Ref back after murder rap
A referee whose career was almost ended by a charge that she murdered her husband with a coffee cup has been reinstated after the charge was dismissed for lack of evidence. Lois Goodman’s attorneys said on Friday in Los Angeles that the US Tennis Association approved her to resume judging matches next year. The organization confirmed her reinstatement. She was suspended after her arrest in August while preparing to work as a line judge at the US Open. Prosecutors dropped the murder case on Nov. 30, saying they had received additional information and were unable to proceed because of insufficient evidence. Goodman had been accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee cup. She said she was innocent, and her lawyers suggested Alan Goodman died in an accidental fall.
Bills to stay in New York
The Buffalo Bills have reached an agreement that will keep the NFL team in western New York for at least the next seven years, the team said on Friday. The deal, which includes a 10-year lease for the Bills’ current stadium and US$130 million in upgrades to the facility, ends speculation that the team might be targeted for relocation because of its small market. “This agreement ensures the Bills stay where they belong right here in New York, while also protecting tax payer dollars and putting in place a longer-term vision for the team’s continued presence in Buffalo,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. The Bills, who play their home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, are committed to remain there for at least seven years regardless of ownership, the team said. If after the seventh year, the Bills do not buy out the remaining three years of the lease, they would need to pay US$400 million to break it, the Buffalo News reported. The lease also allows the Bills to play one preseason game every other year and one regular-season game each year in Toronto, the newspaper reported.
David in seventh heaven
Record-breaking Nicol David extended her haul of World Open titles to seven from eight finals when she overcame Laura Massaro on Friday in a match of long and patient rallies. The Malaysian’s 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 triumph over her English opponent silenced critics who suggested that younger rivals had closed the gap on the 29-year-old champion. Massaro forced many long rallies and even led 7-5 in the second game, but David’s tremendous ability to contain, retrieve, and change the direction of her movement prevented the third seed from getting a strong foothold in the match.
Nigeria axe star strikers
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has left star strikers Peter Odemwingie and Obafemi Martins out of his squad for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. West Brom attacker Odemwingie last featured for Nigeria in a Nations Cup qualifier in Rwanda in February, while Martins, now playing for Levante in Spain, failed to impress in a recent friendly in Venezuela. Danny Shittu, who has been in superb form for his English second-tier side Millwall this season, has been recalled after last playing an international match at the 2010 World Cup. The 32-man provisional Nigeria squad has two uncapped overseas youngsters in Rabiu Ibrahim of Celtic and Kenneth Omeruo, who plays for Dutch club ADO Den Haag on loan from Chelsea. The Africa Cup of Nations starts on Jan. 19.