Football: Coton may face FA action

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The Independent Online
TONY COTON, the Manchester City goalkeeper, may be called before the Football Association following spitting allegations during the midweek win at Wimbledon.

Police have received a number of complaints from Dons fans who also allege that Coton gesticulated at them. 'We will be sending a report to the FA and they can take action,' a spokesman for South Norwood police said.

The Arsenal striker, Ian Wright, who was himself fined pounds 1,500 for allegedly spitting at Oldham last season, is out of England's squad for the friendly with Spain in Santander next week - even though he is expected to play for his club tomorrow. Wright has a thigh injury and Graham Taylor, the England manager, decided that an international could only be counter-productive for him. He is replaced by his club- mate, Kevin Campbell.

Paul Ince, the Manchester United midfielder, has been promoted from stand-by as a replacement for Trevor Steven, the Rangers player who has a hamstring problem. Les Ferdinand, of QPR, has been added to the stand-by list.

The deadlock between Liverpool and Aston Villa over the proposed transfer of Dean Saunders continued yesterday. Graeme Souness, the Liverpool manager, was away from Merseyside on business while Villa's chairman, Doug Ellis, was in London attending an FA meeting.

Ellis is understood to be unwilling to offer more than pounds 2.1m for the Wales striker, despite the fact that the respective managers, Souness and Ron Atkinson, believed they had struck a deal at pounds 2.3m.

Notts County yesterday signed the Australian Olympic centre-half Shaun Murphy - a move which may pave the way for Liverpool to buy County's Craig Short.

Peter Reid, the Manchester City player-manager, said yesterday that he hoped the career of his striker, Paul Lake, was not over despite two knee injuries. On Tuesday it was revealed that Lake had severed the cruciate ligaments in his knee. Reid said yesterday: 'I have set the wheels in motion to contact the same American specialist who operated so successfully, on similar injuries, to John Salako, of Crystal Palace, and Ian Durrant, of Rangers.'

The Cambridge manager, John Beck, said yesterday that he would replace his struggling side's long-ball style with 'quality football'.