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Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Taylor makes Birmingham comeback

Martin Taylor
Taylor returned for Birmingham's reserves at Solihull Moors

Birmingham City defender Martin Taylor returned to action on Tuesday for the first time since breaking Arsenal forward Eduardo's leg last month.

The 28-year-old Taylor played for the entire game for Birmingham reserves in the 3-3 draw with Tottenham.

Earlier on Tuesday the Football Association had rejected Fifa's call to impose a longer ban on Taylor.

The defender was shown a red card and given a three-match suspension for his tackle in the 2-2 draw on 23 February.

With Birmingham just two points above the drop zone Blues boss Alex McLeish must decide whether to recall Taylor for Saturday's away game against relegation rivals Reading.

Fifa disciplinary chief Marcel Mathier said the FA should have increased the ban.

But an FA spokesman said: "It would be unreasonable at this stage of the season to change our disciplinary procedures on the basis of one case."

The spokesman added: "That would be a dangerous precedent to set.

We will be reviewing our procedures at the end of the season

FA spokesman

"Serious foul play carries a three-match ban and the only cases where that has been increased is where there has been a clear case of intent and no-one is suggesting that happened in this case.

"We will be reviewing our procedures at the end of the season and consulting with the whole game, and dangerous tackles are certainly an area we will be looking at.

"We will also be requesting a meeting with Fifa for their input."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter took a personal interest in the case and demanded the file be sent to his disciplinary head.

The world governing body said in a statement: "The file on the sanction imposed by the FA on the player Martin Taylor was received and thoroughly reviewed by the chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee.

"A letter was then sent requesting the FA to once again review the incident in detail and reconsider the sanction."


Eduardo, who suffered a fractured left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle, has said he is uncertain when he will be able to return to the game, with estimates for his recovery time ranging from nine to 15 months.

The 25-year-old Croatia striker will miss Euro 2008 and his nation's World Cup qualifier at home to England on 10 September.

Taylor has repeatedly insisted that the tackle - in the second minute of the game - was mis-timed and that the incident was purely accidental.

see also
Birmingham 1-1 Newcastle
17 Mar 08 |  Premier League
McLeish buoyant over survival bid
13 Mar 08 |  Birmingham City
Portsmouth 4-2 Birmingham
12 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Eduardo intent on swift recovery
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
McLeish angry at Blatter comments
10 Mar 08 |  Birmingham City
Fifa to look at Taylor challenge
09 Mar 08 |  Birmingham City
Eduardo uncertain of return date
06 Mar 08 |  Arsenal
Taylor apologised to me - Wenger
29 Feb 08 |  Arsenal
Taylor hopes for Eduardo return
29 Feb 08 |  Birmingham City
Injured Eduardo leaves hospital
27 Feb 08 |  Arsenal
Taylor shattered by injury horror
25 Feb 08 |  Birmingham City
Hansen on Eduardo's injury
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Wenger retracts Taylor criticism
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Birmingham 2-2 Arsenal
23 Feb 08 |  Premier League

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