Football: Gascoigne ruled out of Boro's Easter promotion campaign

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The Independent Online
PAUL GASCOIGNE'S season-long fight against injury received another setback yesterday with the news that he will sit out Middlesbrough's Easter programme after hobbling off against Sheffield United on Tuesday night. The England midfielder will miss the games against Bury on Saturday and Reading on Easter Monday.

Gascoigne suffered a gashed and bruised left foot in the 1-0 defeat which severely dented Boro's hopes of automatic promotion to the Premiership.

West Ham United's Israeli midfielder, Eyal Berkovic, has been cleared to play in the east London club's Easter Monday Premiership match at Sheffield Wednesday, averting a club-v-country confrontation.

Berkovic is wanted by Israel for the friendly against Argentina in Jerusalem next Wednesday while West Ham need him for the Hillsborough game, because Trevor Sinclair is suspended. However, the two parties have reached an acceptable compromise, the West Ham secretary, Neil Harrison, said. "We've spoken to the Israeli FA, and they have agreed that Eyal can fly out directly after our game at Hillsborough and take some part in the international match," he said.

The Football Association may withdraw its support for Lennart Johansson's campaign to become the Fifa president over his backing for Germany's campaign to host the 2006 World Cup.

The World Cup campaign director, Alec McGivan, admitted that Johansson, who is running against the former general secretary Sepp Blatter, could lose its support when the world's associations vote on 8 June. McGivan said: "He has put us in a very difficult position. He is aware of that and our FA executive will make the decision in May on how we cast our vote."

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (friendly international v Argentina, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, 22 April): Given (Newcastle;, A Kelly (Sheffield United), Irwin (Manchester United), Kenna (Blackburn), Cunningham (Wimbledon), Breen (Coventry), Harte (Leeds), Babb (Liverpool), Staunton (Aston Villa), Carsley (Derby), Kinsella (Charlton), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), Farrelly (Everton), G Kelly (Leeds) Whalley (Crewe), Delap (Derby), Quinn (Sunderland), Connolly (Feyenoord), Keane (Wolves), Duff (Blackburn), Kilbane (West Brom), D Kelly (Tranmere).

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