Football: European semi-finals are restored by Uefa

Click to follow
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.