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CUTTING THE CUP: FIFA TO SHORTEN EVENT BY ABOUT FIVE DAYS

          FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that the 2002 World
     Cup in Japan and South Korea "is likely to be up to a week
     shorter than the current tournament," according to a report
     in USA TODAY.  Blatter said that first-round group games
     "probably would be condensed, allowing the tournament to
     finish in about 28 days.  At 33 days, France 98 is the
     longest ever."  Blatter: "Thirty-three days is really a long
     period for everybody.  To attract world attention for 33
     days is not easy" (USA TODAY, 7/8).
          SEPPING OUT: In Toronto, Chris Young wrote that
     Blatter's "intrusions" during the World Cup "come down every
     few days," as he has "railed about referees not calling the
     new rulebook" and "mused inanely about perhaps needing
     professional referees."  Young: "Imagine David Stern or Gary
     Bettman ripping referees in the midst of a final series.  Or
     changing the rules right before the Stanley Cup.  It
     wouldn't happen and it shouldn't" (TORONTO STAR, 7/8).
          NOTES: FIFA said yesterday that all 240 dope tests
     through the first 60 matches of the World Cup have been
     negative.  Under FIFA rules, two players from each team are
     tested after every match following a random draw made at
     halftime (REUTERS/ESPN SportsZone, 7/8).

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