Taylor warns on sportsmanship

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Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, yesterday urged members to be mindful of their role in setting an example after Ruud Gullit joined Arsene Wenger in criticising players who break the game's unwritten code of gentlemanly conduct in England.

Taylor said: "I think it is a good time to remind all players to keep setting the best sporting standards no matter what is at stake."

Chelsea's manager, Gullit, took up Wenger's theme after Vinnie Jones, Wimbledon's captain, launched a long throw in the closing minutes of their 1-0 London derby defeat on Tuesday. In line with what has become common practice, Jones should have thrown the ball to Chelsea, who had kicked it off when their goalkeeper, Craig Forrest, needed treatment for an injury.

The incident happened three days after Chris Sutton, the Blackburn striker, forced Arsenal to concede a corner from which Rovers scored an injury- time equaliser at Highbury, ending Arsenal's hopes of the Premier League title and improving his own team's chance of escaping relegation. Arsenal players were furious with Sutton as the throw-in had been conceded so that Stephen Hughes could be treated for an injury.

Taylor said: "Although I've not seen either the Sutton or Jones incident yet these are clearly worrying instances. We've all done a lot of work getting the game a good name for sportsmanship in this country. We won the Fair Play award at Euro 96, English clubs are high in the table for good behaviour and we've earned an extra place in the Uefa Cup next season."

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