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Football: FA to investigate Sheringham's 'night out'

THE Football Association is to investigate claims that the England striker Teddy Sheringham has been seen out on the town when he was supposed to be observing Glenn Hoddle's instructions for the period prior to the World Cup. The England coach warned a fortnight ago that when players returned from the training camp in La Manga, they were supposed to spend the next three days at home before joining up at the squad's Buckinghamshire hotel base tonight.

Reports last night suggested Sheringham had been photographed enjoying a night out in the last couple of days. If true, Sheringham would be in in breach of Hoddle's directive.

After Hoddle axed Paul Gascoigne for a lack of fitness, there will be pressure on the FA for punitive action against the player if the breach is proved. However, an FA spokesman said last night: "We want to establish the facts before we can comment."

Hoddle is likely to be highly displeased with Sheringham, a senior member of his squad. Hoddle laid down the law after Gascoigne was caught out on the town with Rod Stewart, Chris Evans and Danny Baker three weeks ago, and then spotted eating a kebab in Soho in the early hours.

When asked to comment on Gascoigne's actions, Hoddle made it clear such behaviour was unacceptable. He stressed then: "When the players come back from La Manga, they will still be on England duty. The three days they are at home is time to be with families and friends, not to be out drinking."

If Sheringham is unable to convince Hoddle the pictures and reports have been taken out of context, it will leave the coach with a huge dilemma. Sheringham is a key part of Hoddle's plans but if it is proved he disobeyed the instructions, the England coach will come under pressure to release the player from his squad.