Football: United may be given Champions' League bye
Friday 07 August 1998
The Premiership runners-up are due face the Polish side, LKS Lodz, next Wednesday in the first leg, with the winners over two legs qualifying for the highly lucrative Champions' League. However, Lodz may be removed from the competition today by Uefa, European football's ruling body.
The problem centres on a dispute between Uefa and the Polish government, which has suspended top Polish Football Association officials.
Uefa believes the decision has been made on political grounds and wants the officials to be reinstated before Polish football is allowed to compete in Uefa competitions. So far the Polish government has refused to lift the bans, claiming that the decisions were made because of internal corruption and not for political reasons.
The United manager, Alex Ferguson, preparing for Sunday's Charity Shield with Arsenal and - perhaps - the European tie, said yesterday: "Apparently it is all being decided tomorrow, so we will just have to wait and see. I don't know what will happen. You never know with football authorities." It is possible that United may be asked to play Kapaz Ganca, from Azerbaijan, who lost to Lodz in the qualifying round, but a bye is more likely.
If Uefa does get tough with the Poles, it could also expel the national side from the European Championship qualifiers - in which Poland are in the same group as England.
The Wolves striker Dougie Freedman is set to complete his delayed move to Nottingham Forest. The deal appeared to have broken down last week when the player announced he was staying despite the two clubs having agreed a pounds 900,000 fee, but yesterday he said he had agreed a four-year deal.
"The delay was only a contractual thing at Wolves," the former Crystal Palace striker said. He will replace Kevin Campbell, who is on his way to the Turkish club Trabzonspor, at the City Ground. Dave Bassett, the Forest manager, yesterday denied reports that another Turkish side, Fenerbahce, had made a pounds 7m bid for the unsettled Dutch striker, Pierre van Hooijdonk.
Blackburn Rovers have suffered another setback after losing their second centre-back in the space of two days. The England Under-21 defender Marlon Broomes - widely rated as Colin Hendry's replacement for the early weeks of the new Premiership season - will be out of action for at least a month.
Broomes injured ankle ligaments in a training accident and will be in plaster for the next three weeks. With the Norwegian defender Tore Pedersen also ruled out with a knee injury, the Rovers manager, Roy Hodgson, has admitted that he needs to move quickly on the transfer front, following Hendry's move to Rangers. "We only have two senior central defenders in Darren Peacock and Stephane Henchoz, and that clearly isn't enough," Hodgson said.
The Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore looks likely to be fit for the opening game of the Premiership season at Everton on 15 August.
The Villa manager, John Gregory, had ruled Collymore out of his plans for the next three weeks after the striker suffered a thigh strain in a pre-season friendly against Peterborough last Friday, but the former Liverpool man has been able to make a swift return to training.
Latest in Sport
Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United: Saints yet to receive 'serious offer' but midfielder could complete move by end of this week
Memphis Depay latest: Manchester United signing turns 'focus' on the season ahead
Sergio Ramos to Manchester United: Real Madrid defender 'wants' Old Trafford switch
Wimbledon 2015: Andy Murray tests himself with practice games against Rafael Nadal
Venezuelan TV host gets completely naked while reporting on Copa America win over Colombia
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 3 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 4 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 5 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...