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International soccer honors shooting victims in U.S.

December 16, 2012|By Kevin Baxter
  • Queens Park Rangers players, such as Djibril Cisse, right, wore black armbands in remembrance of those who died in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Queens Park Rangers players, such as Djibril Cisse, right, wore black armbands… (Jonathan Brady / Associated…)

Friday's tragic events in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school, was marked around the soccer world this weekend with several teams paying tribute to the victims.

In the English Premier League, four teams -- Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Aston Villa and Liverpool -- wore armbands in remembrance of those who died.

Liverpool and Aston Villa have American owners, which may have influenced their decisions. But the players on Queens Park Rangers decided among themselves to wear the black armbands. And they were rewarded with their first win of the season, a 2-1 upset of Fulham.

In Italy, AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino offered his own tribute after starting his team to a 4-1 win over Pescara. Nocerino, who scored 35 seconds in, said afterward he wanted to "dedicate my goal to the American families of the children killed in the school; my thoughts are only with them."

Nocerino, who has two young children, told reporters he doesn't "know how much the dedication will help the dead American children, but everything I did today was only for them."

And in the U.S. members of the Olympic champion women's team wore white wristbands with a heart and SHES -- for Sandy Hook Elementary School -- written on them. The U.S. then went out and beat China, 4-1, in Boca Raton, Fla., in the final match of its post-London national tour.

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