Referees go back to work — officially
NFL officials ended their labor dispute with the league by approving an eight-year contract with a 112-5 vote Saturday in Irving, Texas, then hustled off to the airport to get to work. Next stop, stadiums around the country. The vote ended a labor spat that created three weeks of increasingly chaotic games run by replacement officials who drew heavy criticism. A regular crew worked Thursday’s Cleveland-Baltimore game with a tentative deal in place. “We’re going to stop talking about CBAs and lockouts and now we’re going to talk about rules and video and getting ourselves ready to work football games.’’ said Scott Green, president of the referees’ association. Green met with the regular officials Friday to go over the contract, then gathered for 30 minutes Saturday morning before approving the contract.
Simon upsets Tipsarevic in semifinals
Gilles Simon upset top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, 6-4, 6-4, to set up an all-French final against Richard Gasquet at the Thailand Open in Bangkok. Gasquet rallied from a set and two breaks down to beat Jarkko Nieminen, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, after the Finn failed to serve out the match when leading, 5-4, in the second set. Simon, who won the Thailand title in 2009, improved to 5-1 against Tipsarevic . . . Second-seeded Juan Monaco outlasted Kei Nishikori, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), to reach the final of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Monaco, looking for his fourth title of the year in Sunday’s final, will face Julien Benneteau, who ousted top-seeded David Ferrer, 6-4, 6-1.
Celski, Smith qualify for World Cup
JR Celski won the 1,000 meters and 1,500 for a sweep of the men’s races at the US Single Distance Short Track Speedskating Championships in Kearns, Utah. Celski clinched a spot on the fall World Cup team, as did Jessica Smith, who remains part of the US National Racing Program. Ten skaters will have automatically qualified when racing concludes Sunday. They have until Oct. 7 to accept. Two discretionary picks won’t be named until after an arbitration hearing regarding a coaching abuse scandal concludes in early October. The skaters have been competing on divided teams because of charges against Jae Su Chun, who was placed on administrative leave by US Speedskating after allegations of verbal, physical, and psychological abuse by at least a dozen national team members.
Suarez leads Liverpool to first victory
Luis Suarez scored a hat trick as Liverpool earned its first win of the English Premier League season, 5-2, at Norwich to ease some of the pressure on new manager Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool had just 2 points in five games going into this weekend after its worst start in more than 50 years, but climbed out of the relegation zone with the win . . . Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale, and Clint Dempsey scored as Tottenham ended 23 years of futility with a 3-2 Premier League win over host Manchester United — its first victory at Old Trafford since 1989 . . . Two stadiums in Moscow will host some 2018 World Cup games, among the 12 arenas finalized by FIFA for the first cup in Russia. The centerpiece will be Moscow’s 89,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the Champions League final in 2008.
Miscellany Povetkin stops Rahman to retain title Undefeated Alexander Povetkin of Russia retained his WBA heavyweight title in Hamburg, Germany, stopping American challenger Hasim Rahman 1:36 into the second round. Referee Gustavo Padilla stopped the fight with Povetkin able to pick his shots at will against the 39-year-old former WBC, IBF, and IBO champion. Povetkin, 33, improved to 25-0 with his 17th knockout. Rahman dropped to 50-8-2 . . . Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard will miss the rest of the year with a broken right big toe, an injury suffered Thursday when he dropped a metal pipe on his foot in the on-deck circle. The injury typically heals after a few weeks . . . Brewers top pitching prospect Wily Peralta, scheduled to start Tuesday against San Diego, was shut down with soreness in his right biceps . . . Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor raced to their third consecutive Lime Rock Park victory in Lakeville, Conn., and Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished seventh to win their third straight Daytona Prototype title and fourth in five years in the Grand-Am Rolex Series season finale.