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Restrictions rile media coalition

An international coalition of newspapers and news agencies expressed "deep regret and dismay" Thursday at FIFA's decision to impose media restrictions at this summer's World Cup.

The World Association of Newspapers said it would explore legal action after soccer's governing body refused to lift the embargo on use of photographs over the Internet during the June 9-July 9 tournament in Germany.

WAN said the restrictions are "both an interference in editorial freedom and independence and a clear breach of the right to freedom of information as protected by numerous international conventions."

WAN represents 18,000 papers and the world's major news agencies, including the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence-France Presse.

U.S. TO MISS NOONAN: Pat Noonan will miss 3-5 weeks with a right hamstring injury, likely causing him to miss two exhibition games next month for the U.S. national team. He was replaced on the roster by Real Salt Lake midfielder Chris Klein for Wednesday's game against Poland at Kaiserslautern, Germany.

TENNIS

Rain halts play in Dubai

Top seed Amelie Mauresmo led Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-2 in a first-set tiebreaker before rain stopped the quarterfinals of the Dubai Women's Open. The quarterfinals - including Maria Sharapova vs. Martina Hingis - will be completed today followed by the semifinals.

ABN AMRO: Olivier Rochus joined his brother Christophe in the quarterfinals in Rotterdam, Netherlands, by ousting third seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4. Three-time finalist Tim Henman lost to teenage qualifier Novak Djokovic 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

BRAZIL OPEN: Juan Monaco beat fellow Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semifinals in Costa Do Sauipe. Alberto Martin, Olivier Patience and Nicolas Massu also advanced.

RMK CHAMPIONSHIPS: Robin Soderling topped defending champion Kenneth Carlsen 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in the second round in Memphis. No. 6 seed Tommy Haas beat Vincent Spadea 7-6 (9-7), 6-1.

DAVIS CUP: The United States will play its April 7-9 quarterfinal against Chile on grass in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

ET CETERA

HORSES: The owner of Kentucky Derby hopeful Lawyer Ron was found dead Tuesday at his home, authorities said. James T. Hines Jr., 69, was found in his indoor swimming pool. Daviess County (Ky.) coroner Bob Howe said it appeared to be a drowning and no foul play was evident. Tampa Bay Downs named James Hartley its trainer of the month.

CYCLING: Juan Jose Haedo sprinted to a close win in the fourth stage of the Tour of California, a 130.4-mile ride from Monterey to San Jose. Floyd Landis of Murrieta, Calif., finished 20th, in the same time as the winner, to keep his 29-second overall lead over David Zabriskie.

Compiled from Times wires.

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