Uefa ban Kiev for bribe attempt

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The Independent Online
Dynamo Kiev were suspended from European football for three years by the governing body of football on the Continent, Uefa, yesterday for attempting to bribe the Spanish referee Antonio Lopez Nieto before their Champions' League match against Panathinaikos in Kiev last Wednesday.

The Ukrainians are banned with immediate effect from this season's Champions' League, and for the next two seasons of European club competition for which they qualify. Vasyl Babychuk, Dynamo's vice-president and general manager, and board member Igor Sourkis, were both banned for life from all Uefa-related activities.

Dynamo have until midnight on Saturday to appeal. They won the game against Panathinaikos 1-0 in Group A, which also includes Porto and Nantes.

Diego Maradona has criticised fellow football celebrities for failing to turn up at an all-star benefit match in Turkey for Bosnian children. His outburst came two days after the former Argentinian captain and 14 other leading players launched a world-wide players' union.

"I won't forgive them for not appearing at such a helpful event when they said they would," Maradona said after Tuesday night's game in Istanbul. Maradona did not play in the game between a World XI and a Turkish XI as he is still suspended for failing a drugs test at the 1994 World Cup finals.

Maradona made a speech on the pitch and presented medals to the teams. The World XI side, made up mostly of Spanish league players and foreigners playing in Turkey, lost 4-1.

There was more bad news for Maradona when he discovered that the sport's international governing body, Fifa, will not recognise the International Professional Footballers' Association, of which he has been voted president.

Sepp Blatter, Fifa's general secretary, said: "They are free to form associations like all employees and to discuss work problems, but they must address themselves to their employers, that is to say their clubs and national associations."