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Saturday, September 26, 1998 Published at 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK

Di Canio's future in the balance

Paolo Di Canio's future in English football has been left in the balance after shoving referee Paul Alcock to the ground during Saturday's 1-0 victory over Arsenal.

The Sheffield Wednesday striker was given a red card in the 44th minute for his part in a run-in among a dozen players from the two teams.

Di Canio was immediately suspended by his club, possibly in the hope that the FA will look more kindly on on the Italian star.

English FA spokesman Steve Double said it could get worse for the Italian, who joined Wednesday on a 4.5m transfer.

"This is clearly a very serious matter and we welcome the prompt action that Sheffield Wednesday have taken," Double said.

"We would expect to receive Mr. Alcock's report on Monday and, pending that, we will decide what action to take."

Di Canio was ushered out of the ground the game and told to calm down at his Sheffield home. He is likely to be in Italy when the referee's report goes to the FA on Monday.

The suspension by Wednesday means that the player will not be permitted to train with the team or turn up to watch games.

Sheffield Wednesday coach Danny Wilson, said: "We cannot condone any type of incident like that let alone making contact with the referee."

"I do not know what was going through his mind. He just lost it for a split second.

"Obviously we have suspended him straight away as we felt we needed to show people we understood the seriousness of the incident."

Police investigate Vieira

Police are investigating an alleged attack by Arsenal star Patrick Vieira on a policeman at the end of the match at Hillsborough.

A steward at the stadium said Frenchman Vieira had made a V-sign towards Sheffield Wednesday fans as he walked off the pitch.

As a policeman placed a hand on his shoulder he is alleged to have swung out an arm - apparently not realising it was a police officer, the steward said.

A police spokesman said tonight: "No player has been arrested. The facts of the incident are being examined with a view to establish what action, if any, the police and the FA need to take."

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