Football: Fowler may not appeal

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The Independent Online
ROBBIE FOWLER'S legal advisers are considering dropping plans to appeal against the Liverpool striker's six-match ban and record pounds 32,000 fine.

Fowler was suspended for two games following his fracas with his England team-mate, Chelsea's Graeme Le Saux. He received a further four-match ban for mimicking sniffing cocaine as he celebrated a goal against Everton.

Fowler's legal representative, Kevin Dooley, called the punishment "an unjustified and disproportionate sentence," though yesterday he hinted that plans for an appeal may be dropped to prevent the ban spilling over into next season. Without an appeal he could serve out most if not all of his ban this season in relatively meaningless fixtures, with Liverpool's hopes of securing a Uefa Cup place all but over.

"We are reconsidering the situation," Dooley said. "The interests of the club and the supporters are paramount. The club could suffer by any delay in implementing the ban because of any appeal."

Nigerian fans and riot police clashed on Saturday night in Lagos, as protests erupted following their national side's 2-1 defeat to Paraguay in the World Youth Championship. Nigeria's coach, Tunde Disu, was sacked within an hour of the final whistle and had to receive a police escort to leave the stadium.

The defeat was Nigeria's second and could have lead to their elimination from the tournament, the first they have hotsed at international level. Costa Rica's surprise 2-1 victory over Germany, though, meant that Nigeria qualified while the Germans were eliminated.

Nigeria now go through to play the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday in Kano. Ghana, Paraguay, Argentina, Croatia, and Mexico have so far joined them in the second round.