Dress rehearsal planned
Barbados will turn over a renovated Kensington Oval to cricket World Cup organizers on Feb. 17. That day will also be a dress rehearsal, Vancourt Rouse, chief operations officer of the Barbados organizing committee, said on Saturday. "We will be looking to fill the stadium to test our security and crowd control plans as well," he said. The cricket ground -- the oldest in the Caribbean -- will host the World Cup final on April 28. Kensington Oval, located in the heart of Bridgetown, is being renovated at a cost of US$67.5 million. The seating capacity will be almost doubled to accommodate 28,000 spectators. About 100,000 fans are expected in the region for the six-week tournament -- the first cricket World Cup ever held in the Caribbean.
Beckham on the bench
David Beckham was included on Saturday in Real Madrid's squad for the weekend's league game against FC Barcelona after recovering from a left knee tendon injury. Beckham, who has failed to make Madrid's starting lineup in five of the past six games, was reportedly set for the bench again. Madrid coach Fabio Capello said on Saturday that Beckham remains in his plans. The former England captain has yet to agree a two-year contract extension even though his current deal expires in June. "If he extends his contract, I have no problem with it," Capello was quoted as saying by the Web site of sports daily Marca. "I have 20 squad members. I look at training and Beckham is training very well, but at the moment I have a different idea of the first team."
Contentious tie canceled
Fears that the rivalry between Racing and Boca Juniors could lead to another outbreak of violence prompted the cancelation of yesterday's match in Buenos Aires. For the first time in Argentine history, Racing tried to make use of its legal right to forbid Boca Juniors' fan club, Doce, entry to its stadium. After a judge reversed the decision and said Doce must be admitted, officials refused to dispatch the 1,000 police offices that normally try to keep order during a match. The absence of police triggered an automatic cancellation of the game. Three people have died and numbers of people were injured in the rivalry between the two teams over the past 20 years. Racing's decision to bar entry to the Doce group was applauded around the country in the media and by other teams. The decision by the judge, who is a Boca Juniors fan, was widely criticized. Fan clubs in Argentina -- called Barrabrava -- reportedly have close ties to gangsters. The club presidents control the sale of drinks, food and souvenirs in the stadiums, and organize parking. The income is thrown into one pot after the game and divided with the police. In return, the police allegedly look the other way as rowdy fans enter the stadium.
DC United blanks Red Bulls
Christian Gomez scored on a great give-and-go in the 77th minute to lead DC United over the New York Red Bulls 1-0 in the Major League Soccer playoffs on Saturday in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Also, FC Dallas defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-1. DC United, which has never lost a playoff game at home against the Red Bulls' franchise, can wrap up the two-leg series with a draw at RFK Stadium. Gomez dribbled down the middle of the field, passed to Jaime Moreno, who chipped the ball back, and Gomez's one-touch flick gently soared over the head of Red Bulls goalkeeper Jon Conway.