Football: Hartson 'ashamed' of conduct

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The Independent Online
JOHN HARTSON, the West Ham striker, yesterday spoke of his shame after kicking his team-mate Eyal Berkovic in the head in a training-ground incident captured on video.

The Welsh international has been fined two weeks' wages by the Hammers' manager, Harry Redknapp, for the attack which has been roundly condemned throughout the game.

Hartson said: "Yes, I was ashamed of what I did when I saw the pictures. I have to control my aggression. This is something I must do.

"But the worst thing was when people phoned up my girlfriend, who is six months pregnant, and asked her: 'What's it like living with a lunatic.' I have to live with it. I am sorting my fitness out and I want to get back to scoring goals."

Bryan Robson has ended speculation that he might be in contention to replace Glenn Hoddle as England's coach, should a vacancy arise, by signing a new five-year contract at Middlesbrough. The former England captain will now remain as manager at the Riverside stadium until 2003.

The Rangers chairman, David Murray, yesterday dismissed as "absolute garbage" reports that the German midfielder Jorg Albertz could leave Ibrox over an alleged feud with his Dutch team-mate, Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

"I don't know where this idea has come from, because the two players actually socialise together," said Murray, who also revealed that the Italian midfielder, Rino Gattuso, is returning home to join the Serie A side Salernitana for a fee of around pounds 3m.

Sheffield Wednesday's suspended Italian striker, Paolo Di Canio, will attend a Football Association disciplinary hearing in Sheffield on Friday, the FA announced yesterday.

Di Canio was suspended by his club after he shoved the referee Paul Alcock to the ground after being sent off during a Premiership fixture at home to Arsenal last month.

The FA charged him with misconduct and gave him 14 days to respond. The Italian faces a potentially lengthy ban. An FA spokeswoman said Di Canio would be at the hearing at Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United, and a sentence was also expected on Friday.

The French club, Metz, say they will proceed with signing Michele Padovano - even though an injury in training could put him out of action for the rest of the season.

The Italian striker agreed to move from Crystal Palace to Metz last week. But the former Juventus man injured his knee on Sunday during training with his prospective employers.

The Metz president, Carlo Molinari, said he did not know what would happen with Padovano's projected transfer, but the club felt morally bound to the Italian.

Chester City were given a stay of execution yesterday. The Third Division club are facing a winding-up order over debts of more than pounds 350,000 owed to the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise. But, at a hearing at the High Court in Manchester yesterday, proceedings against the club were adjourned for the application of an administration order.