Football: Anfield preferred by FA for 1996 finals

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The Independent Online
LIVERPOOL have put one over on their Merseyside neighbours, Everton, once again. The Football Association yesterday named Anfield in preference to Goodison Park among the proposed venues for matches during the 1996 European Championship finals.

While Liverpool command the stage, Everton will have to make do with a walk-on part. The launch and qualifying draw will be held at Old Trafford on 22 January before the boys in blue take on Manchester United.

The FA also named Wembley, Villa Park, Hillsborough, Elland Road, St James' Park, Newcastle, and the City Ground, Nottingham, as venues for the 16-nation finals, which will run from 8 to 30 June. However, it expressed concern at Nottingham Forest's planned capacity of only 31,000 and put Highbury on stand-by. A final decision is expected soon. Roker Park and Goodison are on the reserve list.

Arsenal fear there could be problems at the ground in Liege if Standard go ahead with a plan to sell tickets on the night for tomorrow's European Cup-Winners' Cup match. They have warned fans not to go to Belgium unless they have bought tickets through the official travel club, and are concerned that both clubs could face Uefa action if trouble erupted among unsegregated supporters.

Oldham Athletic have paid pounds 500,000 to the Norwegian club Brann for Tore Pedersen. The 23-year-old defender, who played for Norway in both World Cup qualifiers against England, will arrive at Boundary Park later this week.

Kevin Sheedy, who last played for Ireland against Wales nine months ago, yesterday was called into the Republic's squad for the World Cup Group Three qualifier against Northern Ireland in Belfast on 17 November. Sheedy, now with the Second Divison club Blackpool, provides cover for Ronnie Whelan and Steve Staunton.

SQUAD: Bonner (Celtic), A Kelly (Sheff Utd); Irwin (Man Utd), Morris (Middlesbrough), Phelan (Man City), McGrath (Aston Villa), Moran (Blackburn Rovers), Kernaghan (Man City); Houghton (Aston Villa), McGoldrick (Arsenal), Keane (Man Utd), Whelan (Liverpool), Townsend (Aston Villa), Staunton (Aston Villa), Sheridan (Sheff Wed), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), Sheedy (Blackpool); Quinn (Man City), Aldridge (Tranmere), Cascarino (Chelsea), D Kelly (Wolves).