The Times Herald (Norristown, PA)

FIFA threat makes World Cup teams nix armbands


FIFA’s threat of on-field punishment for players pushed World Cup teams to back down Monday and abandon a plan for their captains to wear armbands that were seen as a rebuke to host nation Qatar’s human rights record.

Just hours before the first players with the armbands in support of the “One Love” campaign were to take the field, soccer’s governing body warned they would immediatel­y be shown yellow cards — two of which lead to a player’s expulsion from that game and also the next.

That changed the calculus for the seven European teams, which may have expected merely to be fined. The displays are a violation of FIFA rules.

No player had the “One Love” armbands Monday, although England’s Harry Kane wore the FIFA-approved “No Discrimina­tion” armband in the match with Iran.

NETHERLAND­S STRIKES LATE TO BEAT SENEGAL >> Louis van Gaal’s gambles at both ends of the field paid off for the Netherland­s.

Up front, Memphis Depay returned from injury as a second-half substitute to help spark the attack into life as the Netherland­s scored two late goals to beat Senegal 2-0 Monday at the World Cup.

At the back, Netherland­s goalkeeper Andries Noppert pulled off three key saves to keep the African champions at bay after Van Gaal decided to give him his internatio­nal debut in a key World Cup game and just two months after he was called into the national squad for the first time.

SAKA, RASHFORD HELP ENGLAND ROUT IRAN >> When Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford last walked off the field at a major internatio­nal soccer tournament, they were bombarded with racist abuse.

Three goals for England in the team’s opening match at this year’s World Cup was their immediate riposte.

Saka scored two before giving way to Rashford, who added another in the second half of England’s 6-2 rout of Iran on Monday.

College basketball

AP TOP 25: VIRGINIA CLIMBS TO NO. 5, UNC AND HOUSTON 1-2 >> Virginia had the difficult task of playing two ranked teams while grieving a tragedy that shook the Cavaliers and the rest of their campus.

Playing a week after three football players were shot to death on a bus, Virginia won the Continenta­l Tire Main Event in Las Vegas over No. 16 Illinoisaf­ter taking down No. 7 Baylor. The wins vaulted the Cavaliers from No. 16 to fifth in The Associated Press Top 25 released Monday.


FALCONS’ PITTS SIDELINED WITH KNEE INJURY >> Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts has a knee injury that will sideline him “in the short term,” coach Arthur Smith said Monday.

Smith added that it’s too early to know if Pitts, the No. 4 overall draft pick last year and a Pro Bowl pick as a rookie, will be placed on injured reserve.

“(General manager) Terry (Fontenot) and I will talk through the next 48 hours, and until we get confirmati­on from the full set of medical opinions and until everybody’s on the same page, then we’ll decide if we need to make a move or not,” Smith said.

GIANTS LOSE ROOKIE RECEIVER WAN’DALE ROBINSON TO ACL INJURY >> New York Giants rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson will miss the rest of the season after tearing an ACL during a loss to the Detroit Lions.

Coach Brian Daboll announced the injury Monday, less than 24 hours after the second-round draft pick hurt his knee late in the 31-18 loss to the Lions. The injury came in Robinson’s best NFL game: He had nine catches for 100 yards, both career highs.

Coming into the game at MetLife Stadium, the Kentucky product had 14 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. This is his second knee injury this season. He hurt an MCL in the season opener and missed four games.

Fellow receiver Sterling Shepard also tore an ACL in a game at MetLife against Dallas on Sept. 26.

NEW MEXICO POLICE: PLANNED ATTACK LED TO UNIVERSITY SHOOTING >> New Mexico investigat­ors say a University of New Mexico student conspired with two other students and a teenage girl to lure a visiting New Mexico State University basketball player onto campus, leading to a shootout that left the UNM student dead and the player wounded.

The investigat­ion into the shooting early Saturday continued Monday, with New Mexico State Police confirming that they have arrested and charged the teen with aggravated battery and conspiracy, but that it was too early to say whether others would face charges.

Police identified Brandon Travis as the University of New Mexico student who was fatally shot and accused of planning the assault. Police have identified the other two students, but their names have not been released.

Women’s basketball

SOUTH CAROLINA, STANFORD TOP WOMEN’S TOP 25 >> South Carolina remained

No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll Monday after a chaotic week that saw half of the top 10 teams lose at least one game.

The Gamecocks again were the unanimous choice, receiving all 29 votes from a national media panel after edging No. 2 Stanford in an overtime thriller Sunday. South Carolina has now won 16 consecutiv­e games against ranked teams dating to a 2021 loss in the Final Four to Stanford, which remained second in this week’s poll.

UConn moved up two spots to third after beating then-No. 3 Texas and 10th-ranked N.C. State last week. Ohio State is fourth and Iowa State is fifth. CONNECTICU­T SUN HIRES WHITE AS HEAD COACH >> The Connecticu­t Sun hired Stephanie White to be their new head coach on Monday.

White succeeds Curt Miller, who left to coach Los Angeles last month. She has a combined 15 seasons of experience as a player and coach in the WNBA, most recently as the head of the Indiana Fever in 2015-2016.

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