Football: Fair play to influence Uefa Cup places: Good behaviour demanded of players, officials and supporters

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UEFA, the organising body of European football, is to place a new emphasis on fair play and good conduct by awarding extra places in the Uefa Cup for those countries whose players and officials reach the highest standards of behaviour.

National associations have been told that they are already losing points when their representatives in European club ties, as well as international competition, transgress. The focus will also be on matches at youth level and in the women's game, and it is hoped the qualifying rewards will start in the 1995/96 season.

'Apart from bookings and sendings-off, the behaviour of players to referees and also that of a team's officials and supporters will be taken into account,' a Uefa spokesman said. 'In principle, it has been agreed that with the transformation of the Uefa Cup into a bigger competition, maybe two or three places will be open to those countries with the best classification. Anything that promotes fair play has to be worthwhile.'

Uefa has also confirmed to the Football Association that only two Uefa Cup places are available for English sides next season, one of which has been claimed by the Coca-Cola Cup winners, Aston Villa. However, there will be a third berth if United Nations' sanctions continue against the former Yugoslavia.

Uefa has also decided, as from next season, to play European Cup ties eclusively on Wednesdays, leaving the previous day for the Uefa Cup and Thursdays for the Cup-Winners' Cup.

The move is hoped to give greater exposure to the Champions' League, increasing television revenue, but will cause problems for clubs like Arsenal, who would have been less than happy this season to return from an away ECWC leg with little more than 24 hours to prepare for a league game.

The adjourned FA Premiership inquiry into the complaint by Norwich that Everton made an illegal approach to Mike Walker, now the manager at Goodison Park, ended last night with no decision taken. That is now expected after the Easter holiday. Walker was reported to have said he will seek compensation from Norwich, claiming he was forced into a corner by the club and left with no option but to resign.

Teddy Sheringham is preparing for his Tottenham comeback at Norwich tomorrow, having proved his fitness in a reserve game this week.

The Chelsea player-manager, Glenn Hoddle, yesterday began intensive treatment in an attempt to be fit for their FA Cup semi final with Luton at Wembley a week tomorrow. Hoddle limped out of the midweek defeat at Sheffield Wednesday with tendinitis, and put the blame on new boots.

Diego Maradona said yesterday he was consulting his psychologist over whether to give up the game for good after his recent failures to resurrect his career. 'I'm shattered,' he said. 'This has led me again to think about definitive retirement, which I will decide tomorrow or the next day.'

Non-League football, page 33

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