FOOTBALL: Butt to miss game in Sweden

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The Independent Online
NICKY BUTT is out of England's European Championship qualifying match with Sweden in Stockholm next Saturday. The Manchester United midfielder pulled out of Glenn Hoddle's squad last night because of a painful problem with his wisdom teeth.

Butt, 23, is the only player so far to pull out of the party to travel to Stockholm, although Hoddle is awaiting news of those involved in yesterday afternoon's Premiership match between Newcastle and Liverpool. There was a worry over Liverpool's Steve McManaman, who went off with an ankle injury which needed an ice pack.

Rio Ferdinand, the West Ham defender, has joined the squad despite aggravating a groin injury in Saturday's game at Coventry but Hoddle has no plans to call up a replacement for Butt.

Rangers are making a move to bring Duncan Ferguson back to Ibrox and have joined a three-club battle for the pounds 10m-rated striker. The Scotsman quit his homeland after disciplinary problems.

Middlesbrough's increased bid of pounds 8m was rejected over the weekend while the Aston Villa chairman has met the Everton chairman.

Rangers sold Ferguson to Everton for pounds 4m. Walter Smith, now the Everton manager, was in charge at Ibrox then.

Tottenham's David Ginola, who was furious at being denied a penalty in his team's 1-0 win at Goodison Park on Saturday, has admitted that he has employed gamesmanship to secure an advantage.

The Tottenham midfielder confessed that he had dived in the past to earn penalties for his side. "Of course," Ginola said. "Who can say `I never did'? Because sometimes it is natural.

"It was definitely a penalty against Everton. He [David Unsworth] was in my back and I was going towards goal. When you run, you don't look back and sometimes you do a little bit more. But in this case I never did. It was just a bad decision."

The Frenchman appealed to match officials not to let reputations of players influence their decisions in the future.

"Modern football is very tough. You have the contact so sometimes you have to make the right decision, he said. "If you book me because I dive, OK. But the next time if it is a penalty, you have to whistle for a penalty."