Football: Fears rise over Berlin match

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ENGLAND'S match with Germany next month, a friendly international which is becoming a contradiction in terms, was drawn into more controversy yesterday when Berlin's football HQ was attacked.

Windows were smashed and a slogan daubed across walls. 'No game on April 20' it read. 'We are against the DFB (the German football authority) and Nazis.' The attack was attributed to German left-wing groups opposed to the fixture in the city which is on the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birthday.

Originally the match was scheduled for Hamburg but was switched to Berlin because of security implications. As a result it will take place in the Olympic Stadium built to host the 1936 Olympics that Hitler used for propaganda purposes. There are fears that extremists from Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands will also use the occasion as an excuse for violence.

There was a fierce response yesterday from Leslie Silver, the Leeds chairman, who reacted in writing to the claim on radio by his Rangers counterpart, David Murray, that the Glasgow club would make an offer for Gary McAllister at the end of the season. Silver's letter to Rangers made it clear the Leeds captain is not for sale, and added: 'I object most strongly to this form of indirect approach via the media.'

That was out in the open, but Manchester United's reaction to Eric Cantona's sending- off at Swindon will remain behind closed doors. Alex Ferguson made no post-match comment and was hardly forthcoming about a fine for the Frenchman yesterday either. 'I don't have to justify myself to anyone,' the United manager said. 'At any club you have to be aware of the failings of players as well as their good points.'

Richard Thompson, the QPR chairman, who permitted his manager, Gerry Francis, to hold talks with Wolves about the vacancy at Molineux, is having second thoughts because of supporter unrest. He will meet Francis this week.

Italian state prosecutors probing the affairs of debt-ridden Torino will today request that the Serie A club be declared bankrupt.

Claude Bez, the former Bordeaux president, was yesterday sentenced to two years' jail, with one year suspended, and was fined pounds 240,000 for embezzling pounds 1.2m from a contract to build a club training centre.

Ken Jones on Francis Lee, page 34

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