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March 20, 1995

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ FIFA chose Qatar on Monday to replace Nigeria as the site of the World Youth Soccer Championship, and the event for players under 20 was rescheduled for April 13-28.

FIFA last week removed the 16-nation tournament from Nigeria, which was to be the host from March 11-26. FIFA cited health, security and insurance concerns.

Qatar’s major international stadium has a 50,000-seat capacity. There are four other stadiums in the capital which can accommodate 20,000 spectators.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Malaysian police said Monday they had no conclusive evidence that Malaysian syndicates had tried to fix soccer matches in England’s Premier League or the World Cup.

Khiew Ching Hoi, the chief police officer dealing with vice, gaming and secret societies, said he did not believe Malaysian syndicates were involved, although illegal bookies in Malaysia have accepted bets on those matches.

He was commenting on reports in the British newspaper Observer that Asian betting syndicates had tried to rig two 1994 World Cup matches.

Malaysia has its own game-fixing scandal, in which police have investigated 126 players and coaches in a crackdown since August.

So far, eight players and a coach have been banished to live in remote areas under police surveillance.

In Zurich, Switzerland, FIFA said it had no information that a 1994 World Cup game may have been rigged by Malaysian betting syndicates.

The Observer had reported that Brazil’s 3-0 victory over Cameroon _ as well as a 1993 World Cup qualifier between Colombia and Argentina _ may have been fixed.

According to an unnamed source quoted in the paper, the betting syndicates made huge money by correctly predicting the halftime score of the Brazil-Cameroon game would be 1-0, which it was.

Another game mentioned by the newspaper as possibly being rigged was Colombia’s surprising 5-0 victory over Argentina in a qualifier at Buenos Aires in September 1993.

FIFA spokesman Keith Cooper said he knew nothing of the allegations and that no action would be taken unless there was a definite report from officials rather than newspapers.

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MOSCOW (AP) _ The manager of the Central Army basketball team said Monday his players were poisoned before a major championship game at Athens, causing them to lose the contest.

Five of the team’s players were hospitalized with food poisoning just before last Thursday’s European Champion Club Cup quarterfinal against Olympiakos, said Yuri Yurkov, the Russian team captain.

``It was absolutely deliberate,″ Yurkov said. ``There is no other explanation.″ He would not say whom he believed was responsible for the poisoning.

The remaining five players suited up for Thursday’s game, losing to Olympiakos 79-54.

``How can five players play against a team of 10?″ Yurkov said. ``Of course, we lost.″

The players blamed bottled mineral water left in their locker room for the poisoning, which caused severe cramps and dizziness. The five players who did not fall ill but who also drank the mineral water, have reported dizziness and nausea since last week’s game.

The Russian team brought back samples of the water to be tested in Moscow, and Central Army team president Mikhail Reznikov said an investigation was under way into the cause of the poisoning.

Olympiakos had no official comment Monday, saying it was waiting for the results of an investigation being carried out by the toxicology department at Athens University.

Olympiakos had offered to postpone the game after the Russian players got sick but the request was denied by the world basketball federation FIBA, which said CSKA had to be down to one man before the game could be called off.

In the interests of fair play, the Greek team withdrew two of its players when CSKA remained with only three on the court.

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ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ A 17-year-old soccer fan was beaten to death by rival supporters after a league game between Istanbul clubs Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.

The Fenerbahce supporter was attacked by a group of club-wielding Galatasaray fans after his team won Sunday’s important league game 3-0.

A court on Monday ordered the arrest of four students on murder charges, the private ATV channel reported.

The youth, identified as Osman Gun, was hospitalized with multiple wounds but died shortly afterwards from a brain hemorrhage, ATV said.

ATV reported that Gun did not attend the game, but went out onto the street to celebrate his team’s victory.

The victim’s cousin said that Gun, who was wearing the team’s yellow and blue striped shirt, had shouted, ``Fenerbahce is the greatest,″ before rival fans attacked him.

Both teams are challenging for the Turkish first division title.

After Sunday’s game, Galatasaray fans stoned their team’s bus outside the stadium and called for management’s resignation. Galatasaray fired its German coach last week after several losses.

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MONTE CARLO, Monaco (AP) _ Greece formally applied Monday to stage the 1997 World Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Greece joined Finland in bidding for the championships, following Mexico City’s decision last week to renounce holding the event because of the country’s financial crisis.

Greek officials told the International Amateur Athletic Federation that Athens would like to stage the championships in 1999 if the 1997 bid is unsuccessful.

Athens already has been selected to stage the 1997 World Indoor Championships.

The IAAF is accepting bids through April 10.

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