League back down over Palace request for postponement

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The Independent Online
Crystal Palace yesterday won their battle to have their First Division meeting with Sheffield United at Selhurst Park, scheduled for Sunday, called off.

Dave Bassett's side were unhappy that the Football League rejected an initial request for a postponement when they had four players called up for senior and Under-21 international duty and another on standby.

But with another two yesterday winning late call-ups, bringing the number of players unavailable up to a possible seven, League officials relented.

Ray Houghton (Republic of Ireland), Tony Scully (Republic Under-21s) and Chris Day and Bruce Dyer (both England Under-21s) were joined on the international scene by Dougie Freedman and Robert Quinn. Freedman has been drafted into Craig Brown's Scotland squad for the World Cup matches with Latvia and Estonia, with Quinn answering the call of the Republic's Under-21 team.

Palace also have Danny Vauxhall on standby for England's youngsters and a League spokesman, Chris Hull, said: "We have allowed the game to be postponed because we were presented with an exceptional set of circumstances."

The First Division leaders, Bolton, have also had tomorrow's game at Oxford postponed because of fresh international calls. John McGinlay is a late inclusion in Scotland's squad and fellow striker Nathan Blake has stepped up for Wales. Bolton will now visit Oxford on 19 November.

The Tranmere midfielder Liam O'Brien has been added to the Republic of Ireland squad at home to Macedonia.