Sport in Short: Football

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The Independent Online
MARCO van BASTEN'S ankle has not recovered sufficiently from surgery for him to return home for New Year's Eve, his surgeon said yesterday. Rene Marty, who operated on the Milan striker's right ankle on 21 December, said the scar was not healing as quickly as expected and the European Footballer of the Year would have to remain in his St Moritz clinic. Van Basten, who is expected to be out of action for three months, was out for five months after an operation on the same ankle for ligament damage in 1987.

THE Football Association is asking all clubs competing in the third round of the FA Cup to wear black armbands in memory of its former secretary, Ted Croker, who died at the age of 68 on Christmas Day.