Forest referee given `loan'

Football
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The Independent Online
The referee in charge of Nottingham Forest's infamous 1984 Uefa Cup semi- final against Anderlecht was paid pounds 18,000 by the Belgian club, it was claimed yesterday.

The Anderlecht chairman, Roger Vanden Stock, said that his father Constant, the club's former chairman, had paid the Spanish official "a loan" the day after the second leg, which Anderlecht won 3-0 to go through 3-2 on aggregate.

Forest's youth director, Paul Hart, who figured prominently in controversial incidents during the game, said: "At the time it looked as though we had been cheated, but obviously we were not aware of the full circumstances. I scored what looked to be a perfectly good goal late in the game that would have put us through to the final. We also had a very, very dubious penalty given against us."

The money was allegedly handed over to the Spanish referee Guruceta Muro on 26 April - the day after the second leg. Anderlecht lost the final on penalties to Tottenham Hotspur.

Vanden Stock said: "He [his father] refused two, three, four times and in the end, the day after the game, he eventually said `all right, I'll give to this man who is in financial trouble, I'll give him a loan of one million francs'.

"In [my father's] eyes this is not bribery but something to help someone. He did not realise the consequences. It cost him a lot of money and it will certainly cost a lot more, certainly."

Celtic are optimistic that their striker Darren Jackson will make a full recovery from the brain operation he underwent earlier this week.

"The operation from a technical point of view was a success," Peter McLean, the club's public relations manager, said. "The signs are very promising but, of course, only time will tell."

Jackson was forced to pull out of Celtic's Uefa Cup tie with Tirol Innnsbruck because of blinding headaches. Hydrocephalus - fluid on the brain - was subsequently diagnosed. During Tuesday's operation a five-millimetre hole was drilled in Jackson's brain to allow the fluid to escape.

Diego Maradona has been called to appear before the Argentine Football Association next Tuesday after testing positive for a banned substance.

The 37-year-old Maradona tested positive on Wednesday in a follow-up analysis that confirmed a test from more than a week ago.

Officials would not reveal which banned substance had been found, but the suspended Maradona, who tested positive for drugs in 1991 and 1994, has admitted that he is addicted to cocaine.

BBC in talks with Manchester Utd over TV channel, page 16

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