Iran's national soccer team left for the United States for three exhibition games, including one against the Americans Jan. 16 at the Rose Bowl.
The team will stop first in Frankfurt, Germany, to pick up visas from the U.S. consulate and then fly on to the United States, the daily Abrar reported yesterday.
Iran agreed to the invitation for the exhibition games after the U.S. Soccer Federation accepted Iranian conditions that fingerprint formalities be waived, the paper said.
Because of a history of hostility dating back 20 years, Iranians entering the United States often are fingerprinted by U.S. immigration officials.
The Iranian team meets Mexico Jan. 9 in Oakland, Calif., Ecuador Jan. 12 in Los Angeles and the United States in Pasadena, Calif. That game will be the first meeting between the teams since Iran beat the United States, 2-1, at the 1998 World Cup in France. . . .
Blood and urine samples taken from Diego Maradona tested positive for cocaine use, a day after he was hospitalized for high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.
Maximo Costa Rocha, police chief in the Uruguayan province of Moldando, said a initial round of testing had shown signs of "excessive cocaine" in the former soccer star's system.
Rocha said Maradona had not been detained in the case but added an investigation started, as is required by Uruguayan law when someone tests positive for drug use.
Maradona remained in intensive care, in stable condition following treatment, his doctor said. . . .
Nicolas Anelka, Raul Gonzalez and Savio scored goals as Real Madrid defeated Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia, 3-1, in the opening match of the World Club Championships in Sao Paulo. In the other game, Brazil's Corinthians beat Morocco's Raja Casablanca, 2-0, on goals by Luizao in the 49th minute and Fabio Luciano in the 61st.
European champion Manchester United plays North American titlist Necaxa (Mexico) today.
Jail Time for Brown
Former football great Jim Brown was sentenced to six months in jail for refusing to accept terms of his probation for vandalizing his wife's car.
Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Dale S. Fischer stayed the jail term pending appeal.
Defense attorney Frank Williams Jr. asked the judge to reconsider Brown's misdemeanor vandalism sentence, saying conditions of probation that included domestic violence counseling and community service were inappropriate.
The daughter of boxing great Joe Frazier formally has entered the ranks of women's professional boxing.
Jacqueline Frazier-Lyde has a license, a promoter, two trainers, a fight date and a guaranteed $25,000 purse, the most for a debut in women's boxing.
The 38-year-old lawyer and mother of three will become a professional boxer at the Scranton Cultural Center Feb. 6. Her goal is to fight Laila Ali--the 21-year-old daughter of Muhammad Ali--in September, which is the 25th anniversary of the "Thrilla in Manila," the last and most famous of the Ali-Frazier trilogy.
IOC Moves Meeting
The International Olympic Committee is moving next month's board meeting from the United States to Sydney.
The meeting Feb. 16-18 was to have been held in Colorado Springs. The IOC said the U.S. meeting will be rescheduled for 2001, leading to the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002.
If IOC members enter the United States, they could be subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the Salt Lake City bribery scandal.
Van Dyken on Mend
U.S. gold medalist Amy Van Dyken was resting after what doctors called successful follow-up surgery to remove scar tissue around the rotator cuff of her right shoulder. The 27-year-old swimmer was expected to undergo 8 to 12 weeks of rehabilitation and be back in the water for training in March.