Football around the world

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The Independent Online
Zimbabwe

Ian Porterfield, the Scotsman whose goal won the 1973 FA Cup for Sunderland, will be back in the job market in May. He intends to resign as the coach of when his contract expires at the end of this month, because of what he describes as undeserved criticism of his team.

Porterfield - who helped rebuild the national team in neighbouring Zambia when their squad perished in a plane crash in 1993 - has undergone heavy criticism since taking up the job. The media has accused him of transforming the side from an attacking outfit into an ultra- defensive team. He dismisses the attacks, insisting that, although he has some good players, he needs time to rebuild and to do a decent job.

have lost three away matches and won three and drawn one home game under Porterfield's charge in qualifiers for the African Nations' Cup and the World Cup. "There is too much unwarranted criticism of the team here - unlike Zambia where everyone was behind the team," he said. "I am definitely going back home to see my wife and my children."

Bruce Grobbelaar, who was caretaker national coach earlier this season before Porterfield's arrival, may be asked to fill the same role again - unless his retrial in June on match-fixing charges dictates otherwise.

Gabon

Last Sunday's World Cup qualifier between Gabon and Morocco in Libreville was abandoned after 55 minutes when Gabonese fans invaded the pitch soon after the visitors took a 4-0 lead. Missiles rained on to the pitch at the Omnisport stadium as the players fled for cover. Fifa may allow the result to stand, and will surely impose sanctions on Gabon.

United States

Major League Soccer will expand to 12 teams in 1988 when clubs in Miami (playing at the Orange Bowl) and Chicago (based at Soldier Field) join up. The latter club will be run by Philip Anchutz, who already owns the MLS side Colorado Rapids and the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings.

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