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Sports Briefs

Published:Friday | April 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM


move by UEFA

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP):

For the first time in its history, European football's governing body responded to a team's protests by unexpectedly ordering part of a match to be replayed because of a referee's error.

Five days after the original game, the under-19 women's teams of England and Norway played the final minute again yesterday - starting by retaking the penalty kick that prompted the controversy.

Englishwoman Leah Williamson sent the spot kick into the bottom left of the Norwegian goal to make it 2-2. And the game had barely kicked off again when the referee blew the final whistle, and both England and Norway celebrated qualifying for the U19s European Championship.

England had similarly scored its penalty on Saturday in Belfast in the sixth minute of injury time but it was disallowed when an England player encroached the area. However, German referee Marija Kurtes then wrongly awarded a free kick to Norway instead of retaking the penalty.

Pele 'happily recovered'


Brazilian football legend PelÈ says he has "happily recovered" from a recent health scare.

The 74-year-old spent time in intensive care late last year because of a urinary tract infection and had to undergo physiotherapy to recover some of the muscle mass that he lost during his time in the hospital.

Pele talked about his health while visiting a slum in Santiago on Wednesday.

The three-time World Cup champion said his recovery feels like "the most important medal", but he joked that although fit, he's not ready to play in the Copa America that kicks off in Chile in June.

Pele is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He is a national hero in Brazil and remains a global ambassador for the game.


Sports bodies give Swiss economy big lift

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP):

A new study says the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other international sports organisations contribute more than US$1 billion to the Swiss economy every year.

The study by the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology covers the

economic impact of 45 sports bodies in Switzerland over a six-year period from


It found the sports organisations generated an annual overall impact of 1.07 billion Swiss francs (US$1.10 billion).

The biggest Swiss-based sports organisations are the IOC, FIFA and UEFA.

The study says the 45 bodies employ more than 2,000 people in Switzerland, with 65 per cent working for FIFA, the IOC and UEFA.

The study was released to coincide with today's 100th anniversary of the IOC being headquartered in Lausanne.


Belgium rise to No. 3

ZURICH, Switzerland (AP):

Belgium rose to their highest-ever spot at No. 3 in the latest FIFA monthly rankings, which are still led by World Cup winners Germany.

Argentina are second and Belgium traded places with No. 4 Colombia.

Brazil, who beat France in a friendly last month, rose to No. 5 and swapped places with the Netherlands at No. 6.

Switzerland and Spain return to the top 10, at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively.

Costa Rica fell two spots to No. 15 but still lead CONCACAF nations. Mexico rose three to No. 18 and the United States are at No. 27, up five places.

Algeria are Africa's best at No. 21, and No. 40 Iran are the best-ranked Asian team.