Football: Apologetic Jones fined and banned by FA

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The Independent Online
VINNIE JONES, the Wimbledon midfielder famed for arriving late, showed up at the Football Association almost 20 minutes early yesterday for his disciplinary hearing, where he received a four-match ban, three of which he has already sat out.

Jones, who was also fined pounds 1,000 for reaching 41 disciplinary points, will be available for the Dons' last three games of the season, against Tottenham and both Manchester clubs. 'Obviously I'm going to take steps to improve things next season,' he said.

The Dons manager, Joe Kinnear, said: 'We as a club can't do any more than fine him, and that has happened. He's on a lucrative contract. Every time he is out of the team it hits him harder in the pocket. Vinnie will lose about pounds 20,000 with goals and bonuses from this ban. Perhaps he will learn from that.' The Republic of Ireland, for whom Jones once tried to gain eligibility, have selected John Aldridge, the Tranmere striker currently recovering from a stomach-muscle injury, in their squad for the World Cup tie against Denmark in Dublin on 28 April. Aldridge hopes to be fit for Rovers' game at Birmingham four days before. John Sheridan, the Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, is also summoned after a lengthy absence.

Brighton, stricken with pounds 3m debts and facing a winding-up order, yesterday denied that the administrators had already been called into the Goldstone Ground. Barry Lloyd, the Seagulls' managing director, said: 'There have been suggestions that the club is either in the hands of receivers or administrators. This is not so - the club is running normally.'

Erik Thorstvedt, the Spurs keeper, will miss the rest of the season after fracturing a finger in the defeat at Nottingham Forest on Monday.

Fifa, the game's governing body, announced yesterday that it was looking into the possibility of creating a a fixed timetable of dates for international games to avoid the increasingly troublesome club-v-country sagas.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (v Denmark; Group Three World Cup tie at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, 28 April): Bonner (Celtic), A Kelly (Sheffield Utd); Morris (Middlesbrough), Irwin (Manchester Utd), Kernaghan (Middlesbrough), Moran (Blackburn), McGrath (Aston Villa), O'Leary (Arsenal), Phelan (Manchester City), Houghton (Aston Villa), McGoldrick (Crystal Palace), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), Keane (Nottm Forest), Whelan (Liverpool), Townsend (Chelsea), Sheridan (Sheffield Wed), Sheedy (Newcastle), Staunton (Aston Villa), Coyne (Tranmere), Cascarino (Chelsea), Quinn (Manchester City), Aldridge (Tranmere), D Kelly (Newcastle).

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