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    World Cup referees prepared to take good long look at video reviews

    A view of the video assistant refereeing (VAR) operation room at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Moscow on June 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOVMLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images
    A view of the video assistant refereeing (VAR) operation room at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia International Broadcast Centre in Moscow.

    World Cup referees must ensure all the time used for video review is played at the end of each half — even if a stoppage takes 10 minutes. FIFA’s instructions to more than 100 match officials in Russia were outlined Tuesday, two days ahead of the often-contentious technology making its World Cup debut. ‘‘All the minutes, all the seconds, lost by VAR [video assistant referees] will be added at the end,’’ Massimo Busacca, FIFA head of refereeing, said at a news conference. ‘‘We don’t want to lose any seconds lost by any interruption.’’ Referees can call for reviews of possible clear errors and serious incidents missed in game-changing situations: goals scored, red cards, and penalty awards, plus mistaken identity. The process for reviewing one of the most complex incidents that can be reviewed — a running confrontation involving all players — will take as long as needed. The first referee in the spotlight will be Nestor Pitana of Argentina, who will handle the Russia-Saudi Arabia match in Moscow on Thursday . . . Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup. The Spanish football federation said Madrid had paid an undisclosed amount to trigger the buyout clause included in Lopetegui’s contract. The appointment comes as Lopetegui, 51, is making his final preparations for Spain’s opening match against Portugal in Sochi on Friday.

    Heath leads US women over China

    Tobin Heath scored the go-ahead goal in the 75th minute in her return from January ankle surgery as the US women’s national team beat China, 2-1, in Cleveland to sweep the two-game exhibition series. Three minutes after China tied it at 1 on Li Ying’s fast-break goal, Heath chipped the goalkeeper on a miss hit. Megan Rapinoe put the USWNT ahead in the 35th by heading home Christen Press’s cross at the far post. The United States beat China, 1-0, last Thursday in Sandy, Utah.


    Raptors promote Nurse to head coach

    Nick Nurse has agreed to become the next coach of the Toronto Raptors, a person with direct knowledge told the Associated Press. Nurse, who will turn 51 next month, will be replacing his former boss, Dwane Casey — under whom he spent the past five seasons as a Raptors assistant. Casey was fired after the Raptors were swept out of the second round of this year’s playoffs by Cleveland. The decision comes a month after Casey was let go and one day after he was hired by the Pistons as their new coach . . . . . . Dallas Wings forward Karima Christmas-Kelly will undergo knee surgery and miss the rest of the WNBA season. Christmas-Kelly started Dallas’s first six games this season before missing Friday’s win over Indiana with the injury, and she’s averaging 9.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The surgery will address what the team called an ‘‘osteochondral defect’’ in her right knee and has an expected recovery time of six months.


    Yankees reach down to Double A for starter


    Righthander Jonathan Loaisiga will be brought up from Double A by the New York Yankees to make his major league debut against Tampa Bay on Friday night. The 23-year-old Loaisiga returned last year following Tommy John surgery. He is 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA in six starts at Double A Trenton after starting 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA at Single A Tampa this season, striking out 58 in 45 innings. Loaisiga fills the rotation slot that opened when Masahiro Tanaka injured both hamstrings while sprinting home to score on a sacrifice fly last Friday. Domingo German, who entered the rotation after No. 5 starter Jordan Montgomery tore an elbow ligament, will start Thursday. Yankees ace Luis Severino pitches Saturday . . . Dodgers rookie righthander Walker Buehler, 23, was forced onto the DL for a right rib microfracture, an injury sustained when he was hit by a line drive by Colorado’s Trevor Story on May 21. Buehler remained in that game and went on to make three more starts despite feeling slight discomfort . . . Rays righthander Chris Archer has no timetable for when he will throw off a mound again and could be sidelined through the All-Star break. Archer, 29,has been on the 10-day disabled list since June 3 with a left abdominal strain. He felt discomfort after a 22-pitch mound session Saturday


    US lawmakers try to legislate PEDs

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    US lawmakers introduced a bill that would make it a crime to use or distribute performance-enhancing drugs while competing in international sports events. The bill in the House is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, the Russian lab director who blew the whistle on Russian cheating at the Sochi Olympics. Penalties would include fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and prison sentences of up to 10 years for those who make, distribute, or use banned substances at international events, such as the Olympics . . . Paul Gorham, director of football operations at UMass, died Saturday. He was 57. Gorham was the head coach at Sacred Heart from 2004-11 season before idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease, forced him to step down, and ultimately required him to undergo a double lung transplant and double leg amputation. . . Jordan Scott, the all-time leading rusher in Colgate football history, died while on vacation in Thailand. Scott, 31, had gone missing Friday after jumping into water near a dam in the Ban Ta Khun district south of Bangkok. According to the Bangkok Post, divers located his body on Monday night. Scott, a native of Washington, D.C., rushed for 5,621 yards on 1,240 attempts before graduating in 2009.