Football: FA finds Durie guilty

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The Independent Online
GORDON DURIE yesterday became the first professional footballer to be found guilty of feigning injury. After a Football Association disciplinary commission hearing lasting nearly four hours he was banned for three matches and ordered to pay costs. The ban will take effect from 2 November.

The Tottenham striker, who immediately announced an appeal, was booked during the Premier League game with Coventry at White Hart Lane on 18 August after a clash with the defender Andy Pearce and reported by the referee, Dermot Gallagher, on a charge of misconduct.

Durie left the FA headquarters in Lancaster Gate in silent contemplation of the damage done to a virtually stain-free reputation but Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the players' union, who represented him, said the Scottish international was 'devastated'.

'We are very disappointed with the decision,' Taylor said. 'Gordon's reputation has been damaged and there will certainly be an appeal. Our case was that the video showed evidence of contact between the two players and that the referee was not in a good position to judge.'

Durie called several witnesses including the Spurs chief executive, Terry Venables, their trainer Dave Butler, and the Premier League secretary Mike Foster, a spectator at the game. Intriguingly, Pearce was ready to attend and support Durie but his manager, Bobby Gould, did not want him distracted the day before a game.

A statement by the three-man commission stated: 'After taking into consideration the film evidence, the evidence of the match officials and the evidence called in support of Durie, we are of the opinion that contact between the two players did not justify him falling to the ground as he did.'

Meanwhile Spurs are giving a week's trial to Oleg Salenko, a former Soviet Union under-21 forward who scored a hat-trick in his first match at their Mill Hill training ground on Thursday.

Next week's European Cup second-round game between Rangers and Leeds is one most fans in Britain want to see: those in the Thames and TVS regions, however, must miss out.

Although the ITV network will screen the game live from Ibrox, the two southern regions who lose their franchises at the end of the year have opted out.

Joe Lovejoy on Rangers,

Diary, Team news, page 46