Football: After 13 years Anderlecht are punished by Uefa

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The Independent Online
Anderlecht have finally paid the price for bribing the referee in their Uefa Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest 13 years ago and will be banned from the next European competition they qualify for.

European football's governing body, which had previously said it could do nothing because the offence had been committed more than 10 years ago, imposed the ban yesterday.

Uefa has taken the action after admissions by Roger Vanden Stock, the chairman of the Belgian side, that the club, under his father's chairmanship, paid pounds 20,000 to the Spanish referee after their 1984 semi-final.

Vanden Stock said his father had given Guruceta Muro, killed in a car crash in 1987, "a loan" the day after the second leg of the tie, which Anderlecht won 3-0 to wipe out Forest's 2-0 first-leg lead. The English club had scored a disallowed goal in the second leg, which television replays showed was legitimate.

Anderlecht are also facing legal action after several former Forest players announced last week that they are to start legal action against them.

Manchester United have sent a video to the Football Association which they claim shows Gary Pallister should not have been sent off against Bolton.

The England defender was dismissed by the referee Paul Durkin following a clash with Bolton's Nathan Blake in the first half of Saturday's goalless draw at the Reebok Stadium. It was Pallister's first red card in his eight years with the champions.

The FA has said it is still waiting for the referee's report. Durkin said: "I write my report from what I saw during the game and not after watching television."

Manchester City cut the asking price for Uwe Rosler to pounds 1.3m yesterday in an attempt to set up a quick sale to Everton. The German striker has refused a new contract at Maine Road and can leave for nothing at the end of the season, prompting the drop in his valuation.

Michael Duberry, Chelsea's highly rated young defender, has been told his ankle is not broken, but he may still face a long lay-off if there is ligament damage.

Duberry was taken to hospital for X-rays on his left ankle which he hurt in an insignificant-looking challenge by Luis Boa Morte during Sunday's defeat by Arsenal.

Frank Sinclair, who dropped his shorts to celebrate scoring Chelsea's opening goal of the season at Coventry on 9 August, was fined pounds 750 and censured by the FA yesterday.

Benfica are ready to appoint Bobby Robson as their new coach, according to reports in the Portuguese press yesterday. The former England manager, currently general manager at Barcelona - is wanted to replace Manuel Jose, who was sacked on Sunday after refusing to resign following a series of poor results.

Bruce Grobbelaar has joined Sheffield Wednesday on a three-month deal after less than a week at Oxford United. The 39-year-old goalkeeper, charged by the FA last week with breaking betting rules a month after being acquitted of match-fixing, was signed by the Wednesday manager, David Pleat, because of a groin injury to Kevin Pressman in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Coventry.

Blackburn Rovers have released the Greek international Yorgos Donis after he failed secure a first-team place, just over a year after arriving at Ewood Park on a free transfer. Donis made 22 appearances for Rovers last season, but found his chances limited and has agreed with Roy Hodgson, the Blackburn manager, to have his contract cancelled by mutual consent.

The Wimbledon striker Marcus Gayle has been released from hospital after he complaining of chest pains and cramp following his team's 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace on Saturday. Gayle was back doing "light exercise" yesterday and club officials are hopeful the problem was only a virus.