FOOTBALL:Liverpool players to miss out

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Terry Venables and Jack Charlton will be without several key players for the friendly between Ireland and England in Dublin on 15 February because of the Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals.

ITV yesterday decided to televise live the first leg of the Liverpool v Crystal Palace semi-final at Anfield on the same date. As a result England will be without Liverpool's John Barnes, Steve McManaman, Rob Jones, Neil Ruddock and John Scales, while Charlton will be robbed of the Liverpool defender Phil Babb.

The other semi-final first leg - between Swindon and Bolton at the County Ground, is being televised live in all regions on Sunday 12 February. The coverage details for the second legs will be announced on Monday, the Football League said yesterday.

Northern Ireland have been invited to compete in a three-team tournament, the Canada Cup, next May. The tournament, also involving Canada and Chile, will be held in Edmonton, Alberta.