US teams cancel tour of Europe

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The Independent Football

Four Major League Soccer teams have called off plans for a tour of Europe because of scheduling and logistical problems.

The teams – DC United, the Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire and Los Angeles Galaxy – were considering a charity event with European clubs next month. The proceeds would have gone to victims of the terrorist attacks on 11 September. Tottenham, Kaiserslautern, Sampdoria and Monaco had been expected to participate.

An Australian national softball team has cancelled plans for a three-week tour of the United States because of increased security fears caused by the attacks, Softball Australia said yesterday. The 17-player squad was due to leave later this week for a 21-day, 21-game tour of New Mexico and California, mostly against university teams.

Softball Australia's executive director, Neil Dalrymple, said the universities were "generally disappointed" about the cancellation, but understood the decision. "Quite a few individual universities had built up the game and were expecting big crowds, but the feedback suggests they understand why we made the decision," he said.

The Australian squad, made up of second-tier national players between 18 and 25 – many of whom are being groomed for the 2004 Athens Olympics – will tour New Zealand instead.