Football: Cascarino deal done

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TONY CASCARINO, the 31-year- old Republic of Ireland striker, yesterday signed a one-year contract with Marseille, the former French and European champions who have fallen on hard times, writes Adam Szreter.

Cascarino could stay an extra year with Marseille if the club, relegated to the French Second Division because of a bribery scandal, regain their place in the First Division next season. Cascarino's contract with Chelsea ended before the World Cup.

Marseille's German international forward, Rudi Voller, is likely to leave, having received offers from Genoa, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and Bordeaux.

Massimo Mauro, the 31-year-old Italian midfield player, has been taken on trial by Queen's Park Rangers with a view to a free transfer. Mauro, 31, has won Serie A titles with Juventus and his present club, Napoli.

Jaime Moreno, a 20-year-old striker capped 30 times by Bolivia and a member of their World Cup squad, has joined Middlesbrough on a two-week trial. Bryan Robson, the Boro manager, said: 'Moreno has been well-recommended. But he is a long way from home, so it will be a question of temperament and character as well as ability.'

Sam Allardyce, the former Bolton defender, was yesterday appointed manager of Second Division Blackpool, while Mike Pejic, the new Chester manager, has appointed the former Wales captain, Kevin Ratcliffe, as player-coach.

Philip Don's, England's only referee at the World Cup, believes that the directives on the laws of the game introduced by Fifa at the finals will be of great benefit in England. 'The new interpretations (such as banning the tackle from behind and the change in the interpretation of the offside law) contributed to some very fast games, and I'm sure that the commitment and passion which are the hallmarks of the game in this country can be maintained,' Don said.