FA to consider Cantona case

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The Independent Online
Manchester United must wait to hear what action - if any - they and their suspended striker Eric Cantona will face from the Football Association, after the Frenchman's appearance in a practice match last week.

Mike Parry, a spokesman for football's governing body, confirmed yesterday that the FA had written to United, demanding an explanation for Cantona's run-out in a 3-2 win over Rochdale at United's Cliff training ground.

"We became aware of the fact that Eric Cantona had played through newspaper reports and have written to Manchester United asking for their observations," Parry said, "and to ask them under what sort of conditions the match was played.

"The ban imposed on Cantona said that he should be suspended from all football activities until the beginning of October, so we assume Manchester United have a plausible explanation. We'd just like to know what it is - to clear the matter up." Cantona was suspended as a result of his televised assault on a Crystal Palace fan at Selhurst Park in January. The FA will decide what action to take when they have heard from the Old Trafford club.

Blackburn Rovers began their Scandinavian tour yesterday with a 3-1 victory over Norway's Under-21 side in Oslo. Goals from Ian Pearce, Alan Shearer and Jeff Kenna put Rovers three up by the interval with a full-strength team. After the break Rovers fielded several substitutes, including Kevin Gallacher and Nicky Marker, who both missed most of last season with injury.

Coventry City expect to complete the pounds 1.5m signing of Crystal Palace's John Salako today. The 26-year-old former England winger turned down a move to Newcastle last month because it was, apparently, too far north. Ron Atkinson, the Coventry manager, said: "Salako is an entertainer who the fans should take to." Meanwhile, Palace have rejected a pounds 2m bid from Aston Villa for their Welsh international defender, Chris Coleman.

The 41-year-old former England international Trevor Francis, sacked as manager by Sheffield Wednesday at the end of last season, has been offered non-contract playing terms by Sheffield United.

Heart of Midlothian may turn to their caretaker-manager, Eamonn Bannon, after failing to persuade Falkirk's Jim Jefferies to become their new manager in succession to Tommy McLean, who left the Edinburgh club last week. Jefferies decided to stay at Falkirk after being offered an improved seven-year contract.