Sporting Digest: Football

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The Independent Online
The Football Association has blocked a move by the Republic of Ireland to play Jamaica in a friendly international at Loftus Road on Sunday 22 March. The FA was concerned about the effect an international match would have on local League and non-League games that weekend.

Peter Reid, the Sunderland manager, is stepping up his search for a goalkeeper after losing Luke Weaver for the rest of the season. The England Under- 18 international broke his jaw in two places in a reserve match against Middlesbrough on Monday. Phil Naisbett, the youth team goalkeeper, is out for the season with a shoulder injury and, with the previous reserve goalkeeper Edwin Zoetebier transferred to Feyenoord a month ago, Reid has no cover for Lionel Perez.

Nigel Pepper, the Bradford City midfielder, yesterday signed an extension to his contract which will keep him at Valley Parade until June 2000. However, Pepper faces a two-match ban, starting on Saturday, after being sent off for the second time this season, against Ipswich.

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