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 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 01:04 GMT
Jeffers the 'conman'
A round-up of the UK's sporting headlines
BBC Sport Online rounds up the main stories from Monday's national press.

One expects that the next time Francis Jeffers is on Merseyside, his reception there will be anything resembling polite.

Among those queueing up to berate the Arsenal striker is Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, whose post-match comments after Sunday's 1-1 draw are emblazoned throughout the newspapers.

The Mirror and the Sun both blast "conman" across their back pages to quote Houllier, who also described Arsene Wenger's infamous "fox in the box" as a "comedian and a diver".

The Daily Mail and the Star show similar colours, focusing on Houllier's belief that Liverpool were conned.

The Guardian rather more intelligently greets readers of its sports pages with the simple motif "Jeffers outfoxes Liverpool in the box".

Jeffers is not the only Gunner stealing the column inches as former Arsenal defender Tony Adams insists in the Sun that Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc is past it.

Football focus in the Daily Express, meanwhile, turns towards Tottenham's Christian Ziege and his fears about losing his leg after undergoing an operation because of an inflamed muscle.

Away from the footballing arena, the mood worsens in the build-up to the cricket World Cup in Zimbabwe next year.

Nasser Hussain, Tony Blair and David Graveney all give their views on the matter.

But the Times takes it further, estimating the cost of England pulling out of the tournament.

"England face 1m bill if they refuse to play Zimbabwe," reads its lead story, while bizarrely the Daily Mail, through the words of England chairman of selectors David Graveney, says the bill could be as much as 10m.

On a brighter note at the crease, England's cricketers get some positive write-ups, well Michael Vaughan at least after his 145 against Australia.

"Vaughan leader", cries the Star, "Vaughan to be King", the Mirror insists.

The Guardian is among a host of broadsheets looking at the blow to Great Britain's Australian Open hopes after the latest revelations from Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.

Links to more Sport Front Page stories are at the foot of the page.


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