Alan Rothenberg, chairman of World Cup USA 1994, has backed off on his Feb. 18 request to keep alcohol from being sold before and during games in the nine cities where the five-week tournament will be played this summer.
"I don't advocate the ban of alcoholic beverages at World Cup matches," Rothenberg said at a Tuesday news conference in New York. "I favor a responsible alcohol policy."
The contract between World Cup USA 1994 and the Rose Bowl, site of the final, gives concessions and novelties to the organization, according to Dave Jacobs, interim general manager at the Rose Bowl. Hence, a ban on alcohol would involve a large amount of lost revenue.
Alcohol was banned from the 12 World Cup stadiums in Italy four years ago, and some Italian authorities stopped sales in entire cities before high-risk games.
Rothenberg, who is heading a new U.S. soccer league that will start play next year, also announced that the Major Soccer League will be televised by ABC and ESPN.
Soccer player Diego Maradona appeared in court in Argentina to face accusations of shooting at journalists with a compressed-air rifle.
Maradona, 33, has acknowledged firing at reporters and photographers outside his home Feb. 2, but he did not comment on the closed hearing.
The Cincinnati Bengals signed safety Louis Oliver to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. . . . The Washington Redskins have agreed to terms with Dallas Cowboy offensive lineman John Gesek on a contract reportedly worth $3.6 million over three years.
The Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets swapped defensemen, with the Oilers sending Dave Manson and a draft pick to the Jets for Boris Mironov, center Mats Lindgren, who is playing in Sweden, and two draft picks. . . . Center Craig Janney, awarded by an arbitrator to Vancouver as partial compensation for the St. Louis Blues' signing of free agent Petr Nedved, said he wouldn't report to the Canucks.
Scott Haskin, the Indiana Pacers' top pick in the 1993 draft, has had surgery on his right knee and will be sidelined the rest of the season.
Xavier University has accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic 10 Conference beginning with the 1995-96 season. Xavier currently is in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
Names in the News
Bai Xiuyu of China broke her 3-day-old short-course world record in the women's 50-meter backstroke, winning in 27.62 seconds in a World Cup competition at Malmo, Sweden. . . . Buddy Rosar, who set a major league record for consecutive errorless games by a catcher at 147 and played for four American League teams, died in Rochester, N.Y., at 78.