Football: Ronaldo's return set to bring relief to Internazionale

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The Independent Online
RONALDO IS likely to be in Internazionale's starting line-up for their Champions' League Group C tie away to Austria's Sturm Graz tonight. Ronaldo's return from a recurrence of the knee tendon problems which plagued him during the World Cup finals is a relief for a side still coming to terms with last week's sacking of the coach Gigi Simoni.

The Romanian Mircea Lucescu, who replaced Simoni, is likely to play the Brazilian, who came on for the final 20 minutes of Inter's 1-1 draw at Vicenza on Sunday, from the start tonight. He will be partnered up front in Graz by Youri Djorkaeff, who is not yet fully fit and could be substituted by either Chile's Ivan Zamorano or Roberto Baggio.

They are both expected to start on the bench, while in defence, the Nigerian Taribo West may be dropped following his ill-tempered reaction when substituted by Mikael Silvestre in the weekend's league action.

Sturm Graz are likely to be without five regulars. The midfielders Roman Mahlich, Markus Schupp, Mehrdad Minavand and Didier Angibeaud are either injured or ill, and the defender Mario Posch has a pulled a groin muscle. The Austrians will welcome back their international midfielder Hannes Reinmayr who missed the match against Spartak Moscow two weeks ago because of a leg muscle injury.

In Italy, the Argentine Ariel Ortega was suspended by Sampdoria after a drink-driving charge by police. Ortega's compatriot and team- mate Gaston Cordoba and the Brazilian Cate were also suspended. The three were questioned by police in the early hours of Monday after they were involved in an argument at a road junction in the centre of Genoa.

Ortega was charged with driving his Mercedes under the influence of alcohol. His car was impounded and his driving licence confiscated. Cordoba was charged with public order offences after he allegedly screamed abuse at police. Cate was not charged. Sampdoria said all three would be banned for the league match at Lazio on Sunday.

Vyacheslav Koloskov, the embattled president of the Russian Football Union, won his bid yesterday to keep control of Russian football for another five years. Koloskov, blamed by his opponents for a sharp decline in the fortunes of the Russian game, won 52 of the 64 votes cast after a session of the RFS that lasted more than nine hours. His main rival, Nikolai Tolstykh of the Russian Professional Football League, won eight votes.

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