Sporting Digest: Football

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The Independent Online
The Birmingham City manager, Trevor Francis, is trying to sign Stockport County's midfielder Chris Marsden. Francis is hoping to do a deal with County that will see Kevin Francis return to his old club in part exchange in a pounds 500,000 package.

Burkina Faso have hired the French coach Philippe Troussier, who was sacked by Nigeria last month, to take charge of their challenge for the 1998 African Nations' Cup, which they host.

Billy Stark, the former Celtic assistant, was yesterday appointed the new manager of Morton. He is joined in the back room by Frank Connor, the former Celtic second-team manager, and the ex-Aberdeen winger Peter Weir.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, the Leeds striker, will receive a three-match ban after his sending off in Tuesday's Coca-Cola Cup tie at Bristol City. The ban will include the next round tie at Stoke City.

Wigan Athletic's 28-year-old winger Tony Black has accepted medical advice and decided to quit professional football. Black failed to recover after breaking his ankle 20 months ago.

Police have given permission for tickets to go on open sale to both sets of fans at Maine Road until Saturday lunchtime for Sunday's Manchester derby. The match is a testimonial for City's former England Under-21 player Paul Lake, whose career was cut short by a knee injury.

Graham Lancashire, the Wigan striker, will complete a pounds 60,000 move to Rochdale today.

Paul Scally, the Gillingham chairman, has left his club pounds 2,000 out of pocket but made 200 of the Priestfield faithful very happy by rewarding the fans for making the 700-mile round trip for last weekend's Second Division defeat at Carlisle with free tickets for the Gills' next home match.

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