Football: Socceroos seek a ban on Bosnich

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The Independent Online
MARK BOSNICH, the Aston Villa goalkeeper who has angered Australia by refusing to take part in their two World Cup qualifying ties against Canada, will be barred from starting the new Premier League season with his club if his country get their way.

The Socceroos are seeking help from the world governing body, Fifa, after Bosnich told them he was unavailable for the first leg in Edmonton on Saturday and the return in Sydney on 15 August, 24 hours after Villa kick off against QPR. The 21-year-old says he does not want to jeopardise his place in Ron Atkinson's side.

The Australian federation are anxious to pre-empt possible future problems from their other European players. 'We have been left with little choice,' Ian Holmes, their chief executive, said. 'It's quite possible that Mark will not be allowed to play for his club during the time of the matches against Canada.'

Atkinson denied that he had put pressure on Bosnich. 'It was entirely Mark's decision and I pointed out to the Australians that I had to persuade him to play for them in the Olympics last year,' Atkinson said.

Another Australian, Dave Mitchell, has left Swindon and joined the Turkish side Izmir for just pounds 20,000. Mitchell, 31, who is part of the Australian squad preparing for the Canadian games, turned down a new contract from Swindon last month. A clause in his old contract set the fee at pounds 20,000, if he moved abroad. The first Swindon knew of the deal was when the fee was paid into their bank account.

Southampton have made an official protest to the Football League appeals committee claiming they were 'ripped off' last year when the transfer tribunal fixed Neil Ruddock's move to Spurs at pounds 750,000. Last week Ruddock moved to Liverpool in a pounds 2.5m deal and Ian Branfoot, the Southampton manager, said: 'No player's value increases by pounds 2m in 12 months and it's obvious the fee we were asking for at the time, pounds 1.5m, was fair.'

Glenn Hoddle has warned Ken Bates, the Chelsea chairman, that he will walk out of the job if there is any interference in team affairs. Preparing his new team for this weekend's Makita tournament Hoddle said he made that clear when he took over at Stamford Bridge in June. 'If it happened I would walk out of the door and go elsewhere,' he said. 'I could not work any other way. My philosophy is that I would never try and run someone else's business and I would not expect them to do the same. Football people should run the football side.'

Terry Venables was criticised by the Stock Exchange yesterday after estimating in a television interview what the profits of Tottenham Hotspur were in its last financial year - the second time Venables has got himself into trouble with the stock market regulator. In May he made a similar gaffe in front of viewers watching the build-up to the FA Cup final. Venables then said Tottenham was set to make pounds 5m for the financial year to 31 May. On Monday, on the Sport in Question programme, he said Tottenham will make pounds 4.7m in the first 10 months of the year.