Football: World Cup - Vogts is angered by threat to quit

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BERTI VOGTS, Germany's coach, said yesterday he had been angered by a suggestion his team might pull out of the World Cup because of an attack on a French policeman by German hooligans.

Vogts said he felt he had been personally attacked when an unnamed German federation official asked him about withdrawing. The coach revealed he had been confronted with the idea in the early hours of the morning on Monday, following the attack in Lens after his team's 2-2 draw with Yugoslavia on Sunday.

The French policeman is fighting for his life in a deep coma after being beaten about the head. "I had to deal with the question at two in the morning and I was angry," Vogts said.

"What can the team do [about it]? I was very hurt by what the German Football Federation planned. It has left behind its scars. It has nothing to do with the team."

Yesterday Vogts took the unusual step of confirming that the 37-year- old Lothar Matthaus would definitely play in tomorrow's game against Iran in Montpellier, in what will be his record 23rd World Cup match. Vogts would not say, though, whether he would play Matthaus at the back as sweeper or in midfield.

Tunisia sacked their coach, Henryk Kasperczak, yesterday after his team failed to qualify for the second round. The Pole, the third coach to suffer this fate in four days, will be replaced by his deputy, Ali Selmi.

Kasperczak had already signed to coach the French club, Bastia, next season.

World Cup referees have been encouraged to clamp down on players asking for an opponent, who has fouled them, to be booked or sent off.

"They should take stricter action against something which is an act of dissent and bad sportsmanship - trying to get an opponent into trouble," the Fifa spokesman, Keith Cooper, said.