Football: United fined by Uefa after Porto incident

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The Independent Online
Manchester United have been fined pounds 2,600 by Uefa for missiles thrown during their European Champions' League game against Porto at Old Trafford earlier this month, while Porto were fined just over pounds 3,000 for "improper conduct of the team". England were also landed with a fine of around pounds 2,200 for crowd disturbances at their Under-21 match against Italy at Bristol City's Ashton Gate ground in February.

Middlesbrough should take Spanish steps to resolve their dispute with the Premier League over the three points deducted for failing to fulfil a fixture. Real Madrid yesterday threatened to appeal to Fifa to overturn a Spanish Federation ruling forcing them to play Sunday's league match at Tenerife.

Real failed to have the match postponed despite missing 10 players through injury and internationals. Atletico Madrid and Real Betis have already had games postponed for similar reasons this season.

In an echo of England's club v country dispute, Middlesbrough have failed to obtain the release of Juninho from Brazil's friendly against Chile four days before the Coca-Cola Cup final against Leicester on 6 April.

Uefa have imposed a life ban on the Swiss former referee, Kurt Roethlisberger, for attempted bribery. Roethlisberger, who refereed the 1993 European Cup final between Marseille and Milan, admitted the charge during investigations into a Champions' League match between Zurich Grasshoppers and Auxerre on 30 October last year.

"Mr Roethlisberger asked whether Grasshopper would be interested in the referee...not giving decisions against them," a Uefa statement said. "This would obviously involve financial compensation, and the sum of SFr100,000 [pounds 43,000] was mentioned. Mr Roethlisberger said that it would be easy to arrange."

Roethlisberger had a controviersial career. He was sent home in disgrace from the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States after admitting that he should have awarded Belgium a penalty during their 3-2 defeat by Germany in a second-round match. And in 1995, he was suspended for three months by Fifa for misusing his position as a referee in his campaign for election to the Swiss parliament.

Barcelona's Ronaldo may be heading for Rome, according to reports in Italian papers. The Brazilian has been given permission to meet Sergio Cragnotti, Lazio's owner, the day after Barcelona's European Cup-Winners' Cup semi-final against Fiorentina on 24 April.

Alan Mullery has stood down as Barnet's director of football in order to focus on his original role as the club's scout. Mullery has handed all first team duties to Terry Bullivant.

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