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Tuesday, December 22, 1998 Published at 18:56 GMT

Sport: Football

Ref could sue Di Canio

Paul Alcock shows the red card to Paolo Di Canio

Referee Paul Alcock is considering possible legal action against Sheffield Wednesday forward Paolo Di Canio for pushing him over during the game with Arsenal three months ago.

The 44-year-old official claims he is still suffering physical problems as a result of the incident and has not refereed a Premiership match since November 7.

"I have been having physiotherapy since the incident but it has gone much deeper than that," he told the Daily Mail newspaper.

"Last Tuesday, I was in a London hospital under general anaesthetic, having treatment on my back, to put a disc back in place.

[ image: Alcock: No refereeing until the end of January]
Alcock: No refereeing until the end of January
"Since the incident I have had continuous pins and needles down my left leg. I was unable to sleep without painkillers and it has been hard for me and my family."

Di Canio was suspended for 11 matches following the incident and is currently in dispute with Wednesday for failing to return to the club following compassionate leave.

He is still in Italy and says he is suffering from stress and depression but the club has now imposed a third fine on him, taking his total bill, including legal costs, to around £125,000.

"If he does require medical attention, then he should be seen by our own medical advisors. We have not been able to get that message across to his lawyers. But it's very difficult to communicate when it's on a one-way basis," said Wednesday secretary Graham Mackrell.

Referee Alcock insists he has no personal grudge against Di Canio but is concerned about his loss of earnings.

"If I refereed him in a match tomorrow, it would be fine for me as long as he kept within the rules. But I can't make any further comment on the specific incident because it could seriously jeopardise the course of action I wish to take," he said.

"It would be dangerous for me to say any more. All I will say is that I am determined to get fit and get back to refereeing. It has been so frustrating sitting on the sidelines."

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21 Dec 98†|†FA Carling Premiership
Di Canio appeals against latest fine

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