Le Saux admits tackle 'not acceptable'

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The Independent Football

Graeme Le Saux, the Chelsea captain, has apologised to Danny Mills for his two-footed tackle in Sunday's game at Elland Road. "I accept that this type challenge is not in order and should have no place in the game," Le Saux said yesterday.

He added: "Having had the opportunity to view the video from the game on 21 October, I have written today and spoken to Danny Mills and also written to [the Leeds United manager] David O'Leary apologising for the tackle and any ongoing problems that they may have in connection with the incident.

"I regret my actions after what has been a difficult week for me and everyone at Chelsea Football Club."

O'Leary is facing Football Association sanctions after being sent off at half-time for protesting too vigorously at the tackle. He called Paul Durkin's decision to award only a yellow card for the tackle "a disgrace" and spent the second half in the stand as his team drew 0-0.

The FA confirmed that Le Saux, the victim of abuse from the Leeds fans following his decision not to travel to Israel for last week's Uefa Cup tie with Hapoel Tel Aviv, will receive no further punishment for the incident. "The referee took the decision to caution the player, and so the matter was dealt with at the time," said the FA spokesman Adrian Bevington. "No further action can therefore be taken."

However, once the FA receives the referee's report, O'Leary could be left facing a touchline ban. "I will have my say when I go and see the FA," said the Irishman. "I'm not proud of myself. I did lose my temper and I had a go at the referee and the linesman because I was so incensed with the tackle.

"We get so many wishy-washy cards handed out at times. But for the good of the game, the players and the supporters, these are the ones you want referees to make decisions on and punish people on, not for somebody falling over their handbag."

Rob Newman is to take the manager's job at Third Division Southend on a permanent basis. The former club captain has been acting as caretaker manager since David Webb's recent departure.

The Ipswich winger Finidi George is only expected to be out for six weeks with a fractured cheekbone after it was initially thought he would be out for three months. The Nigerian was injured in an accidental collision with the Fulham defender Alain Goma in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.

The draw for the second round of the Carlsberg FA Vase has been made, with Billingham Synthonia's reward for an amazing 9-7 victory over Washington Nissan being an away tie against Squires Gate. The North-east derby stood level at 6-6 at the end of normal time before Billingham added a further three, with Washington scoring once in reply during extra-time.

Jean Tigana will take his Fulham team back to France next month for a friendly match. The Cottagers will play Sochaux to raise money for families of those killed or injured in the chemical factory explosion in Toulouse.

The teams will meet at Stade Bonal on 9 November on a free weekend for both teams; neither are in action due to international fixtures.

The explosion, at the AZF unit of oil giant TotalFinaElf on 25 September, killed 29 people and injured hundreds.

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