Channel 5 seals CIS Cup rights

THE Scottish League last night sealed a £1million deal to televise nationwide the CIS Cup.

The two-year deal with Channel 5 will kick-off with the third-round tie between Hibs and Rangers which has been switched to Thursday 24 October. The other ties in the third round will be played on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 October as originally decided.

Channel 5 has Thursday nights reserved for live football, and the deal means that the tournament will be screened across Britain. In addition to the Easter Road match, Channel 5 will televise live one tie from the fourth round, one semi-final and the final.

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"It’s great news that the CIS Insurance Cup will have a UK audience on Five," said League secretary Peter Donald. "We very much look forward to the partnership with them."

It is now expected that Hibs’ league game against Aberdeen at Pittodrie and Rangers’ home clash with Kilmarnock, both scheduled for Saturday 26 October, will be moved to the Sunday as a result of the teams’ League Cup clash being moved.

Paco Luna, the Hibs striker, insisted yesterday that the players at Easter Road understand the club’s decision to reduce their win bonuses this season.

The Spaniard, apparently sympathetic to the financial strife which led Rod Petrie, the managing director, to cut back on incentive packages, said that it was up to the squad to earn themselves a rethink.

"The club now has problems; they don’t have too much money," said Luna. "Maybe next season it will be better. It’s not too important. But maybe if we get into the UEFA Cup, the chairman will present something."

Celtic manager Martin O’Neill will use video evidence of his own before deciding whether to discipline Bobby Petta, who was sent off in an under-21 game against Aberdeen in midweek.

The Dutch winger denied lashing out at Nicolas Fabiano during the match, but O’Neill says he will use similar tactics to those employed by the Scottish Football Association to punish Old Firm players Bobo Balde and Fernando Ricksen to see if Petta has a case to answer.

"I’m going to see the incident myself," admitted the Celtic boss. "We’ve got Celtic TV and they had a camera there so I will look at it. He put up his defence, but if I feel he warranted it then I will discipline him."

Tore Andre Flo, the former Rangers striker who moved to Sunderland last month, has been named in Norway’s preliminary squad for the Euro 2004 double-header against Romania and Bosnia.

The 12million striker, who has scored 21 goals in 53 international appearances, had failed to feature in the last four squads following his troubled spell at Ibrox, but has won an instant recall since moving to the Stadium of Light.