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Sports in brief

SOCCERGay group wants Blatter apology

A leading international gay rights group demanded an official apology from FIFA Tuesday following Sepp Blatter's comment about homosexual fans traveling to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. The president of the world soccer governing body said Monday that gay fans "should refrain from any sexual activities" during the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexual behavior is illegal. Juris Lavrikovs, communications director for the European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, said the comments were "very unfortunate and have left people deeply offended.

BASEBALLA's reach deal with Matsui

The Oakland Athletics signed designated hitter Hideki Matsui to a $4.25 million, one-year contract after he passed a physical. Oakland formally introduced Matsui in a news conference attended by more than 100 media members - mostly Japanese - and featuring 17 television cameras.

Free-agent first baseman Lyle Overbay reached a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, returning to the NL after five seasons with Toronto. Overbay, 34 next month, hit 20 home runs and 37 doubles last year with the Blue Jays . . . Pinch hitter Matt Stairs has agreed to a non-guaranteed, minor league contract with the Washington Nationals. He turns 43 in February. Stairs holds the career record with 23 pinch-hit homers, 15 more than any other active player.


Puerto Rico courts Pitino

Carlos J. Beltrain, the president of the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation, says the national team is in "very advanced talks" with Louisville's Rick Pitino about coaching the club in pre-Olympic qualifying next summer.

Vols go down; Harris has 16

No. 7 Tennessee was upset by Oakland, 89-82. The Vols' Tobias Harris, of Dix Hills, had 16 points and six rebounds . . . Samantha Prahalis of Commack had eight assists in Ohio State's 87-55 win over USC Upstate.

NHLFlyers break Penguins' streak

Scott Hartnell scored a power play goal in the third period to give host Philadelphia a 3-2 win over Pittburgh and end the Penguins' 12-game winning streak. - AP


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