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Blatter: Confederations Cupin Brazil was a success

FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Monday declared the Confederations Cup a success despite clashes between police and protesters near some matches.

As host nation Brazil was beating Spain 3-0 in Sunday’s final of the 2014 World Cup warmup tournament, police officers were using tear-gas canisters and stun grenades outside Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.

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Blatter said he was “not going to discuss” police actions to repel protests outside some of the stadiums in Brazil over the last two weeks.

“Thanks to all those who have helped to make this competition such a success despite … of all this unrest and protests,” Blatter said.

Many of Brazil’s anti-government protesters expressed anger at the lack of investment in public services compared with the billions of dollars being spent on next year’s World Cup.

“Football is connecting people in the stadia and connecting people outside the stadia and … I am sure that we will have a wonderful World Cup next year,” Blatter said at a news conference.

Asked if World Cup matches would be halted if tear gas was troubling the teams, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said, “Anytime the 22 players on the pitch cannot play, then you have to stop.”

Valcke experienced the effects of tear gas during one match and said it is impossible to stop it from drifting into stadiums.

“What you do want to do? To put volunteers (blowing) around the stadium?” Valcke asked. “You want us to put some big fans in order to push (it) away?”

Chivas USA adds Bocanegra

U.S. national-team captain Carlos Bocanegra has signed with Chivas USA of Major League Soccer.

The 34-year-old center back who spent last season with Racing Santander of Spain, where he was on loan from Scottish team Rangers, will join California-based Chivas USA in Philadelphia to prepare for a July 12 match against the Union.

Chivas USA traded a first-round draft pick in 2014 and an international roster spot to Toronto FC, which owned the first shot at acquiring Bocanegra.

Ethiopia is penalized

Ethiopia had three points taken away by FIFA in World Cup qualifying for using an ineligible player in a match against Botswana.

FIFA officials said Ethiopia forfeited its 2-1 victory in Botswana on June 8 because Minyahile Beyene played in that match when he was suspended for receiving two yellow cards in earlier qualifiers. FIFA has awarded the match to Botswana 3-0.

Minyahile was allowed to compete because of an administrative blunder where officials “forgot” he was suspended, the Ethiopian Football Federation said.


PGA Tour to follow ban

PGA Tour officials said they would follow a new rule that bans the anchored putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions, asking instead for a temporary reprieve for those who play golf for fun.

The announcement after a PGA Tour board meeting is the final piece of confirmation from a major golf organization for Rule 14-1b, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2016, when the next “Rules of Golf” is published. The rule makes it illegal for players to attach the end of the club to their body while making a stroke.

The wrinkle that came out of the Tour’s meeting was asking the R&A and USGA to give amateurs more time to adjust away from the anchored stroke.


Man agrees to face charge

A man arrested in Florida agreed to return to Massachusetts to face a charge in the murder case against former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Ernest Wallace, 41, faces a charge of accessory after the fact in the slaying of semipro player Odin Lloyd, 27.

Prosecutors say Wallace and another man, Carlos Ortiz, were in the car with Hernandez, 23, when the three men picked up Lloyd on June 17, drove him to an industrial park and shot him five times. They have not said who fired the shots.


• The NFL New York Giants and receiver Victor Cruz, 26, will have a long-term deal in place before the start of training camp, according to multiple media reports.

• Two Texas A&M defensive backs were suspended from team activities after being charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief.

College Station police said Deshazor Everett, 21, and Floyd Raven, 20, were charged after an April 7 fight at an apartment complex.

• Progress reportedly is being made in meetings to have NHL players compete in next year’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

• It will cost them $24 million, but the NHL New York Islanders are planning to buy out the remaining eight years of oft-injured goaltender Rick DiPietro’s contract, a team official said.

• The U.S. Olympic Committee has hired Jon Denney as chief development officer and president of its new fundraising arm.

Seattle Times news services

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