Football: FA tackles Fashanu

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ASTON VILLA'S John Fashanu was yesterday charged by the Football Association with misconduct following a complaint by Manchester United about a newspaper story in which he condemned their player, Eric Cantona.

Fashanu, who was himself last year cleared of blame in the infamous elbow incident that threatened the career of Tottenham's Gary Mabbutt, claimed that the Frenchman was 'guilty of a malicious, dangerous lunge' on Liverpool's Neil Ruddock in a recent match at Old Trafford.

'Running from behind - in fact, more like sneaking up - and raking your studs down the back of an opponent's calf and tendon is both cowardly and unpleasant.' Fashanu alleged in the story that it was the sixth such incident involving Cantona this season.

'Sooner or later,' he wrote, 'our football authorities will say enough is enough.' Instead of Cantona, however, it is Fashanu who is to be hauled up before them.

The FA have also charged Tranmere Rovers over alleged 'disparaging comments' concerning Sheffield United's manager, Dave Bassett, in their match programme.

Nottingham Forest's Neil Webb has agreed to join Swindon on a month's loan with a view to a permanent move. Darren Anderton has described himself as 'very doubtful' for England's match against Romania next Wednesday. He has a groin injury.

Terry Venables, the England coach, has left the BBC to join ITV's commentary team.