Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Soccer: Four Balkan countries consider the 2030 World Cup, Euro 2028 bids
Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania are considering a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup and the European championship two years earlier, Balkan countries' officials said on Friday. No Balkan nation has hosted the World Cup while the former Yugoslavia, which broke up in 1991, hosted the four-country European Championships in 1976.
Tennis: Khachanov hammers ailing Zverev in Paris Masters
In-form Russian Karen Khachanov pulled off one of the big surprises of the Paris Masters when he outplayed tennis's top young gun Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-2 to power into the semi-finals on Friday. Khachanov, at 22 another of the sport's brightest prospects, took ruthless advantage of the 21-year-old German's physical struggles as Zverev, battling with shoulder trouble, needed a medical time out in the first set at 4-1 down.
49ers cheerleader takes knee during the national anthem
A San Francisco 49ers cheerleader was pictured kneeling during the United States national anthem at a National Football League game on Thursday. The San Francisco Chronicle was among several media outlets that published a tweeted photo of the unidentified woman on her right knee before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
NHL roundup: Preds' Rinne returns to blank Lightning
Goaltender Pekka Rinne recorded 42 saves in his return to the lineup as the Nashville Predators remained undefeated on the road, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Thursday. The Predators improved to 6-0-0 on the road and 8-0-0 when scoring first. The game was a matchup of the two top point-collecting teams -- Nashville entered with an NHL-high 18 through 12 games, Tampa Bay with 17 in 11 contests.
Bills QB Allen limited Friday, return near
One day after head coach Sean McDermott forecasted his return, Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen was a limited participant in Friday's practice, his first in nearly three weeks. Allen is dealing with an injury to his right elbow. The big right-hander did not require surgery after receiving multiple medical opinions. He is not expected to be available Sunday, when Nathan Peterman could return to the starting role because veteran Derek Anderson (concussion) was hurt in Monday's loss to the New England Patriots.
Cora says Red Sox haven't decided on White House visit
If the World Series champion Boston Red Sox decide to visit the White House, manager Alex Cora said Thursday that he and his players will respect and honor that decision. Cora, a native of Puerto Rico, has been critical in the past of President Donald Trump's comments and actions in the wake of Hurricane Maria's devastation of the island in 2017.
Biles makes history with fourth all-around gymnastics world title
Two falls on an "off day" did not prevent Simone Biles from becoming the first woman to win four all-around titles at the gymnastics world championships on Thursday. Despite falls on the vault and balance beam, the American still finished with 57.491 points in Doha to add to the titles she won in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
NBA roundup: Celtics hand Bucks first loss
The Boston Celtics nearly blew a 15-point fourth-quarter lead Thursday night, but they took advantage of a missed free throw by Eric Bledsoe with 12.8 seconds left to hand the visiting Milwaukee Bucks their first loss of the season, 117-113. The Celtics used the 3-point shooting to begin each half with dominant runs, allowing them to lead most of the way en route to their fourth straight win.
Golf: Rose pulls ahead in Turkish Airlines Open title defence
Defending champion Justin Rose will take a two-stroke advantage into the weekend at the Turkish Airlines Open after carding a second consecutive six-under-par 65 on Friday. The Englishman, who has five top-10 finishes in his last six European Tour appearances, would go back to the top of the world rankings with a victory on Sunday.
Roberts expected to return as Dodgers' manager
Dave Roberts is expected to return as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers next season, two high-ranking team executives said during a press conference on Thursday. Roberts has guided the Dodgers to back-to-back World Series. Los Angeles lost in five games to the Boston Red Sox this season after falling in seven games to the Houston Astros in 2017.
(With inputs from agencies.)