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News & Comment

Football in Brief: 09/04/2009

O'Neill hit with improper conduct charge by the FA

Manager Martin O'Neill has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association, following his behaviour towards referee Mike Riley after the defeat by Manchester United on Sunday.

Villa had led 2-1 at one stage but lost the match 3-2 after conceding a late goal when teenager Federico Macheda scored a stoppage-time winner. O'Neill later claimed Riley missed a foul on Ashley Young in the build-up to Macheda's goal. He said after the match: "The officials got three offside decisions wrong when we were clean through."

Shearer was the only choice, says Llambias

Managing director Derek Llambias has said Alan Shearer was the only man to whom the club could have turned to. "He was the only person we approached, we felt that was our only choice. He has made a difference. There is no nonsense. He's got the respect, he's loved in this town and so he should be."

Capello's men on the rise in world rankings

Fabio Capello's side have moved up two places to seventh in Fifa's world rankings. The rise comes on the back of a 4-0 friendly international victory over Slovakia and a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Ukraine at Wembley. However, England still have some way to go to catch runaway Spain, who are now unbeaten in 31 matches and a record 350 points ahead of second-placed Germany.

Czechs dismiss coach as captain Ujfalusi retires

Northern Ireland's bid to qualify for the 2010 World Cup was boosted yesterday after their qualifying group rivals sacked coach Petr Rada and captain Tomas Ujfalusi retired. The defender quit international football after allegations that he went on a drinking session after the World Cup qualifying defeat to Slovakia.