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Di Canio faces an FA warning

AN OFFICIAL from the Football Association is to meet the Italian striker Paolo Di Canio after his latest comments about the referee, Paul Alcock.

West Ham's controversial striker cast doubt on Alcock's claims that he suffered physically as a result of Di Canio pushing him over after being sent off while playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal at Hillsborough last September.

The Italian earned an 11-match ban for the offence, and the FA is determined to prevent any further detrimental moves by the Italian by serving a warning to him in person.

"The FA compliance officer, Graham Bean, will be meeting with Paolo Di Canio next week to discuss his remarks with a view to warning him about his future conduct," an FA spokesman said. "We feel that it is obviously time to draw a line under this episode."

Ipswich are prepared to drop a formal complaint about Tottenham's conduct in bringing Stewart Houston to the club to reform his double act with George Graham - but only if the Premiership outfit pay a sizeable compensation fee.

Houston, currently the coach at First Division Ipswich, is set to join Spurs over the weekend as Graham's No 2. The Ipswich chairman, David Sheepshanks, claims he was the subject of an illegal approach a month earlier and made official complaints about the Premiership club's behaviour to the Premier League and Football League a few weeks ago.

The Spurs chairman, Alan Sugar, now appears willing to offer compensation, even though a definite fee - which would not be made public - has not yet been agreed, a truce now seems to have been drawn between the two clubs. "The predicament that we have found ourselves in has left an unpleasant taste and our friends at Tottenham are under no illusions as to our feelings," said Sheepshanks.

But he later added: "Providing that we receive the appropriate courtesy of some form of compensation from Tottenham, which we don't expect there to be a problem with, we are not looking to pursue the complaint."

Paul Merson has spoken of his relief at being reunited with his family after his wife and three children were cut off for seven days after an avalanche hit their skiing resort in Austria."When you've got your own family right in the middle of it, it really scares you to death," he said.

Everton's manager, Walter Smith, hopes to sign Kevin Campbell, currently in dispute with Trabzonspor, on loan for the rest of the season.