Football: Brolin escapes injury after elk accident

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Sweden

TOMAS BROLIN, the former Leeds United and Crystal Palace forward, escaped unhurt after his car was in collision with an elk on a road in central at the weekend.

Brolin, who retired from playing football last August, also played for Parma in Italy and the Swedish national side.

"My guardian angels helped me," Brolin said. "I am very lucky not to have been injured." He is not the only Swede who has played in England to have such an accident. Klas Ingesson, the former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, almost missed the 1994 World Cup after driving into an elk.

Spain

REAL BETIS have hired a private detective to track down Celso Ayala, their wayward Paraguayan World Cup defender.

Ayala went home before Christmas and did not return. "He was supposed to return on 31 December and we have not heard anything since," the Seville club's president, Ruiz de Lopera, said yesterday.

"I know he wants us to hand him back to River Plate," an angry Lopera added. "This is not going to happen. Either he plays for Real Betis or does not play at all." Ayala was signed from the Argentine club at the start of the season.

The player claimed in his one brief message to the club that he had put off his return because of the health of his father. "But now it appears his father has not been ill and we are fed up with his delay," Lopera said.

Meanwhile, struggling Extremadura pulled off the shock of the Spanish League season when they beat the leaders, Mallorca, 1-0 on Sunday.

A free-kick from Toni Velamazan after 30 minutes bobbled in front of Mallorca's goalkeeper, Carlos Roa, and the Argentine World Cup player misjudged the bounce.

Mallorca mounted a sustained second-half assault on the club who started the day bottom of the 20-team division, but could not penetrate the Extremadura defence.

Cameroon

FIFA, WORLD football's ruling body, yesterday suspended Cameroon's football federation, Fecafoot, for an indefinite period, excluding the national team and the country's clubs from international competitions and friendly matches.

The decision, which takes effect immediately, was made after the west African country's sports ministry sent a fax to Fifa last week containing reservations about previously agreed plans for the federation, Fifa said in a statement.

"Fifa greatly regrets that, in spite of its numerous efforts and the patience it has shown in its handling of Cameroon's case, it has been forced to take such a decision." The suspension also means Fecafoot, the Cameroon federation, loses its voting rights at the Fifa Congress. Fifa dissolved the federation in November due to a series of financial problems and appointed an interim executive to run the organization for nine months. In late November, Cameroon sports officials and the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, met in an attempt to resolve the problems that led to Fifa dissolving the ruling body.

The interim executive was charged with revising Fecafoot's statutes and managing the country's football until a replacement executive was elected. It was also asked to settle the association's debts, pay salaries due to its staff and set up fully functioning offices and equipment.

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