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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Grobbelaar Stays in the Limelight

LONDON -- It may not be the most attractive game on the schedule. But Southampton's Premier League match against Arsenal Saturday will get the most attention because of one man.


Bruce Grobbelaar.


The 37-year-old Zimbabwean goalkeeper is at the center of a bribes scandal and faces a life ban and even a jail sentence if allegations that he took money to deliberately let in goals are proved.


After the allegations were made in a tabloid newspaper, which used secretly taped conversations as evidence, the English Football Association charged Grobbelaar with bribery as well as bringing the game into disrepute.


Two English police forces also are investigating the allegations while Grobbelaar has 14 days to answer the FA's charges.


The goalkeeper returned to England Thursday after starring in Zimbabwe's African Nations Cup victory over Zaire in Harare on Sunday.


He is likely to get a friendly welcome from the Southampton fans at the Dell Saturday. But the Arsenal followers almost certainly will greet him with derisive chants.





Germany. Bayern Munich hope this week's election of Franz Beckenbauer as chairman can spark the reigning German champions ahead of a crucial domestic and European program.


Despite spending millions of marks on new signings in the off-season, Bayern have yet to produce form good enough to launch a serious challenge either in the Bundesliga or the Champions' League.


The "Kaiser" will learn in the next week whether he has inherited champions or expensive lightweights. After 13 games, Bayern are struggling to keep pace in the league. They are seventh, some six points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund. They need a good result at 10th-placed Karlsruhe on Saturday before playing hosts to in-form Paris St. Germain in the Champions' League next Wednesday.


Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni has been trying to explain away his team's indifferent form in recent weeks by saying they are young and have a lot to learn.


But he knows that with French international striker Jean-Pierre Papin back in their ranks -- the former European footballer-of-the-year scored his first goal of the season last week -- it is time for the big signings to start paying off their transfer fees.


Spain. International players return to domestic action at the weekend, buoyed by the national team's 3-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday, and conscious the prime spot in the league table is up for grabs.


Real Madrid are among four teams hoping to be on top of the standings next week. On Saturday they travel to ninth-placed Valencia, who will be without midfield inspiration Mazinho.


The Brazilian World Cup star twisted his left ankle in a friendly last weekend and will be sidelined for a month.


"There's no one else in the side with his authority," Valencia's coach Carlos Parreira said. Either Vicente Engonga or Juan Maqueda will step into Mazinho's boots and try to prove their coach wrong. (AP, Reuters)