Celtic may play for victims in New York

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The Independent Online

Celtic are considering playing a friendly against Milan in New York to raise money for the victims of the 11 September atrocities.

Martin O'Neill's men need three points for their first back-to-back title in 20 years and one win to retain the Tennent's Scottish Cup. Celtic have a big following in the United States and the chance to see their silverware would be certain to raise cash for the relatives of those killed in the terror attacks in the United States last year.

A spokesman for the club confirmed: "It's an idea that we are looking at, but there's nothing certain. There are still a few hurdles to overcome and maybe we will be in a position in a week to 10 days to make an announcement."

The Rangers manager, Alex McLeish, will take his side to Northern Ireland this summer for the first time in 18 years. They have arranged to play Linfield at Windsor Park on 30 July and their commercial director, Martin Bain, said: "We receive tremendous loyalty and backing from fans over there who have to undertake a lot of travelling to follow the team so this match is for them."

Hamburg fans will not be welcome at today's home game against Bayern Munich, if they are carrying bananas.

The club said yesterday they had taken special measures to avoid a repeat of the tasteless incidents in last year's meeting when bananas were hurled at the Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. Cuddly Easter bunnies will be available at the game for just five euros, the statement added.

Portugal's World Cup hopes suffered a blow yesterday when the Benfica winger Simão Sabrosa was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury. The 22-year-old was hurt during Portugal's surprise 4-1 defeat by Finland in a friendly international on Wednesday.

Portugal are in World Cup group D, along with the co-hosts South Korea, Poland and the United States. Their first match is against the United States on 5 June in Suwon.

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