Football: Leeds sign midfielder Wilcox in pounds 3m deal

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The Independent Online
LEEDS YESTERDAY paid pounds 3m for the Blackburn midfielder Jason Wilcox, who has agreed a four-and-a-half-year contract after spending his entire career at Ewood Park.

The 28-year-old joined Blackburn from school and was a key figure in their 1995 Premiership-winning side. The arrival of Wilcox, whose fee is linked to appearances and goals, is a timely one for Leeds as they strugge to contend with injuries to their midfield which includes the loss of David Batty and David Hopkin.

Gianluca Vialli will not be allowed near the touchline for Chelsea's next Champions' League game in Marseilles in March. The Chelsea manager was ordered off the bench during the 0-0 draw with Lazio in Rome after protesting to an assistant referee, and has now been punished by Uefa, European football's governing body.

The Football Association of Ireland has been fined pounds 4,000 by Uefa as a result of scuffles which broke out at the end of last month's Euro 2000 qualifying play-off against Turkey in Bursa. The FAI said it would appeal against the Uefa ruling which also included a four-match suspension for striker Tony Cascarino, who confronted Turkey's Ali Eren Beserler after the second-leg match which ended goalless to send Turkey through.

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Rivaldo has been named the European player of the year, according to the French newspaper L'Equipe. The Spanish media had already suggested the 27-year-old was in line for the award ahead of candidates such as David Beckham, and the player confirmed the news in an interview with the French sports paper yesterday.

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