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Wednesday, October 28, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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P.M. Briefing

Lightning Kills 11 Soccer Players

Seattle Times News Services

Lightning killed 11 members of a Congolese soccer team and injured dozens more people during a weekend match, the Congolese news agency reported today.

The lightning bolt wiped out all the players on the home team in the village of Bena Tshadi, in the south-central Congolese province of Eastern Kasai, the Congolese Press Agency said.

The report could not be independently confirmed.

Local investigators blamed the lightning bolt on witchcraft because none of the players on the opposing team from nearby Basangana village were injured, the agency reported.

Sorcery is often used in the region in an attempt to influence soccer games.

The two teams were tied 1-1 when the lightning struck.

More than 30 people, most of the them standing along the sidelines, were injured by the lightning, but none of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening, the report said.

Witchcraft is often blamed throughout west and central Africa to explain natural phenomenon and illness.

In South Africa over the weekend, six players from a local team were hurt when lightning struck the playing field during a thunderstorm.

-- Nigeria and Ghana claimed two of the last three places in the Women's World Cup field by reaching the final of the African Women's Championship in Lagos, Nigeria.

Nigeria routed Cameroon 6-0, while Ghana beat the Republic of Congo 4-1 in extra time.

The final spot for next year's World Cup finals in the United

States will be decided in a two-leg playoff between Argentina and Mexico.

FOOTBALL

An Auburn University trustee contends former football coach Terry Bowden should not get a $620,000 contract settlement unless someone can show Bowden was pressured to quit.

"If he quit without cause I'm not sure we're supposed to pay him," said John V. Denson. "We're just strapped for money and I would hate to see it paid out without just cause.

"But if he was told by a trustee that said he represented a majority of the trustees and they were going to fire him, I guess he could consider he was fired. The question that needs to be addressed is: Who told him what?

"It's a real mystery as to how Bowden got that idea."

Bowden, who compiled a 47-17-1 record, but opened this year 1-5, announced his resignation Friday.

-- Florida junior linebacker Jevon Kearse said he plans to petition the NFL after the season to see where he would be expected to be taken in next spring's draft.

"If it's high enough in the first round," said Kearse, who is 6 feet 5, 254 pounds. "I'll probably (turn pro). But it depends on how high - not just in the first round."

TENNIS

Boris Becker showed some of his old fire today, beating French Open champion Carlos Moya 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the Eurocard Open in Stuttgart, Germany.

The three-time Wimbledon champ plays a limited schedule but remains a threat on indoor surfaces, which are not Moya's speciality.

Andre Agassi and Marcelo Rios also won on a day when the world's top six players competed in the $2.45 million tournament.

-- Ai Sugiyama of Japan and Anke Huber of Germany advanced to the second round of the Luxembourg Open. Sugiyama recovered from a weak second set to beat Kveta Hrdlickova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Huber defeated Rita Kuti Kis of Hungary 7-5, 6-2.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Alberto Roma, a 7-foot freshman center from Spain, has been declared ineligible for George Washington's season opener by the NCAA. Roma played part of one game for a Spanish club team while other professionals were on the court, a violation of NCAA rules.

AUTO RACING

Winston Cup race driver Dale Jarrett remained in a Phoenix hospital as doctors evaluated how to treat him for gallstones.

Dr. James Magary has not ruled out the possibility that Jarrett will need surgery, but has not ruled out the possibility that Jarrett might be able to drive in Sunday's AC Delco 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.

BOWLING

Tommy Delutz Jr. rolled the second 300 game of the tournament and earned the No. 1 seed for a finals, finishing 232 pins in front of Walter Ray Williams Jr. in the PBA Tour's Bay City Classic in Bay City, Mich.

CYCLING

Kevin Livingston, a strong climber who finished 17th overall in the Tour de France, has been added to the U.S. Postal Service cycling team. He will be reunited with former teammates Lance Armstrong, Frankie Andreu and George Hincapie.

Also on the team will be Glenn Magnusson of Sweden, a sprinter who has won three stages in the Tour of Italy; Dylan Casey, the U.S. time trial champion; New Zealander Julian Dean and Dane Frank Hoj.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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