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March 1, 1996

TARRAGONA, Spain (AP) _ The second round of the Catalan Open was called off Friday because of strong winds that gusted as high as 40 mph.

Paul Lawrie of Scotland was the leader after firing a 7-under-par 72 in the opening round.

The final two 18-hole rounds will be played Sunday.

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United States Clear to Host 1999 Women’s World Cup

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ With the deadline for bids passed, the United States is the sole candidate to host the 1999 Women’s World Cup soccer competition, the world soccer body, FIFA, said Friday.

While the U.S. Soccer Federation confirmed its bid before the midnight Thursday cutoff, Chile withdrew and Australia failed to confirm its earlier candidacy.

FIFA, however, will not officially allocate the 1999 event until its executive committee meeting in Zurich on May 31.

The U.S. women won the first FIFA World Cup in China in 1991 and finished third in Sweden last summer.

The United States hosted the men’s World Cup soccer championship in 1994.

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Asprilla’s Manager Says Player Being Prematurely Judged

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) _ Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan angrily declared Friday that Faustino Asprilla appeared to be the victim of trial by television. Asprilla faces a suspension of up to six matches for elbowing and head-butting an opponent.

Keegan said he believed his $11.25 million player, who faces two misconduct charges by the English Football Association, has already being branded a dirty player while other people’s fouls were being ignored.

TV footage showed Asprilla appear to elbow Manchester City defender Keith Curle in the face during the game and also head-butt the same player after the final whistle.

The FA on Monday served two misconduct charges on Asprilla and one on Curle. The players were given 14 days to respond.

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High School Quarterback Investigated for Drugs, Theft

ANTIOCH, Calif. (AP) _ Antioch High School’s star senior quarterback with a scholarship to play at Rutgers is under investigation for possession of drugs and a stolen scale, authorities said.

Perris Verduzco, 18, withdrew from school, said athletic director Bob Fisher.

Verduzco was arrested Saturday after police stopped him for a minor traffic violation. Officers smelled marijuana in his car and a search found small plastic bags containing a white powder in his pockets.

Police also found marijuana and a $2,500 digital scale belonging to the school’s science department, Sgt. Bob Barmore said.

Verduzco has moved to Clinton, N.Y., to live with his brother and finish high school, his father said. No charges have been filed against the player.

It was not clear whether the investigation would affect his scholarship to Rutgers, where his cousin, Mario Verduzco, is recruiting coordinator

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