United (1945)

High-flying City welcome struggling West Ham

LONDON - Favourites Manchester City host struggling West Ham United in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final with a trip to Wembley the prize for the winners. (SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUP, expect by 2200 GMT/5:PM ET, 500 words)

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Spanish King's Cup last 16 first leg (1900 unless stated)

Real Betis v Athletic Bilbao

Alcorcon v Espanyol

Barcelona v Getafe (2100)

Racing Santander v Almeria (2100)

Messi back for Barca at home to Getafe, Betis host Bilbao

MADRID - World Player of the Year Lionel Messi is back in the Barcelona squad after nearly two months out injured as the record winners host Getafe, while Athletic Bilbao play at Real Betis in another all-La Liga clash. (SOCCER-SPAIN/CUP (PIX), expect by 2300 GMT/6 PM ET, by Iain Rogers, 500 words)

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Italian Cup last 16 (to 9)

Fiorentina v Chievo Verona (2000)

Result only

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TENNIS

ATP: Auckland Open (till 11)

ATP/WTA: Sydney International (till 11)

WTA: Hobart International (till 11)

Kooyong Classic (till 11)

Del Potro stands firm as seeds tumble in Sydney

MELBOURNE - World number five Juan Martin del Potro, the man tipped to challenge for grand slam titles this season, began his year with a scrappy win over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut to advance to the quarter-finals of the Sydney International on Wednesday.(TENNIS-AUSTRALIA/WARMUPS, moved, 500 words)

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CRICKET

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Abu Dhabi, second test (to 12)

Sri Lanka pacemen skittle Pakistan for 165 in second test

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews surprised many with his decision to field after winning the toss but was left vindicated after his fast bowlers skittled Pakistan for 165 in the first innings of the second test in Dubai on Wednesday. (CRICKET-LANKA/INNINGS (PIX), moved with updates to follow, 250 words)

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BASEBALL

Maddux top candidate for Hall of Fame entry

NEW YORK - Four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux is the top candidate among a strong crop of hopefuls awaiting results of Baseball's Hall of Fame voting. (BASEBALL-FAME/ , expect first copy by 1915 GMT/2:15 PM ET, by Larry Fine, 500 words)

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NBA

Spurs look to keep pace in wild West

The San Antonio Spurs, in a tight three-way battle for top spot in the Western Conference, host the Dallas Mavericks in one of nine games on the NBA schedule. (NBA-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0430 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 750 words)

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NHL

Blackhawks host Rangers at Madhouse

The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks look to pad their lead atop the Central Division when they host the New York Rangers at the Madhouse on Madison on one of three games on the NHL schedule. (NHL-HIGHLIGHTS/ (PIX), expect by 0430 GMT/11:30 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (expect by 0101 GMT/8:01 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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RALLYING

Dakar Rally (to 18)

Copy on merit (London duty editor: Ken Ferris)

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