Sporting Digest: Football

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The Independent Online
JIMMY NICHOLL, the No 2 to Northern Ireland's manager Billy Bingham, has pulled out of the forthcoming World Cup Group Three qualifying trips to Spain, Lithuania and Latvia because of a clash with his duties as the manager of the newly promoted Scottish First Division club, Raith Rovers.

SEVILLE have agreed to meet the Spanish football federation after being told that Diego Maradona and four other club members would be suspended following a brawl between Seville and Cadiz players last month. The federation threatened to impose an indefinite ban on the five men unless they attended a hearing today. The other four are the club's president Luis Cuervas, the coach Carlos Bilardo and his assistant Miguel Lemme, and the Argentine striker Diego Simeone.

THE Brazilian forward, Antonio 'Toni' Gomes, has failed a drug test after a Spanish League match last month. Traces of an anabolic steroid were found when Toni, on loan to Valladolid from Valencia, tested positive after playing against Compostela. A second sample will be tested before the case is referred to the Spanish federation.

LEEDS UNITED have paid pounds 350,000 for Mark Beeney, the 25-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper. The fee may rise to pounds 750,000 if the 6ft 4in Kent-born player makes sufficient first- team appearances for the Elland Road club. The immediate income may earn Brighton a stay of execution when they appear in the High Court today to face a winding-up order from the Inland Revenue over the non-payment of a pounds 600,000 tax bill.

BRISTOL CITY must pay pounds 180,000 for Brian Tinnion, the midfield player they signed from Bradford City last month, following yesterday's transfer tribunal adjudication.