Football: Play-acting on Fifa agenda

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The Independent Online
FIFA WILL address a proposal to punish play-acting anywhere on the field with a yellow card when it meets next week, world football's governing body said yesterday.

Virtual publicity will also be on the agenda when the International Board meets 20 Feb near Cardiff.

"These initiatives reflect Fifa's resolve to keep the field free of advertising and to crack down on cheating," Fifa said in a statement.

Faking injuries on the field would be deemed unsporting behaviour and bring a yellow card under the proposal being discussed.

The board meeting will also discuss a possible experiment with using two referees, the introduction of "goal-line technology" and extending the responsibilities of the fourth official.

Birmingham are hoping to sign the Sheffield Wednesday central defender, Jon Newsome, for a fee of about pounds 1.6m as a replacement for their captain, Gary Ablett, who will be out of action until Christmas with a knee ligament injury.

Leicester City Council planning officers have recommended that Leicester's plans to move into a 40,000 all-seater stadium at Bede Island South be turned down because it contains retail outlets.

Chelsea are to take the top 10in to 12in off the Stamford Bridge pitch immediately after the game against Blackburn next Wednesday in an attempt to solve the problem of water retention on the field, which has caused the pitch to be "sticky" underfoot. Chelsea players have complained that the surface is inhibiting their ability to pass the ball smartly on the ground.

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