Football: Sheringham awaits verdict

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GLENN HODDLE will decide today whether to take any action against Teddy Sheringham following revelations that the England striker was seen partying in a Portuguese nightclub at 6.45 in the morning just one week before the start of the World Cup.

The England coach met Sheringham yesterday as his players reported back for training in their final build-up to the World Cup, which starts next week. He plans to see the Manchester United player again today before deciding what action, if any, to take.

The Football Association's director of public affairs, David Davies, said: "Glenn Hoddle has spoken to Teddy Sheringham now that England's World Cup squad is together again. He is establishing all the facts of the situation that was reported in some of today's newspapers.

"The players have trained this afternoon as part of their preparations for France. Glenn and Teddy will speak again tomorrow before any further comment is made."

Hoddle could well find he has little alternative but to punish Sheringham after setting a precedent in his handling of Paul Gascoigne.

Hoddle said he left the controversial Middlesbrough player out of his World Cup squad because he was not fit, but Gascoigne did not help his cause by going out on the town with his show business friends Rod Stewart, Danny Baker and Chris Evans. His dedication to the England cause was questioned after he was pictured eating kebabs in the early hours of the morning after a night out.

Both Sheringham and Gascoigne were involved in the notorious "Dentist's Chair" incident before the 1996 European Championship. Sheringham was photographed having two bottles of spirits emptied into his mouth while sitting on a dentist's chair in a Hong Kong nightclub.

Sheringham's starting place in France is already under threat from Liverpool's Michael Owen and he will not have strengthened his claims in Hoddle's eyes by jetting off to Portugal when the England coach had told his players to relax at home.

Earlier yesterday Sir Bobby Charlton openly questioned the current England squad's off-field discipline. "Every time we think we've got a chance someone seems to turn round and kick us in the teeth." The former England player told a news conference. "People will now be saying: 'England can't do it because they have not got the sort of discipline you need'."

He added: "With behaviour like that you have to wonder whether we can win the World Cup. It's nonsensical. The players should have the sense to know how to behave themselves. Teddy should be embarrassed. He has not acted his age."