FA warning over Turkey to go in club programmes

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The Independent Football

The Football Association has taken its campaign to urge England fans not to travel to Turkey to the pages of match programmes.

Every Premiership, Football League and Conference club are to carry an appeal from the FA in programmes before the match in Istanbul on 11 October. The appeal, from the FA's marketing director, Paul Barber, has also been published in full on some official club websites.

An FA spokesman, Adrian Bevington, said: "We feel it is important to reach the widest possible audience with our message that fans should not travel to Turkey for the game.

"Through the support of the Premier League, Football League and Conference and their respective clubs, publishing this article in match programmes ensures millions of fans will see this message."

The appeal from Barber points out the threat to England's future in Euro 2004 if fans do travel for the last Group 7 qualifying game. He says: "Due to a number of unsavoury incidents involving some England supporters home and away, Uefa have made it very clear that any further trouble could lead to the team's expulsion from the tournament."

Harry Redknapp has reassured Portsmouth fans that he is not ready to join Tottenham as their manager if Glenn Hoddle is replaced.

The former West Ham manager said: "I don't know where these stories come from but I heard three or four people mentioned in connection with Spurs on the same day. There is nothing in it as far as I'm concerned, and I'm more than happy with the job I have."

Fresh from helping his side overcome Celtic on Wednesday night, Owen Hargreaves revealed yesterday that Chelsea tried to sign him from Bayern Munich this summer.

The England midfielder was told by Bayern that there was no prospect of him leaving the Olympic Stadium, and he said: "I was quite happy about it because I want to play in this team, but it's good to know that there's a market for me."

The Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, is to give the former Yugoslavia international centre-half Zoran Mirkovic a chance to help his defensive crisis. Mirkovic, 31, arrived at Bolton on trial and is able to sign because he is a free agent, having been unemployed since his three-year spell at the Turkish club Fenerbahce ended.