Originally created 06/20/06

Event's ratings positive

NEW YORK - The United States' 1-1 tie with Italy on Saturday was the highest-rated, first-round World Cup game on ABC since 1994.

The game earned a 4.3 fast national rating, the highest rating for a World Cup game on ABC since the 1998 final in which France beat Brazil got a 5.7. It's also the highest-rated, first-round game on the network since U.S.-Romania in 1994 got a 6.8 rating.

The 2002 World Cup was played in South Korea and Japan, meaning most of the games were on television in the United States in the middle of the night or the early morning.

Each rating point represents about 1.08 million households.

I'M SORRY: In Oehringen, Germany, Australian winger Harry Kewell regrets yelling at the referee after the Socceroos' loss to Brazil, said John O'Neill, the country's top soccer official, adding that he hoped FIFA will not sanction the player.

"The incident was very unfortunate, it shouldn't have happened. Harry regrets it. He's very remorseful," the Football Federation Australia CEO said.

German referee Markus Merk noted in his game report that Kewell had insulted him, FIFA officials said. Merk forwarded the matter to the disciplinary committee.

O'Neill said the Australians were preparing a written response to FIFA.

OUCH: In Goettingen, Germany, Jared Borgetti will miss Mexico's Group D finale against Portugal on Wednesday with a torn left thigh muscle, though the team hopes to have him back if it qualifies for the World Cup's second round.

FAKE TICKETS: In Frankfurt, Germany, a 23-year-old man from England has been arrested with 91 forged World Cup tickets in his possession.

Two other Britons were provisionally arrested on suspicion of dealing illegally in tickets.


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