Football: Campbell seeks move after 'cannibal' insult

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The Independent Online
KEVIN CAMPBELL said he was determined to leave the Turkish club, Trabzonspor, following what he said were racist insults from the club's chairman.

"I am first of all a black man," Campbell said in a statement. "I can accept routine criticism but, when comments are made concerning my race, football is not important."

Trabzonspor's chairman, Mehmet Ali Yilmaz, told Turkish television over the weekend that Campbell's performance at the club had been a disappointment. "We bought a cannibal who calls himself a striker," he said, describing the striker as "discoloured".

Alex Ferguson's circumspection on Tuesday when told that Ronaldo was in danger of missing next week's European Cup quarter-final appeared to be vindicated yesterday when the Brazilian resumed full training after five weeks of using a special sand-based surface.

The timing of his comeback remains uncertain, however, and the Brazilian striker, who played his last Serie A game in mid-January, will definitely miss Saturday's game against Juventus. The Brazilian has been suffering from tendinitis in both knees since the World Cup.

Another, lesser known,Brazilian, the teenager Rodrigo Gral, is to join Middlesbrough on trial next month. The 19-year-old midfielder was voted the outstanding player in the South American Under-20 Championships in which he was the leading scorer with seven goals. His Brazilian club, Atletico Juventus, wants a fee of around pounds 2m.

Middlesbrough are still refusing to allow their striker Marco Branca to resume his career, despite another positive fitness report. The Italian returned to the club this week claiming he was fit to resume playing after just 20 minutes of action in the last nine months. His career had been put on hold in October when Middlesbrough's orthopaedic consultant ruled a severe knee problem would no longer stand up to the rigours of professional football.

Rangers and Celtic yesterday revealed they are ready to be united in an unprecedented joint shirt sponsorship deal, but no agreement is imminent.

Reports suggested a potential pounds 12m joint shirt sponsorship deal was nearing completion with NTL, the American cable television operators. However, two other firms, understood to be Bell's and Irn Bru, are also involved in preliminary discussions with both clubs.