Tagliabue endorses dome for PatriotsNFL commissioner Paul...


Tagliabue endorses dome for Patriots

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue yesterday endorsed a plan to build a domed stadium in Boston for the New England Patriots.

Tagliabue met with Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn, who pitched the concept of a stadium that could seat 70,000 people and play host to 100 athletic and cultural events a year despite the region's unpredictable weather.

"It was a very positive meeting," Tagliabue said. "We think the concept of a domed stadium in Boston is a super idea."

Flynn, who is facing a preliminary re-election vote on Tuesday, has not said where the stadium would be built. He also insisted no government money would be used.

"It has to be a privately financed facility," Flynn said. "And if there's a will, as I see it, there's a way."

Representatives from the Patriots were not invited to the meeting at City Hall. The team plays at Foxboro Stadium, which has been criticized for its size and location.

* Cleveland Browns wide receiver Reggie Langhorne, unhappy with the amount of playing time he's been getting, has asked the team to trade him. Langhorne reportedly refused to practice Thursday, then met with coach Bill Belichick. Belichick rejected the trade request, Langhorne said.

"I'm frustrated," Langhorne said after practicing Friday. "I feel I'm in the same place I was two weeks ago."

* Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman was released from the hospital after undergoing back surgery. Braman had the elective operation Tuesday to relieve pressure on his spinal cord. He will wear a neck brace while recovering, said Laura Feragen, spokeswoman at Pennsylvania Hospital.


Africa's top soccer body refused to readmit South Africa because of its failure to unify its two football associations, a spokesman said yesterday in Cairo, Egypt.

It was the second blow to South African sports this week and, under present timetables, it dashes the country's hopes for a quick return to the world soccer federation, and to participate in the 1994 World Cup.

The rejection followed a resolution by African sports ministers and other government representatives on Thursday to defer lifting a 20-year general sports ban on South Africa. They said no decision was possible before foreign ministers decide next year on the Organization of African Unity's next move.


Bill Ballard is selling his shares in Maple Leaf Gardens, virtually ending his family's 20-year hold on the arena and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ballard revealed Friday that he's agreed to sell his shares in the holding company which controls the Gardens to the estate of his late father, Harold Ballard.

Ballard did not disclose how much he would receive, but one source quoted by the Toronto Star estimated Ballard would receive about $21 million.

Track and field

Pole vaulter Sergei Bubka of the Soviet Union and high jumper Heike Henkel of Germany, each with six victories during the IAAF Mobil Grand Prix season, were winners of the overall titles and the $25,000 top prizes.

It was the first time in the seven-year history of the outdoor Grand Prix that a vaulter or a jumper won the overall title in either the men's or women's competition. Bubka and Henkel also won titles at last month's World Championships at Tokyo.


Top-seeded Monica Seles overpowered American Amy Frazier, 6-4, 6-0, and advanced to the final of the Nichirei International Ladies Championship in Tokyo for a meeting with defending champion Mary Joe Fernandez.

Fernandez, seeded second, bounced back from a first-set loss to beat third-seeded Katerina Maleeva, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, in the other semifinal on Ariake Colosseum's hard court.

* Defending champion and No. 1 seed Conchita Martinez of Spain and unseeded Ines Gorrochategui of Argentina won semifinal matches in the Paris Women's Open.

Martinez defeated fourth-seeded Julie Halard of France, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, and Gorrochategui defeated Mercedes Paz, also of Argentina, 6-2, 6-3.

* Jeremy Bates and Nick Brown came from a set down to defeat Thomas Muster and Gerald Mandl of Austria, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3, 6-0, 7-5, and clinch the Davis Cup qualifying series for host Britain.


Jose-Maria Olazabal opened a five-stroke lead in the Epson Grand Prix of Europe by shooting a 4-under-par 67 in the third round at Chepstow, Wales. Olazabal has a 54-hole score of 199. His closest rival is Mark James of England, who shot a 70. Another stroke back is Miguel Martin.

* Sally Voss Krueger, a former Maryland State and Middle Atlantic champion from Bethesda and Congressional CC, now living in San Francisco, shot a 76, and Sarah LeBrun Ingram, another winner of both regional events, now living in Nashville, Tenn., shot a 78 yesterday in the first round of on-site qualifying for the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur championship at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz..

Other local scores included Cindy Peterka, Baltimore, 81; Sheila Dagucon, Gaithersburg, 84; Sherry Zaleski, Manassas, Va., 86; Connie Shorb, York, Pa., 87; and Bonnie Fry, Bel Air, 91.


British heavyweight Frank Bruno said he will start a comeback in November after doctors and fight officials cleared him after an eye operation. Bruno's last fight was in February 1989, when Mike Tyson knocked him out in the fifth round of a championship fight.

Although he has never officially retired, the British Boxing Board withdrew his license because of inactivity.

During a routine medical check last May it was discovered he had a torn retina in his right eye and it was repaired by surgery. After a three-hour meeting Friday the board agreed to grant Bruno a license after five doctors said he was fit to box and only one disagreed.

* Chris Eubank cornered and overpowered Michael Watson to score a final-round knockout and win the World Boxing Organization super-middleweight title in London. In a rematch of last June's WBO middleweight title fight, referee Roy Francis halted the bout in the 12th round with Watson (26-4) pinned in a corner under Eubank's (29-0) battering.

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