Football briefs: Court throws out David Ginola slander suit

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A FRENCH court has dismissed David Ginola’s law suit for slander and defamation against former France coach Gerard Houllier after a 19-year feud between the pair.

Houllier’s lawyer Jean-Claude Guidicelli told reporters yesterday the court had ruled there were “irregularities” in the former Tottenham and Newcastle United player’s case.

“The court wanted to end this story by dismissing David Ginola’s case,” he said.

France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals when they lost 2-1 at home to Bulgaria after Emil Kostadinov’s last-gasp winner in their final qualifying game. Houllier blamed winger Ginola for misplacing a cross that allowed Bulgaria to launch a decisive counter-attack.

Sunderland charged over City incident

Sunderland have been charged by the Football Association with failing to control their players during Saturday’s Barclays Premier League match at Manchester City.

The charge relates to an incident in the 43rd minute of the 3-3 draw at the Etihad Stadium, when some Sunderland players reacted angrily when referee Phil Dowd awarded a penalty following Craig Gardner’s challenge on Edin Dzeko. Mario Balotelli scored from the penalty to bring the home side level and later scored again as City recovered from 3-1 down to rescue a point.

Sunderland have until 4pm on 11 April to respond.

Olympiakos win title after appeal failure

Olympiakos Piraeus were crowned Greek champions yesterday after Panathinaikos failed in an appeal to the country’s football federation to overturn a disciplinary punishment for the abandoned Athens derby between the clubs a fortnight ago due to crowd violence.

Panathinaikos have been docked three points and Olympiakos awarded a 3-0 win following the events at the 18 March match, meaning ten points now separate the two clubs with three matches remaining.

Wylde waits for Bolton clearance

SCOTLAND under-21 international winger Gregg Wylde is hoping to get the go-ahead to make his debut for Bolton against Fulham on Saturday. Wylde, 20, has been in limbo since joining Bolton last month after deciding to tear up his contract at Rangers when the club went into administration.

“We are just waiting on the final word from Fifa,” said manager Owen Coyle.