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Football: PFA `snubbed' by French four

FOUR OF the top French players in the Premiership have been accused of snubbing the Professional Footballers' Association.

The Arsenal pair of Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira plus Chelsea's Franck Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly were due to receive a special award at Sunday's PFA awards dinner in central London. The players' union had decided to honour them for their achievements last summer, when they helped France win the World Cup .

However, despite a chauffeur-driven car being sent to Hillsborough to pick up the Chelsea pair after their game at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, not one of the four turned up.

The Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, picked up the award for his compatriots, and said with some embarrassment: "It's not my fault they are not here."

One leading PFA official was more outspoken, saying: "They are just big time. They have treated their fellow pros with contempt." Arsenal's French striker Nicolas Anelka was also missing on the night, and his club-mate Tony Adams had to pick up his Young Player of the Year award. Another Frenchman, Tottenham's David Ginola, was there, though, to collect his Player of the Year award.

Tottenham and the Scottish Premier League club, Motherwell, are discussing an arrangement which could lead to the Lanarkshire club operating as a "nursery" for Spurs, with youngsters from White Hart Lane being sent to Fir Park on extended loan deals.

Nottingham Forest have confirmed that the former Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, has applied to take charge at the City Ground in succession to Ron Atkinson, who is retiring at the end of the season.

Dave Richards has been unanimously appointed chairman of the Premier League. The Sheffield Wednesday chairman had been serving in an acting role following last month's resignation of the former chairman, Sir John Quinton.

Newcastle United have been linked with a pounds 2m move for the Dynamo Kiev defender Oleh Luzhny. Middlesbrough have also been chasing the 30-year- old Ukraine captain.

The referee Mike Dean has reported Bristol City to the Football Association after the violent scenes which marred the end of Saturday's First Division home defeat to Birmingham City. Dean and his two assistants were hit by coins thrown from the home fans' end of the ground as they left the pitch, according to the Wirral official. In another incident, the Birmingham manager Trevor Francis was involved in an altercation with a steward.