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home : sports : regional September 14, 2014

7/8/2014
Quick Hits

SOCCER

Scalping Probe Implicates Longtime FIFA Partner

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The company that has been implicated in a ticket scalping investigation at the World Cup has been an intimate member of FIFA's family for more than 20 years.

Managed in England by Mexican brothers Jaime and Enrique Byrom, the MATCH group of companies has won a series of FIFA contracts to run ticketing, travel, accommodation and technology services at the World Cup since 1994. It also operates Ryder Cup hospitality.

Ray Whelan, who was arrested on Monday by Rio de Janeiro police investigating suspected illegal ticket sales, is a longstanding director and project manager within the MATCH group.

When the police probe was revealed last week, Enrique Byrom told The Associated Press he would "nail him" if one of his own men was involved.

The Rio case implicated the MATCH Hospitality subsidiary, which has exclusive rights to sell and market World Cup corporate ticket packages.




DI STEFANO DIES AT 88: Alfredo Di Stefano, the player Real Madrid has hailed as the most important component in its mid-20th century ascent to becoming a global football powerhouse, died at 88.

Real Madrid said in a statement that Di Stefano, its honorary president, died on Monday afternoon at Gregorio Maranon hospital, two days after a heart attack.

Renowned for his speed, versatility and strategic grasp of the game, he helped Madrid attain five straight European Champions Cups and was voted European player of the year in 1957 and '59.

In a career spanning five clubs in three countries from 1945-1966, Di Stefano scored 789 goals in 1,090 matches. In the process he claimed top-scorer status once in the Argentine league, twice in Colombia's league and five times in Spain.

Only Raul Gonzalez has scored more goals for Real Madrid than Di Stefano, who is often recognized as the club's first "galactico."

SWIMMING

Phelps, Lochte Set To Compete in Georgia Meet

ATHENS, Ga. -- Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will resume their comebacks during a special meet at the University of Georgia this week.

The Bulldog Grand Slam will feature some of the top teams in the country, including Phelps' North Baltimore Aquatic Club and Lochte's SwimMAC Carolina team based in Charlotte.

Phelps, who has captured a record 18 Olympic gold medals in his career, will be competing for the fourth time since coming out of retirement. Lochte is set to return to racing after having complications with his surgically repaired left knee.

Phelps is scheduled to compete in the 100-meter butterfly Friday, the 100 backstroke Saturday, and the 100 freestyle Sunday. Lochte has entered the same three events, as well as four other races. But it is doubtful the 11-time Olympic medalist will compete in them all coming off knee surgery late last year, especially after his initial comeback was derailed by pain and swelling.

Lochte was injured in November when an exuberant teenage fan ran at him. The swimmer tried to catch her, the two fell over and Lochte hit his left knee on a curb, tearing one ligament and spraining another.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

NCAA Suggests Limiting Contact Practices

The NCAA is suggesting that football teams hold no more than two contact practices per week during the season in guidelines that grew out of a safety and concussion summit early this year.

Practice limits were among several recommendations released Monday by the NCAA, which called them guidelines that could change "in real time" rather than rules passed through legislation.

The practice guidelines also recommend four contact practices per week during the preseason and no more than eight of the 15 sessions during spring football.

The NCAA is also suggesting that schools have independent doctors to evaluate injuries and a "return to learn" process for integrating athletes back into their academic work after they have been diagnosed with a concussion.

The Safety in College Football Summit was in Atlanta in January.

CYCLING

Kittel Wins Tour de France 3rd Stage

LONDON -- Germany's Marcel Kittel showed he may be the sprinter to beat at the Tour de France, speeding to his second stage win this year in Stage 3 on Monday as cycling's biggest race entered London before leaving England for France.

Rain in the City of London doused riders at the end of the 155-kilometer (96-mile) ride from the university town of Cambridge to a dramatic finish past landmarks Big Ben and Westminster.

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey with a 2-second lead over the most likely contenders to win the three-week race in Paris on July 27.

Kittel, led out perfectly by Giant-Shimano teammates, made it look easy as he sped down a final wide approach on The Mall with Buckingham Palace behind him. Peter Sagan of Slovakia was second and Australia's Mark Renshaw was third.







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