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In brief

Soccer put ahead of religious holiday

By wire services
Published November 2, 2005

JERUSALEM - Israeli Arab players accused the national soccer federation of religious insensitivity for refusing to reschedule a game during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

During Ramadan, observant Muslims refrain from drinking and eating from sunrise to sunset. When the federation slotted a game Saturday for the mixed Arab-Jewish team of Bnei Sakhnin just four minutes after the end of the fast, seven of the Muslim players ate early to be ready.

Before Ramadan, which began in early October, the team asked the federation not to schedule games for an hour after the end of the fast, the club's Jewish coach, Loufa Kadosh, told Israel Army Radio on Monday. The team's captain, Abbas Suan, a Muslim, said the refusal to reschedule the game was inexcusable.

"I have represented the state and the national team in the most respectful way, but unfortunately the majority continues to ignore us," Suan told the Maariv daily.

The federation's manager, Pini Kainan, said the match had to be held at the designated time due to commercial considerations, including TV broadcast times.

MLS: San Jose's Dominic Kinnear was selected coach of the year and New England's Michael Parkhurst rookie of the year. Kinnear guided the Earthquakes to a league-best 64 points (18-4-10 record), only the second team in league history with more than 60 points in a season. Parkhurst was one of five players to start and play in every minute of every game during the regular season (32 starts, 2,880 minutes). ... D.C. United midfielder Christian Gomez apologized for spitting at Chicago's C.J. Brown. Gomez was ejected in the 55th minute of Chicago's 4-0 win Sunday, which eliminated defending champion D.C. United from the playoffs.

HORSES: Final run for Best Mate

Best Mate, three-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, died after he had a heart attack while running in the Haldon Gold Cup in Exeter, England. Jockey Paul Carberry eased the 10-year-old into the home stretch before the horse collapsed. Best Mate had won the Gold Cup, the centerpiece of the annual Cheltenham jump-racing festival, three straight times.

TENNIS: Au revoir, Blake

Tampa's James Blake lost to Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the Paris Masters. Blake missed two chances to break when Ljubicic served for the match at 5-4 and 15-40. Ljubicic rallied and won with an ace.

ADVANTA CHAMPIONSHIPS: Top-seeded Lindsay Davenport (flu) and Maria Sharapova (sprained thumb) withdrew from the tournament in Villanova, Pa.

ET CETERA

REDFISH CHAMPIONSHIP: The Inshore Fishing Association's Pro Tour Championship moved a second time because of a hurricane and will be this weekend at the Inn at Little Harbor in Ruskin. Hurricane Katrina forced the event out of Venice, La., then Hurricane Rita's effects prompted the move from Lake Charles, La. The event will include top redfish anglers who have qualified after a series of two-day events around the southeast. Fishing will be Friday and Saturday. For more information, see www.redfishtour.com

RUIZ LAWSUIT: Heavyweight boxer John Ruiz filed a lawsuit against James Toney, who beat him in April for the heavyweight title, then was stripped of the crown for testing positive for steroids. Attorneys for Ruiz said the suit alleges Ruiz was damaged financially despite the WBA restoring him as champion after Toney's postfight test came up positive for nandrolone.

ARMSTRONG VICTORY: Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong won control of two Internet domain names containing the name of his fundraising LiveStrong bracelets. Arbitrators for the World Intellectual Property Organization ordered the transfer of the domain names www.livestrongbracelets.net and www.talk-livestrong.com to the cycling great. He contended they infringed his trademark rights and had been registered in bad faith.

[Last modified November 2, 2005, 00:47:16]


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