Gascoigne at centre of new controversy

Scottish football
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The Independent Online
Scottish football


Paul Gascoigne became embroiled in controversy during Saturday's 1-1 draw between Rangers and Aberdeen when Aberdeen's pounds 1m midfielder Paul Bernard required five stitches in his face following a clash with the English midfielder's elbow.

Gascoigne, who is one point short of an automatic suspension, escaped punishment from the referee, John Rowbotham. Roy Aitken, the Aberdeen manager said: "I don't want to say anything other than Paul has five stitches. You all saw the incident."

That and several other incidents were replayed on television and it did seem that Gascoigne escaped because of the leniency of the referee.

Rangers, meanwhile, are set to sign Derek McInnes from Morton. The clubs have agreed a fee of pounds 300,000 for the midfielder, who will discuss personal terms today. While his side faced Aberdeen, Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, was in Brazil reportedly in an effort to sign a South American striker.

Celtic recorded a timely 2-1 win over Partick Thistle to cut Rangers' lead at the top of the league to four points ahead of next Sunday's Old Firm clash at Ibrox. Pierre van Hooijdonk scored both the goals for Celtic.

Stuart McCall, the Rangers midfielder who played on Saturday after recovering from a rib injury, could be doubtful for Craig Brown's Scotland squad which faces San Marino on Wednesday in their final European Championship qualifying match. McCall is expected to turn up to be examined by the Scotland doctors. Brown has indicated he will use the game to play one or two young players to give them a chance to prove they can compete for a place in the squad for England next summer. Scot Gemmill could therefore be a key player for Scotland both on Wednesday and in the future.