Bergkamp may face video trial over fracas
Tuesday 29 October 2002
Football Association officials will assess referee Graham Barber's verdict on stamping allegations against Dennis Bergkamp before deciding whether the Arsenal forward will face a trial by video.
The Dutchman tangled with Blackburn Rovers' Nils-Eric Johansson in the second half of last Saturday's 2-1 defeat, and appeared to stamp on his opponent's hip as he tumbled in front of him. But Barber did not punish Bergkamp and is reported to have admitted missing the fracas, later highlighted by television replays. FA officials now await Barber's official version of events, which could arrive at Soho Square today.
The game's governing body will examine Barber's report and decide whether to post footage of the incident to three members of their Video Advisory Panel for assessment. An FA spokesman said: "We haven't received the referee's report yet, which will confirm if he didn't see the incident. The referee is the authority on the field of play, so we will look at the report and decide what further action, if any, is needed."
If the FA decides that Bergkamp's stamp does merit further action, the Dutchman would face the prospect of a three-match ban for violent conduct.
Portsmouth hope to welcome back the Italian defender Gianluca Festa as they try to extend their lead at the top of the Nationwide League First Division tonight.
The former Middlesbrough player missed Saturday's 3-0 win at Burnley with a slight knock but is hoping to return for Portsmouth's match against Preston. The Pompey manager, Harry Redknapp, will otherwise use the same squad that won at Turf Moor. Eddie Howe, Hayden Foxe and Rory Allen remain on the sidelines through injury.
Craig Brown's Preston have made a disappointing start to the season but could move into the top half if they can inflict defeat on Pompey at Fratton Park for the first time this season. North End will be buoyed by a 1-0 win over Reading last Saturday.
Richard Creswell, the goalscorer against Reading, should be fit to play alongside David Healy despite a foot injury. Healy also played at the weekend in spite of a septic blister but should pass fit.
Norwich will hope to keep up the pursuit of Pompey but face a tricky visit from a side hot on their heels in Nottingham Forest. They may have to do so without the defender Adam Drury, who could miss his first game of the season after sustaining a back injury before the weekend defeat at Bradford City.
Drury started the game at Valley Parade but was forced to withdraw after 16 minutes and is now doubtful for tonight's match. Paul Heckingbottom is on standby to replace him.
The German midfielder Eugen Bopp may return for Forest after missing the 2-2 draw with Leicester City because of an ankle injury.
The third-placed Foxes take on Coventry City at the Walkers Stadium, with the midfielder Muzzy Izzet back in their squad following suspension, although the two-game ban coincided with a period of treatment for a long-standing pelvic problem.
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