Sport in Short: American Football

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THE New York Giants yesterday fired their head coach, Ray Handley. The Giants had won 14 of 32 games under Handley, who replaced Bill Parcells following the team's Super Bowl victory over Buffalo in January 1991. No successor was named although the Boston College coach, Tom Coughlin, and Dallas Cowboys' defensive co-ordinator, Dave Wannstedt, are considered the leading candidates.

JIM KELLY, the Buffalo Bills quarterback, will miss his team's play-off game at home to Houston on Sunday. Kelly injured his knee in Buffalo's final game of the regular season last Sunday.

MARK GASTINEAU, the former New York Jets defensive end turned boxer, was being held without bail in Phoenix, Arizona, yesterday to face a drug charge.