Football: Arsenal are angry over replay delay

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The Independent Online
HIGHBURY was a gloomy place yesterday, as the Arsenal manager, George Graham, faced complaints from the police about bad language on the Arsenal bench during Wednesday's Coca- Cola Cup draw at Derby - and then found that the replay will not take place until 1 December.

Kevin Campbell's late goal earned the Gunners a 1-1 draw in the third-round tie, and the replay should have been scheduled for two weeks' time at Highbury. However, the Rams face Pisa on 11 November at the Baseball Ground in the Anglo-Italian Cup, in which they also travel to Cosenza on 24 November. They meet Notts County in the First Division next Tuesday, and the week beginning 16 November is ruled out by World Cup ties. That leaves the week starting 30 November - when the winners of the replay should have been travelling to Scarborough or Plymouth in the fourth round.

'It is a disgrace,' Graham said. 'How the Anglo-Italian competition can take priority over a major domestic competition is just unbelievable, but I am afraid it is typical of the people who are running the game at the moment.'

Derbyshire police revealed yesterday that they had warned Graham about bad language coming from the Gunners' bench during Wednesday's game, in which they gathered three yellow cards to take their seasonal total to 27. 'It was necessary to ask some of the Arsenal entourage sitting in the dug-out to curb their language,' Superintendent Roy Bradley said.

Gordon Durie, the Tottenham striker who was due to begin a three-match suspension on Monday for feigning injury, has appealed against the Football Association sentence. The Scottish international was charged after he collapsed to the ground after a confrontation with Coventry's Andy Pearce in a Premier League match at White Hart Lane on 19 August. Durie was booked by the referee, Dermot Gallagher, who considered he was play-acting and reported the player to the FA.

'Durie has appealed against his three-match ban for gross misconduct and it will be set aside pending the appeal, which will probably take place at the end of next month,' David Bloomfield, for the FA, said.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have decided not to appeal against the five-match touchline ban imposed on their manager, Graeme Souness, by Uefa after he allegedly abused the referee at last week's Uefa Cup match in Moscow.

'Mr Souness expressed his apologies for the incidents which led to the ban. The club accepts the decision of the Uefa control and disciplinary committee and will not be appealing against it,' the Anfield club said in a statement last night. 'The board very much regrets the incidents and will be sending a formal apology to Uefa.'

Another manager in trouble is Manchester United's Alex Ferguson, who faces an FA misconduct charge for comments made to the referee during a reserve team match against Sunderland at Bury's Gigg Lane ground on 1 October. There was more bad news for Ferguson yesterday when he learned that his full-back, Denis Irwin, will be out of action for up to a month after tearing a hamstring in Wednesday's Coca-Cola Cup defeat at Aston Villa.

The referee, Jim Parker, is to face a Football League inquiry after complaints from West Bromwich Albion that he swore at one of their players during a 4-3 defeat at Stoke on 19 September, in which seven players were booked. Parker, from Preston, is suspended until the hearing on 11 November.

Tenerife's bag full of money,

Non-League Notebook, page 31

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