Scotland

Rangers Official Resigns

Glasgow Rangers Vice President Donald Findlay resigned over reports that he sang anti-Catholic songs after last Saturday's Scottish Cup final with Celtic. Rangers won, 1-0, to complete a domestic sweep of the league title, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup.

Rangers is traditionally a Protestant club and until the late 1980s refused to sign Catholic players. Celtic was founded by a Catholic priest in 1888 and has traditionally been seen as the team of Scotland's Catholic community.

But in recent years the clubs have attempted to defuse the religious and political animosity that has traditionally dogged relations between the clubs. Findlay sang two well-known Loyalist songs -- "The Sash" and "Follow, Follow" at a post-match party at Ibrox stadium, according to the Glasgow Daily Record. In his resignation letter, Findlay said: "The events of Saturday night were a serious misjudgment on my part. It was a private function to celebrate a successful season. It is disappointing that someone attending should have felt it necessary to go to the press. However, even at such a function my conduct was not acceptable and I ought to have realised this. I regret any harm done to the club I care about deeply. I apologize unreservedly for the offense caused to anyone."

Gerry Madden, secretary of the Glasgow Celtic Supporters' Club, said: "Both Celtic and Rangers are doing all they can to eradicate sectarianism and bigotry from football. . . . I don't think Mr. Findlay had any other option but to resign after this came to light."

England

Wedding Bell Blues

Despite being arrested just hours earlier on suspicion of assaulting a photographer, new Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich made it to church on time for his wedding Friday.

Bosnich, who was arrested early Friday after a scuffle at a Birmingham nightclub, got to his wedding to model Sarah Jarrett accompanied by his best man, Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke.

Bosnich arrived at the Coombe Abbey Hotel dressed in a white shirt, tie and gold and black vest, but refused to talk to reporters as he mingled among the 70 guests, many of them Manchester United players.

The 27-year-old Australian is reported to have wrestled a camera from photographer Jamie Jones at the Birmingham Legs Eleven Nightclub.

Australia

Oh Captain,

My Captain

A 19-year-old sailor will captain Australia's latest challenge for the America's Cup.

Sailing veteran Syd Fischer and Sir James Hardy unveiled the new generation challenge syndicate Young Australia 2000 in Sydney on Friday, with hometown sailor James Spithill at the helm.

The team said Spithill is the youngest skipper of an America's Cup entry.

Fischer admitted the impending Sydney Olympics next year affected sponsorship opportunities.

He said he's disappointed not to have built a new boat but said Sydney '95, now berthed in Sydney, will be competitive for the challenger series that begins later this year in Auckland, New Zealand.

Germany

Pippig's Appeal

Distance runner Uta Pippig, banned for two years for failing a drug test, appealed to a panel of the German Athletic Federation on Tuesday.

The three-time Boston Marathon winner spent two hours before the panel and was optimistic afterward.

"I've survived. I'll run again and have a lot of fun," said the 33-year-old German, who lives in Boulder, Colo.

Pippig was banned after she tested positive for abnormally high levels of testosterone, a male sex hormone used by athletes to enhance performance.

If the panel rules against her, Pippig's ban could be extended until April 2000.

Pippig has insisted the abnormalities were caused by a medicine for a viral infection. German drug experts have ruled out such a connection.

Belgium

Rowing World Cup

Britain won the opening Rowing World Cup regatta of the season by a convincing margin ahead of the Netherlands and Denmark last Sunday in Brussels. Victories in the women's coxless pair and men's coxless four and points from nine other finals brought Britain a total of 50 points and its first World Cup regatta victory in the three-year history of the event. The Netherlands finished with 38 points and Denmark with 33 points.

Canada

What About Bobsled?

Ivo Ferriani is the new head coach of the Canadian bobsled team. Ferriani has been head coach of the French team since 1994. He led France to a gold in one four-man and a bronze in one two-man at the world championship this past winter and a bronze at the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Ferriani takes over from Terry Grudzowsky, president of Bobsleigh Canada, who served as interim coach.

Denmark

Laudrup Bids Adieu

Six months after returning home and ending a decade-long career abroad, Brian Laudrup said Monday he was leaving Danish club FC Copenhagen with his playing future in doubt.

Laudrup joined the club in December only three months after signing with English Premier club Chelsea. The 30-year-old striker said in a statement that he quit for "private reasons" and not because of the club's poor play or problems with players or the management. Laudrup left Chelsea saying he was homesick. A few months earlier, he quit Denmark's national team following the World Cup to spend more time with his family.

Egypt

A Visit to Libya

Egypt's Olympic soccer team flew to Libya last Sunday in its first visit since the suspension of U.N. sanctions imposed on Libya in 1992. The game will be held on Monday in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city. Libya's once-formidable national team has not played outside the country since 1992 because of U.N. sanctions that included a ban on international flights and purchase of arms and oil-related equipment. The embargoes were suspended in April.

South America

Deportivo Cali Wins First Leg

Deportivo Cali defeated Palmeiras, 1-0, in an evenly played, physical first leg of the Copa Libertadores final on Wednesday. The homestanding Colombians took the lead in the 42nd minute when forward Victor Bonilla headed home Mayer Candelo's cross. The match was marred by 49 fouls, five cautions and crowd disturbances that forced Palmeiras off the field under the protection of riot police after the game. The second leg will be played June 16 in Sao Paulo.

CAPTION: James Spithill, the youngest ever to skipper in the America's Cup, will be at the helm for the Australian Challenge team.