England accept fine for Turkey fracas

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The Independent Football

The Football Association is poised to draw a line under the tunnel fracas which marred the 2004 qualifier with Turkey on 11 October.

The sport's European governing body, Uefa, handed out fines to the Football Associations of England and Turkey on Thursday as punishment for the incident which marred the game in Istanbul. The English FA were fined £4,400 while their Turkish counterparts were given a £13,500 fine.

It is understood that the FA is unlikely to appeal against the penalty, instead choosing to concentrate its efforts on preparing for next summer's competition in Portugal.

A statement from the FA's official website, www.thefa.com, read: "We can confirm that coach Sven Goran Eriksson will be speaking to senior players ahead of the next match against Denmark to remind the squad of their responsibilities and the need to maintain their generally high standards of behaviour."

Players from both sides clashed in the players' tunnel as they made their way to the dressing-rooms. But Uefa, having studied video footage of the incident, decided that no player from either side should face disciplinary action.

A bad-tempered game finished goalless, meaning England finished top of Group Seven and qualified automatically for next summer's finals in Portugal, while Turkey will face Latvia in the play-offs later this month.

A statement from Uefa revealed: "Uefa's control and disciplinary body have decided to impose a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs [£13,500] on the Turkish FA for the lack of order in the stadium, including throwing of missiles as well as for the improper conduct of some of their players and one security staff member during incidents in the tunnel.

"The English FA were fined 10,000 Swiss francs [£4,400] for the improper conduct of some of their players in the tunnel.

"In reaching their decision, the control and disciplinary body took into account the fact that although the referee had seen the incident in the tunnel among the players concerned, he chose not to take any disciplinary measures on the spot, nor to mention any individuals in his match report."

David Beckham was taunted by Alpay Ozalan during the first half when he missed a penalty, and tensions boiled over when the Turkey defender prodded the England captain in the face as they left the field at the interval. Television footage later showed Emile Heskey had lunged at an opponent as the players made their way to the changing-rooms, with Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell also involved.

The Italian referee, Pierluigi Collina, has been credited with restoring order after he spoke to Beckham and Alpay during the break, and there were no further incidents during the rest of the game.