Football: European semi-finals are restored by Uefa

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MANCHESTER UNITED can expect to make even more money from the European Cup after yesterday's announcement by Uefa that semi-finals, dropped with the launch of the Champions' League, will be reintroduced this season.

Winners of the two Champions' League groups of four teams will earn the right to a single home match against the runners-up of the other group on 27 April. If the system had been in place last season, Marseille would have received IFK Gothenburg and Milan would have entertained Rangers in the semi-finals.

A French prosecutor opened inquiries into a second allegation of attempted match-fixing by Marseille yesterday. An investigation has been started into an allegation by Jean-Jacques Eydelie that he had been offered a bribe by Marseille to throw a match when playing for Nantes in March last year.

Eydelie, the Marseille player at the centre of this May's bribery scandal, has admitted offering a bribe to three Valenciennes players to rig a vital league match.

Patrick Anton, a French referee, said yesterday he was sueing Jean-Pierre Papin for accusing him of dishonesty, despite receiving an apology from the national team captain. Anton, a lawyer, said he was angry with comments made about his refereeing of the riot-hit Marseille v Metz French League match on 24 September which the European champions lost 3-0.

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