Tottenham and Brentford warned

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The Independent Online
What was supposed to be just a training match turned ugly for Tottenham and Brentford, who have both been warned by the Football Association after the game was abandoned following a refereeing controversy.

The Brentford manager, Dave Webb, had believed that the game - staged by Tottenham on 5 October - was to be an informal affair. Webb, therefore, was surprised when a recognised referee and linesmen arrived to take charge - and he was even more unhappy when the Brentford defender, Brian Statham, was shown a yellow card.

"There was quite a bit of discussion going on with the referee during the game to determine whether or not Statham would be reported," said an FA official.

"Webb just wanted to clarify the situation and Tottenham's Chris Hughton also became involved. In the end the referee decided to abandon the game during the second half."

That led to both clubs being charged by the FA. "Having given the correspondence due consideration and following a plea in mitigation made by the manager of Brentford, the members were satisfied that Tottenham and Brentford were guilty of misconduct under rule 26a. It was decided both clubs be warned as to their future conduct," the FA said.

Statham, an England Under-21 defender and former Tottenham player, has since been suspended for reaching 21 points, with the "friendly" caution counting towards his tally.

Also in trouble is the Dumbarton goalkeeper, Ian McFarlane, for being sent off twice in the same match. McFarlane received his marching orders during Saturday's First Division match against Airdrie. The club has been shocked to discover that he was red-carded twice for the same incident involving Airdrie's Jim McIntyre.

A Scottish Football Association official has confirmed that, according to the report from the referee, George Clyde, the player was sent off for head-butting and received an additional red card for a punch. That carries an automatic two-match ban and 24 penalty points which brings a third game suspension.

In addition, both McFarlane and his club are being asked to comment on the incident before Monday's meeting of the SFA's disciplinary committee.

In Italy, the Sampdoria captain, Roberto Mancini, was banned for five matches yesterday for throwing a tantrum during his club's 0-0 draw against Internazionale on 5 November. The stiff suspension was accompanied by a fine of 8m lire (pounds 3,300) - 5m (pounds 2,050) for dissent and 3m lire (pounds 1,250) for faking a foul. Sampdoria were also fined 30m lire (pounds 12,500) as a result of the incident.

Mancini's notoriously short fuse was in evidence against Internazionale when the goalkeeper, Gianluca Pagliuca, appeared to bring him down in the area. He exploded when the referee not only refused to award a penalty but booked him for faking a foul.

Mancini threw down his captain's armband and appealed to the Sampdoria coach, Sven Goran Eriksson, to substitute him but had his request turned down. He was then sent off for insulting the referee.

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