VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) _ Masters champion Nick Faldo will return to the European golf tour later this month in Spain.
The PGA European Tour said Monday that the British golfer would play in the Peugeot Spanish Open in Madrid April 26-29.
ROME (AP) - Antonio Matarrese, president of the Italian soccer federation, said Monday that despite opposition, his organization will go ahead with plans to hire professional referees for first and second division matches beginning in 1993.
Most national amateur referees and some club officials oppose the federation’s decision.
Under the plan, about 40 professional referees would be hired and paid by the Italian federation, with salaries reportedly as high as $77,000.
Nearly 50 referees working first and second division matches are amateurs and receive expense bonuses of $138 a day. Most have protested the federation’s decision, which would demote them to third-division and semi- professional matches.
FIFA General Secretary Joseph Blatter said the world soccer body backs the plan.
Matarrese indicated the idea might be implemented elsewhere in Europe.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - Britain’s leading animal rights group said Monday that despite efforts to make the race safer, it remained deeply concerned about the Grand National steeplechase.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was alarmed by the deaths of 15 horses during last week’s meet at Aintree.
Two horses were killed in Saturday’s Grand National, although there were no no fatal accidents at Becher’s Brook. The jump, where 13 horses died in the previous 20 years, was drastically modified after two deaths in 1989.
Helen Jessup, a RSPCA spokeswoman, said her group wanted further modifications in the course as well as a reduction in the Grand National field from 40 to 30 horses.
The Jockey Club, which oversees horse racing in Britain, said it would be glad to discuss further safety measures with the RSPCA.
BANGKOK Thailand (AP) - The Soviet Union won seven of the 12 finals and took the team title at the King’s Cup amateur boxing tournament Monday.
Defending champion East Germany won only the light-heavyweight title this time when Sven Lanye outpointed Joseph Akasamba of Kenya.
The Soviet winners included heavyweight Evgeny Sudakov, who outpointed Hammalak Thabazian of Sweden, and super-heavyweight Evgeny Belousov, who stopped Zhao Deling of China in second round of the finals.
The best boxer award went to Thailand’s Vichai Khadpo who outpointed South Korea’s Lee Chang-Hwan in the flyweight division.
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) - A victory in the El Bosque Open in Spain moved Vijay Singh of Fiji up to eighth place on the PGA European Tour money list this week.
The $56,661 winner’s check gave Singh season earnings of $71,985.
Eduardo Romero of Argentina held his lead in the standings at $123,012, followed by Seve Ballesteros of Spain and Ian Woosnam of Wales. None of the top three played in last weekend’s tournament, which coincided with the Masters.
The top U.S. player on the European money list was Steven Bowman, 60th with $17,031.
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NEW YORK (AP) - Martina Navratilova has dropped to No. 2 in the rankings behind Steffi Graf, but she doesn’t feel like a tennis failure.
″Failure is in not trying,″ Navratilova writes in an article in Glamour magazine. ″If I give 100 percent to the game - physical, mental, emotional - I satisfied. Even if I lose, I haven’t failed. On the other hand, if I’ve been loafing and I win, there’s not too much personal satisfaction in that; it means only that I have more talent than my opponents.″
Navratilova, who claims to have recovered from a brush with tennis burnout, said while she was not happy being second in the women’s singles rankings, ″I’d rather be No. 2 and love tennis - which is my situation now - than hate it and be No. 1, which is the way it used to be.″
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MARANELLO, Italy (AP) - Ferrari and McLaren officials met Monday in an effort ease some of the bitter feeling between the two Formula One auto racing rivals.
A statement issued after the talks said the two manufacturers had a ″frank exchange of views″ aimed at improving relations so that their rivalry would be only of a technical and sporting nature.
Relations have been tense since last month when Ron Dennis, McLaren’s managing director, suggested that Ferrari once lured technicians from other teams by paying them extra money.
The statement said that Dennis told Ferrari chairman Pietro Fusaro that he never intended to suggest that Ferrari had acted improperly.