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World Cup to put nets between fans, field

By wire services
Published December 5, 2005

BERLIN - World Cup organizers will keep nets behind the goals during this summer's tournament after Saturday's German soccer league games in which two players were pelted with objects thrown from the stands.

Authorities had been planning to relax security measures regarding the nets, which create a barrier between the stands and field.

Saturday, Hamburger SV's Alexander Laas was hit with a drum stick at his home stadium, sending blood streaming down his face from a cut that required stitches. Nuremberg forward Stefan Kiessling was pelted with objects in Moenchengladbach while he was carried off the field unconscious from a collision with an opponent.

But overall security plans will remain because organizers do not want to spoil the games with too many controls.

"We shouldn't panic," said Wolfgang Niersbach , vice president of the World Cup committee. "We are a long way away from changing our ... philosophy because of these isolated incidents."

FIRED: Real Madrid, the world's richest team, fired coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and named reserve team coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro interim coach. Real Madrid, which said it will make a final coaching decision "in the next few weeks," has fired five coaches in the past 21/2 years. It seeks to avoid its third consecutive season without a trophy, which would be its longest skid in 53 years.


China accused of beatings

IOC president Jacques Rogge plans to investigate a BBC report that China's child gymnasts and swimmers are being beaten by coaches. But he said it is unfair to judge China, host of the 2008 Summer Games, too harshly by contemporary Western standards. "While I am the first one to say that human rights have to be respected and we will push for human rights, one has to judge China in the true perspective of realizing that 50 years ago they were nowhere," he said. "We cannot as wealthy Westerners be so arrogant to say that it has to be according to our laws."


Speed skater sets record

The Netherlands' Carl Verheijen set a world record in speed-skating's 10,000 meters during a World Cup event in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Verheijen finished in 12:57.92, .1 faster than Jochem Uytdehaage 's record set at the 2002 Olympics and .33 faster than American Chad Hedrick .

SUPER-GIANT SLALOM: Alexandra Meissnitzer led an Austrian sweep at the World Cup event in Lake Louise, Alberta. She finished in 1:21.73, .1 and .83 ahead of Andrea Fischbacher and Michaela Dorfmeister , respectively. The United States had five among the top 14, led by a sixth by Lindsey Kildow . SLALOM: Italy's Giorgio Rocca won the season-opening World Cup event in Beaver Creek, Colo. He finished two runs in 1:51.72, .86 faster than France's Stephane Tissot , who was 20th after the first run. American Ted Ligety finished a career-best third. Countryman Bode Miller missed a gate on his first run and did not qualify for the second. FIGURE SKATING: Japan's Nabunari Oda fell on a triple axel but completed a triple-triple-double combination to win the NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan. American Evan Lysacek was second.


EQUESTRIAN: Two-time Mexican Olympian Jaime Guerra won the American Grand Prix Association title in Wellington. Despite bucking and kicking between the third and fourth fences, Guerra and Santa Teresitas Power Point completed the second-round tiebreaker with no faults in 52.65, .36 faster than American Ken Berkley and Carlos Boy .

AUTOS: Jimmy Owens led 99 of 100 laps to win the Late Model race at East Bay Raceway late Saturday. Rodney Melvin led the other lap and finished second, and Nextel Cup's Ken Schrader was fifth. SUPERCROSS: James Stewart of Haines City passed Ricky Carmichael during Lap 17 and held him off to win the first race of the season in Toronto late Saturday. [Last modified December 5, 2005, 03:00:29]


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