Football: Pele expects Brazil World Cup bid

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BRAZIL are likely to bid to host the 2006 World Cup, according to Pele. The double World Cup winner and Brazilian sports minister, visiting Hong Kong on business and to attend a coaching school, said that if Brazil did not bid for the tournament then he would support an African bid. He said: "Brazil, Argentina, a lot of countries who are in the World Cup will probably bid."

Brian Laudrup yesterday admitted he indicated to Ajax he would be joining them next season, not Chelsea. The Dutch club's coach, Morten Olsen, is furious that the Rangers player is moving to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Laudrup said: "It's true that I gave the impression to Morten four weeks ago that I would choose Ajax. I felt under pressure to do so because I had a feeling that if I didn't act quickly the agreement with Ajax would fall through. I'm sorry to have disappointed him."

The leader of Real Madrid's most extreme supporters has been banned from sports events for three years and fined five million pesetas (pounds 20,000). Jose Luis Ochaita, leader of the infamous Ultras Sur and a well-known face at Real football matches, tried to attack Barcelona players at the end of a basketball game last year.

Gerry McMahon, the Stoke City winger, is discussing personal terms with St Johnstone after the clubs agreed an pounds 85,000 fee yesterday. If the Northern Ireland international makes the move, he will join Davide Xausa, a Canadian who signed for the Scottish Premier Division club yesterday until the end of the season after having his trial at Stoke cancelled.

Three of Ireland's senior clubs, all Dublin-based, today condemned Clydebank's decision to try to relocate to the Republic. Shelbourne and Bohemians, who finished second and third in the League last season, are vehemently opposed to the proposal as are University College, Dublin.

Homeless Clydebank, who are attracting an average gate of 286 at Dumbarton's ground, say they have an arrangement to lease the Royal Dublin Society Arena from next season.

Shelbourne's secretary, Ollie Byrne, said: "We are treating Clydebank's proposal as a joke. It hasn't got a dog's chance. It is not a runner and has no credence at all. What this proposal does do is undermine the credibility of the structure of the League of Ireland and that makes me angry. Say Juventus or Milan wanted to leave the Italian League and relocate to Spain, it wouldn't be allowed to happen."

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