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Tuesday, February 2, 1999 Published at 13:58 GMT


Sport: Football

Hoddle awaits fate

Glenn Hoddle: Reign to end after three years?

Glenn Hoddle's future as England coach is due to be announced by the Football Association on Tuesday evening.

The Hoddle File
But as the FA decides whether he should be sacked for reported comments about disabled people, Hoddle is fighting to save his job.

He told The Mirror newspaper that although he believes in reincarnation and was not misquoted in his controversial Times interview, he was misunderstood.

The FA is meeting at its Lancaster Gate headquarters in London. An announcement was first scheduled for Tuesday lunchtime, then put back until the evening.

Acting chief executive David Davies said: "Our priority throughout this has been fairness to all concerned and also to do what is right for English football and the English team."


BBC Sports Correspondent Neil Bennett: No let-up in the pressure for Hoddle to go
Pressure continues to mount on Hoddle. Sports Minister Tony Banks said Hoddle's position was "untenable" and he would be surprised if the coach survived beyond Tuesday.

Hoddle plans to issue a writ against The Times, which reported him as saying that disabled people are being punished for sins in a former life.

The newspaper is standing by its story, saying it is "amazed and appalled" at Hoddle's denial.

But Hoddle has received backing from his daughter Zara, 13, who said he was "very supportive" of disabled people.

In a letter to BBC Ceefax, she said: "This situation is the most pathetic reason for someone to have maybe lost their job and to have so much hassle over.

"Please consider this from my dad's point of view and hopefully everything will be back to normal soon."


Denis Roach: "Hoddle's fate is in the hands of others"
Earlier on Tuesday, Hoddle's agent Denis Roach said: "I hope for the sake of English football and for common sense that he will survive.

"We are talking, in my mind, about the best manager England have got."

But Hoddle acknowledges that his comments could cost him his job.

"If I get the sack for this, then that is something I will have to face up to. It will be something for me to suffer," he said in The Mirror.

"I'm not some crackpot who just comes out with stupid remarks to cause controversy."


Former FA Chief Executive Graham Kelly: "His job is in the balance"
Former FA Chief Executive Graham Kelly told the BBC: "The pace of the story has moved so quickly the pressure is on the FA to show that it has the capability of dealing with it quickly, fairly and firmly."

A stern rebuke from the FA remains an option. But football's governing body, still reeling from the resignations of its chief executive and chairman last month, may wish to show itself in tune with the public mood.

Losing support


Sports writer Paul Hayward: "The forces arrayed against him are pretty strong"
Support for Hoddle was already at a low ebb after poor Euro 2000 qualifying results and last year's criticism of his World Cup diary, when he was accused of betraying the confidence of his players.

Bookmakers have stopped taking bets on his departure and speculation has already begun on the candidates to replace him.

FA Technical Director Howard Wilkinson may take over in a caretaker's role.

But Middlesbrough boss Bryan Robson has ruled himself out of contention, saying he does not have enough experience.

The Premier League's most experienced manager, Manchester United's Alex Ferguson, has also said he does not want the job





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