FOOTBALL: Hartson says sorry

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JOHN HARTSON has apologised to Eyal Berkovic face-to-face for kicking him in the head on the West Ham training ground and the feud between the two is at an end.

Hartson said sorry to his Israeli team-mate over dinner in a London restaurant last night and the apology was accepted by the midfielder, who was the victim of his attack.

The peace talks were also attended by the agents of both players, West Ham's manager, Harry Redknapp, and the club's managing director, Peter Storrie, and the harmony may end an ugly saga. Berkovic feels West Ham have now acted properly and, despite insults from the Hartson camp, he is willing to bury the hatchet.

West Ham are planning to reveal details of the kissing and making up and this may help Hartson in particular, who is facing an FA disrepute charge after damning pictures of his actions were printed.

Both players should be in the team to face Aston Villa tomorrow with Berkovic also withdrawing any threat that he might take strike action or leave the club.

Martin O'Neill has been set a deadline by Leeds United to walk out of Leicester City and join them as their manager.

O'Neill must leave Leicester today or the Leeds chairman, Peter Ridsdale, will ask the caretaker, David O'Leary, to take the job on a permanent basis. Ridsdale is unhappy at the delay in the O'Neill appointment and wants the matter resolved inside 24 hours. After two official approaches were rebuffed by Leicester, it is now down to the Irishman to resign, something he is reluctant to do.

Ridsdale is determined his players should go into tomorrow's Premiership match at Nottingham Forest and Tuesday's Uefa Cup second round first-leg game against Roma in Italy free from the controversy which has shrouded the attempt to prise O'Neill away from Filbert Street. O'Leary and the acting assistant manager, Eddie Gray, have been handed total control for those two matches, with Ridsdale and the board due to convene again after the first leg European game against the Serie A side.

Meanwhile, the Premier League has promised to back Leeds in their attempt to postpone O'Leary's one-match Uefa Cup ban from the touchline and dressing- room. Ridsdale is continuing the fight to have the ban lifted until after Tuesday's game.

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