Football: Trouble at home for Romania


THE n football federation (FRF) crossed swords with its coach, Anghel Iordanescu, yesterday by naming the top young player Denis Serban in the squad for the European Under-21 Championship.

Iordanescu has said he wanted Serban kept for 's World Cup squad - as any player taking part in the Under-21 event, which takes place in from 23 to 31 May, would be too tired for France 98.

"At issue here is our country's prestige. wants to win the Under- 21 European finals," the FRF general secretary, Adalbert Kassay, said. The FRF has been engaged for months in skirmishes with Iordanescu, who will quit after the finals in France and take over coaching Greece.


TURKISH police have detained two men in connection with an alleged attempt to fix a match at the weekend that helped determine the league championship.

The arrests came after Sekerspor's goalkeeper, Murat Akarsu, claimed two men had offered him a bribe of about pounds 65,000 to concede a goal in last Sunday's match against second-placed Fenerbahce. Sekerspor's management told Akarsu to continue negotiations with the pair and alerted the police. Fenerbahce denied any link with the detained men.

Fenerbahce drew 1-1, which meant their Istanbul rivals, Galatasaray, clinched the title by beating Istanbulspor 4-1. They have a four-point lead with only one match remaining.


THE former European champions Red Star Belgrade have decided to stop an imminent mass exodus of their top talent. Their board has decided to stop further transfers after three top players, all Yugoslav internationals, signed for foreign clubs.

The cash-strapped club, whose recent derby with Partizan Belgrade drew a record low of 11,000 fans, began selling off players in March in an effort to cover mounting losses. The club profited handsomely from the sale of Dejan Stankovic, Zoran Jovicic and Bratislav Zivkovic, but others will have to wait until their contracts expire.


HANY RAMZY, an Egyptian who plays for the German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, could face charges for performing a Nazi salute during a party, his club said this week.

Doing the salute is outlawed in Germany and the public prosecutor's office is investigating the case. Ramzy has apologised, saying he was not aware of the significance of the gesture.


POLITICIANS in Mexico said this week they may postpone a special session of congress until after the World Cup finals. "Unfortunately, we have to consider factors which are not entirely political, such as football," Francisco Paoli, a legislator for the National Action Party (PAN), said.

Mexico's lower house ended its regular session on 30 April, but legislators had planned to call a special session to pass a series of financial reforms by President Ernesto Zedillo and discuss ways to bring peace to the troubled Chiapas state. "The Interior Ministry has asked us to consider postponing the session until after the World Cup," Leonardo Garcia, another PAN deputy, said.