Football: Wales FA set to decide Gould's future

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The Independent Online
Bobby Gould's spell as the manager of Wales may come to an abrupt end after an emergency Football Association of Wales management committee meeting next Tuesday.

Gould's position has been under threat since the Bolton striker, Nathan Blake, accused him of racist comments and refused to play in the 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat by Belgium on Easter Saturday.

Blake's allegations will be the only matter on the agenda at Tuesday's meeting, which will submit a report to the FAW general council the following day, but it may provide an excuse for Gould's critics within the FAW to launch a campaign for a change of manager. Wales are out of contention in their World Cup section and Gould is known to be unpopular with some senior players.

England's Football Association has released a video to support its challenge to host the 2006 World Cup. The launch of the promotional film, endorsed by the former England striker Gary Lineker, comes nine days before Uefa, European football's governing body, meets in Geneva to assess the rival English and German campaigns.

While the video will not be shown to Uefa officials next week, it will be distributed throughout the football world to boost the FA's case in the three years before the 2006 host country is chosen by the game's international governing body, Fifa, in 2000. Uefa has denied despite reports that it will be making a final decision next week on which country to back.

Harry Redknapp, the West Ham manager, has criticised the campaign by Alex Ferguson, his Manchester United counterpart, and others to extend the Premiership season beyond 11 May. "I'd like to see the season finish on the same day - I think that's important," Redknapp said. "I wouldn't want to see some teams finish on the Sunday, then suddenly other teams play on the Tuesday or Wednesday. I think that would end up a bit farcical."

The Football League yesterday urged the Premiership's top managers to "give our youngsters a chance" following George Graham's complaint that British football was suffering from a lack of quality.

The Leeds manager had called on club chairmen in both England and Scotland to "invest heavily" in the future of the game after his side and Blackburn were booed off the field following a drab goalless draw at Elland Road on Monday.

However, a Football League spokesman, Chris Hull, said: "Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but we believe that there is an abundance of talent on show every week in the Football League."

Brighton are to challenge the Football Association over the two-point deduction they suffered after a pitch invasion at their home game against Lincoln on 1 October. The Seagulls, five points adrift at the bottom of the Third Division, have issued instructions to their solicitors to start proceedings. In a statement, the directors say the punishment was, and remains, unfair. The club will take action through arbitration under the FA's rules - or take the FA to court.

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