Bruce will sit out United's Cup semi-final

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The Independent Online
Steve Bruce will miss Manchester United's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace after being banned by the Football Association yesterday. The United captain will also miss Sunday's match against Leeds, and was fined £750 by a Football Association disciplinary commission for reaching 41 penalty points.

The Southampton defender, Francis Benali, received a three-match ban and £350 fine for reaching the 41-point mark, while the Norwich midfielder, Mike Milligan, was fined £500 and received a two-match ban.

The Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, yesterday confirmed that Ian Rush is almost certain to be fit for Sunday's Coca-Cola Cup final against Bolton at Wembley. Rush pulled a hamstring in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Manchester United on 19 March.

The Bolton Wanderers manager, Bruce Rioch, has become the favourite to take over as manager at Arsenal. William Hill reported "a flood of bets" yesterday on Rioch, whose odds were cut from 10-1 to 2-1 favourite. A spokesman for the bookmakers, Graham Sharpe, said: "There comes a time when decisions are made and you can't keep them quiet. The last time something similar happened was with Terry Venables and England."

On-loan Dominic Matteo is at the centre of a transfer mix-up that could send Sunderland deeper into relegation trouble. The struggling First Division club have been charged by the Football League with fielding an unregistered player [Matteo] in last week's defeat at Barnsley. Sunderland, who may lose some points, must explain to a hearing in York this afternoon why they played Matteo when the signing had not been lodged with the League or the FA.

The former Bristol City manager, Russell Osman, has been appointed "football advisor" at Plymouth Argyle until the end of the season, following Wednesday's resignation of the player-manager, Steve McCall. The 35-year-old former England defender joined the struggling Second Division club as reserve-team player-coach on non-contract terms last week.

Reg Burr is to step down after nine years as chairman of Millwall. However, he insists his decision is not linked to a south London newspaper receiving death threats against himself and his family. Burr was informed and immediately called in police, who are investigating the threats, which were apparently made because the writer deplored last week's £2m sale to Liverpool of Mark Kennedy.

Dundee United yesterday denied that the departure earlier this month of their manager, Ivan Golac, was linked to "bung" allegations surrounding his signing of the Danish goalkeeper, Henrik Jorgensen. United have been asked by the Scottish Football Association to account for allegations that Viborg, Jorgensen's previous club, received only £20,000 of the published fee of £180,000 for Jorgensen. Viborg have insisted they were paid in full.

The boxing and snooker promoter, Barry Hearn, yesterday completed his purchase of Leyton Orient. The former manager of Wales, Terry Yorath, has resigned as manager and director of another struggling Second Division club, Cardiff City, after the consortium he was part of failed in its bid to buy the Ninian Park outfit. The physiotherapist, Jimmy Goodfellow, becomes caretaker manager.

Rioch's family affair, page 46

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