Luton Town will definitely begin life in League Two on minus 30 points next month after the Football Association yesterday rejected the club's appeal. Luton were docked 10 points by the FA last month as well as fined £50,000 for breaching regulations over payments to agents. This was followed by a 20-point penalty from the Football League last week after the club left administration without agreeing a Company Voluntary Agreement.
Luton tried to have the FA's penalty wiped out, but a hearing in London yesterday refused to overturn the decision. An FA statement said: "The deduction of 10 points was a heavy sanction but was not excessive as a reflection of the seriousness of the breaches and the need to deter such conduct within football clubs. It is highly unfortunate for Luton Town and their loyal fans that shortly after the FA regulatory commission reached its decision the Football League quite separately imposed a 20-point deduction for entirely different actions by the club."
Uefa has called for a crackdown on the "trafficking" of young players after a BBC Radio 5 Live investigation revealed that African conmen posing as talent scouts were tricking youngsters into handing over thousands of pounds. One man claimed he was authorised to sign players for Manchester United and asked for a £3,700 registration fee.
European football's governing body is pressing for the transfer of all players under the age of 18 to be banned. Uefa's communications director, William Gaillard, said the evidence gathered in Nigeria added further weight to the calls for the ban.
"Even legitimate scouting of young players causes us concern, because this is basically the trafficking of 12 and 13-year-old boys from inside and outside Europe," Gaillard said. The FA warned against similar scams in Britain earlier this year.
l Spain have named the former Real Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque as their new manager. The 57-year-old replaces Luis Aragones, who quit to join Fenerbahce after leading the national side to victory at Euro 2008.