WORLD SPORTS at 2300 GMT
MANCHESTER, England _ FIFA is backing a 24-hour social media boycott by professional players in England in a protest against racial abuse and revealed plans for a new global campaign to eradicate discrimination in soccer. The players’ boycott starts 0800 GMT Friday. By Rob Harris. SENT: 780 words, photos.
SOC--EUROPA LEAGUE ROUNDUP
Chelsea scored three early goals before surviving a second-half scare to advance to the semifinals of the Europa League on Thursday with a 4-3 home win over Slavia Prague, and Arsenal beat Napoli 1-0 to make the last four for the second straight year. Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt also advanced. By Karel Janicek. SENT: 680 words, photos.
TEN--MONTE CARLO MASTERS
MONACO _ Defending champion Rafael Nadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic eased into the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals on Thursday, remaining on course to meet in the final of the clay-court tournament they've long dominated. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 610 words.
SOC--EUROPEAN SOCCER WEEKEND
Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain get another try at clinching the Italian and French league titles, respectively, this weekend. In England, Manchester City is out for revenge in the last match of its trilogy against Tottenham. SENT: 730 words, photos.
Mauricio Pochettino has collected many plaudits as a coach but never a major trophy. The biggest prize in European club soccer isn't a bad place to start. Pochettino led Tottenham into its first Champions League semifinal after masterminding an overall victory over Manchester City. Tottenham will play Ajax for a place in the final. By Rob Harris. SENT: 925 words, photos.
SOC--AJAX-BEATING THE SYSTEM
GENEVA _ Ajax thumbed its nose to the money behind the biggest names in soccer by beating them on the field. The Dutch team’s astonishing run to the Champions League semifinals saw Ajax beat both Real Madrid and Juventus along the way. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 850 words, photos.
A Premier League-Champions League double remains a distinct and tantalizing possibility for Liverpool after the team reached the semifinals of Europe's top club competition by beating Porto. By Steve Douglas. SENT: 785 words, photos.
SOC--ITALY SPOTLIGHT-CATENACCIO VICTIMS
ROME _ Nearly 70 years after the tactic was invented, Italian clubs are still struggling to shed their "catenaccio" past. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 740 words, photos.
ROME _ A video has emerged of Lazio fans directing a racist chant at AC Milan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. SENT: 120 words, photos.
MADRID _ Sevilla again took a chance on Joaquin Caparros, and again it paid off. The former sports director, who recently announced he is fighting leukemia, has revived the Spanish club in his second stint as interim coach. By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 600 words, photos.
SOC--FRANCE SPOTLIGHT-PSG STUMBLES
After dominating the French league, Paris Saint-Germain has suddenly gone on a bizarre run of bad form. By Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 680 words, photos.
CHICAGO _ American soccer players are objecting to the decision by the U.S. Soccer Federation to have them play Venezuela at Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, claiming the playing surface is dangerous. SENT: 510 words.
CRI--SOUTH AFRICA-WORLD CUP SQUAD
JOHANNESBURG _ South Africa kept faith in Hashim Amla and gambled on Aiden Markram as both made the Cricket World Cup squad on Thursday. SENT: 395 words, photo.
CRI--PAKISTAN-WORLD CUP SQUAD
ISLAMABAD _ Pakistan dropped out-of-form fast bowler Mohammad Amir and included 18-year-old paceman Mohammad Hasnain in its 15-member World Cup squad on Thursday. By Rizwan Ali. SENT: 540 words, photos.
NEW YORK _ Terence Crawford keeps seeking wins that will earn him more respect. The welterweight champ thinks he has one such fight Saturday against Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 760 words.
ARCADIA, California _ Santa Anita will continue racing through the end of the current meet on June 23, despite objections from animal rights activists who urged the California Horse Racing Board to shutter the historic track in the wake of 23 horse deaths. By Beth Harris. SENT: 400 words, photos.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, South Carolina _ Ireland’s Shane Lowry shot a 6-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the RBC Heritage. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 185 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words.
DENVER _ Calgary heads back home in a precarious situation. The top seed in the West trails Colorado 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Friday night in Calgary. By Pat Graham. SENT: 815 words, photos.
HKW--WOMEN'S PRO HOCKEY-FUTURE
U.S. and Canadian women's hockey players on both sides of the border are mulling their options in a sport whose future is at stake in North America. By John Wawrow. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.
Orlando returned to Florida with home-court advantage. Indiana and Oklahoma City are seeking some home-court magic. A trio of Game 3s in the NBA on Friday night _ Toronto at Orlando, Boston at Indiana and Portland at Oklahoma City _ have three very different story lines. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 855 words, photos.
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