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Pele's son is arrested again; more World Cup tickets to sell.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Thursday, February 2, 2006) -- Edson Cholbi de Nascimento, the son of Brazilian soccer legend Pele, was arrested again today, this time along with six others on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, local police said.

Nascimento, who goes by the nickname Edinho, was taken into custody in his coastal hometown of Santos, where he played professionally and his father became famous with the local club.

With Pele, Santos won two world club championships and Brazil captured three World Cup titles.

A judge in Praia Grande, a nearby beach town, ordered the seven to be detained.

Edinho, 34 and a former goalkeeper with Santos, was arrested last June, charged with being involved with a large drug trafficker. He was one of 50 arrested in the crackdown.

He is not yet received a trial date for that arrest, but spent six months in jail before being released under his own recognizance in December. According to Reuters, police say they have recordings of telephone calls in which Edinho negotiates how to invest money with a drug kingpin, who is now in jail.

In 1999, Edinho was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter for his role in a 1992 car race through city streets that left an elderly motorcyclist dead. Last July, that decision was overturned on appeal without him spending ant time in jail for the conviction.

Edinho has admitted to using marijuana, but has denied involvement with drug trafficking. On December 27, Pele accompanied his son to a Sao Paolo, Brazil, drug rehabilitation clinic.

Pele, considered by many the greatest soccer player of all time and a worldwide hero, particularly in Brazil, has stood by his son through the travails and wept publicly when he visited Edinho in jail.


Additional World Cup tickets to go on sale

FRANKFURT, Germany -- A last chance for the public to obtain World Cup tickets comes on February 15, but the tickets won't last long.

World governing body FIFA said 140,000 more tickets than originally anticipated will be made available to the public. The capacity at some of the 12 World Cup stadiums has been increased, leading to the final sale. Of the 2.6 million tickets already sold, 70 percent have been sold to the public in three phases.

As an indication of the how greatly demand outweighs supply for this summer's Cup June 9-July 9 in Germany, approximately 300,000 tickets were distributed yesterday among 677,900 applicants, who requested 6 million tickets.

The 31 visiting nations saw their allotment increased by more than 100,000 to 592,000, the FIFA web sie said. Sponsors saw their total sliced by 65,000 to 490,000.

According to the United States Soccer Federation web site, the USSF received less than 10,000 total tickets for its three Group E matches and had requests for nearly 40,000 through a private sale. There was no sale to the general public.

The USSF requested an additional ticket allocation, but has not heard if it will receive any more tickets.

"We knew from the beginning that the demand would exceed the supply and that, unfortunately, some of our fans would be disappointed," USSF director of communications Jim Moorhouse said on the web site. "The overwhelming response was incredible and shows the true dedication of our fans."

According to FIFA, 1.1 million tickets have been sold through its web site.


Fans vote Lampard as England's best in 2005

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard was voted England "Player of the Year" for 2005, beating Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard and Mancheter United striker Wayne Rooney.

Lampard won the award for the second straight year. "The recognition you always crave is from the fans, especially the England fans who follow us wherever we go," Lampard told the English Football Association web site. "To win it last year was great, but to win it again this year, when there are so many other fantastic individuals in the England set-up, is a brilliant feeling for me."

The FA said 20,000 fans in the country took part with Lampard getting 29 percent of the votes, Gerrard receiving 18 percent and Rooney 16 percent. Newcastle United forward Michael Owen pulled in 12 percent of the ballots and Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham took in 10 percent.

"I think the fans must have had a very hard time choosing because we are lucky enough to have a number of really outstanding individual players," England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson told the FA web site. 'But you can't argue with their choice. He is one of the most improved players that I have seen in the last few years. He gets better and better all the time.

"Above everything, though, Frank is a very good professional. He has been brilliant for us in 2005. He is a complete midfielder. Hopefully he will be as brilliant as he can for us in the summer (in the World Cup)."


Slumping Newcastle fires Souness

NEWCASTLE, England -- Newcastle United fans finally got what they wanted when manager Graeme Souness was fired.

On Wednesday, United fell for the fifth time in six matches in the English Premier League, defeated 3-0 by host Manchester City.

Youth academy manager Glenn Roeder assumed the first team reins "for the immediate future," the team's web site said.

Striker and captain Alan Shearer, who is expected to retire after the season, is seen as a leading candidate to become manager.

Replacing the fired Bobby Robson, Souness, 52, took over in September 2004 and led Newcastle to a disappointing 14th place

Battling a rash of injuries, United has sunk to 15th place this season at 7-11-5 with 26 points, six points above the relegation zone. The signing of Michael Owen for $28.39 million from Real Madrid in August didn't help because the England striker hasn't played this season, his broken foot expected to keep him out until next month.

"I am obviously saddened at the way things have worked out at St James' Park," Souness said in a statement released by his lawyers. "I have enjoyed living and working in Newcastle and my family and I have been made to feel particularly welcome by the Geordies (locals)."

Souness is the second EPL coach to be sacked this season, following Alain Perrin, a Frenchman, by Portsmouth on November 24.

The fans have been virtually begging for Souness to be sent packing. "The way results have gone, (chairman Freddy) Shepherd had no option but to part company with him," Frank Gilmore of the Newcastle United Independent Supporters' Association told the BBC. "I would say that the vast majority of the supporters would be happy."

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