David Beckham won't be punished by England's soccer federation for intentionally getting a yellow card in a World Cup qualifying game.

The Football Association said yesterday that there was "insufficient evidence" to pursue a case against Beckham, who acknowledged he deliberately fouled defender Ben Thatcher in England's 2-0 victory over Wales on Oct. 9 at Old Trafford in Manchester, England.

Beckham, who already was carrying a yellow card from a previous game, said he did it in order to get another yellow that would automatically suspend him for England's game four days later at Azerbaijan.

Beckham had broken a rib moments earlier in a collision with Thatcher and realized he would have to sit out the next match anyway.

Beckham was severely criticized by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and others for violating the spirit of fair play. Blatter asked the FA to take action. . . .

D.C. United defender Ryan Nelsen was fined $100 by MLS's disciplinary committee for a showing a lack of respect for the game. Nelsen was disciplined for swinging his forearm and hitting Eddie Gaven during a stoppage in play in United's 3-2 victory over the MetroStars last Sunday. The fine corresponds to the amount equivalent to a fine for a yellow card given to a player.

* BASKETBALL: Describing the job as exhilarating and exhausting, Val Ackerman resigned after eight years as WNBA president to devote more time to her family.

"It was entirely my decision, and it was a very difficult one," Ackerman said. "I think of the WNBA as my third child. It requires a great deal of time and energy. I felt very strongly it was the right decision for my two daughters."

Ackerman, 44, and her husband, Charlie Rappaport, a lawyer, live in New York with two daughters. Ackerman will stay on until Feb. 1 and help find a successor.

* TENNIS: Former champion Venus Williams was pushed to two tiebreakers over two hours by 16-year-old qualifier Ana Ivanovic of Serbia-Montenegro before reaching the Swisscom Challenge quarterfinals in Zurich.

The seventh-seeded Williams edged Ivanovic, 7-6 (13-11), 7-6 (8-6), and will meet Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova today. . . .

Andre Agassi breezed past fellow American Vince Spadea, 6-1, 6-3, to reach the quarterfinals in the Madrid Masters.

* FOOTBALL: The Scottish Claymores NFL Europe franchise has folded because of falling attendance, leaving the league with only one team outside of Germany (the Amsterdam Admirals). The Claymores had been in the league since 1995. The team averaged attendance of 10,800 over 10 seasons, but the numbers have dropped the past three years.

* OBITUARY: Todd Holloway, who played more minutes than any basketball player in Texas A&M history and still holds the career record for steals in conference play, has died. Holloway, 39, died of a heart attack Wednesday in his home town of Albany, N.Y., the university said in a news release.

-- From News Services