Football: Hodgson in hasty exit from Inter

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The Independent Online
Roy Hodgson, who will take over as manager of Blackburn Rovers this summer, yesterday confirmed his immediate resignation as coach of Internazionale.

The timing of Hodgson's decision, with two crucial games still remaining in the Serie A season, follows Inter's Uefa Cup final defeat on penalties to the German club, Schalke, on Wednesday. Fans pelted Hodgson with coins and cigarette lighters as he left the San Siro pitch.

Hodgson's resignation highlights the dissatisfaction he has felt at his uneasy relationship with fans, the media and senior figures at the club, despite the success he has had since he joined 18 months ago.

Internazionale's chairman, Massimo Moratti, who failed to persuade Hodgson to reconsider his decision, said: "I'm sorry that the fans consider Hodgson the guilty party. I think they exaggerated." He added. "I know Hodgson well, he doesn't deserve such a mortification."

Faustino Asprilla, Newcastle United's Colombian international, is in the spotlight again for misconduct but this time the alleged incident happened at a pop concert.

Asprilla, on a summer break in his home town of Tulua, is said to have butted a policeman. Newcastle have said they will stand by their player, and refused to comment on the incident until the full circumstances are known.

Manchester United have granted Eric Cantona permission to quickly, but briefly, end his retirement for a testimonial in France this weekend. He will play in a match for the brothers, Stephane and Pascal Plancque, at Lille on Sunday, but the Premiership champions will vet any future requests for Cantona's services.

An Old Trafford spokesman said: "Manchester United do still hold his registration and the fact remains that Eric has announced his retirement, so we don't expect the game to be anything other than a one-off."

Jimmy Hill yesterday resigned as chairman of Fulham after 10 years service. Hill, 70, said he wanted to spend more time with his family and was happy to leave now that promotion from the Second Division and a freehold for the club's ground had been secured.

Sir Stanley Matthews, the 82 year-old former Stoke City, Blackpool and England player, was taken to hospital yesterday suffering from chest pains. His wife, Mila, said that he had been troubled by flu and bronchitis for several weeks.

Bryan Robson, the Middlesbrough manager, is ready to offer Derek Whyte, the Scottish international defender, a new three-year deal. The 28-year- old, out of contract this summer, has made more than 180 appearances for Middlesbrough.

Charlton yesterday broke their eight-year-old club transfer record with a pounds 700,000 deal for the Grimsby striker Clive Mendonca.

Partick Thistle have sacked their manager, Murdo MacLeod, and his assistant, Gordon Chisholm.

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