World Cup - Paper Round: England may have to play in empty Wembley

England face the prospect of playing their next World Cup qualifier in an empty Wembley Stadium, according to a report in The Times.

World Cup - Paper Round: England may have to play in empty Wembley

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2010 General View of the Wembley pitch

A group of England fans was reported for racist chanting during the match against San Marino last Friday, with the supporters apparently singing that Rio and Anton Ferdinand "should be burnt on a bonfire."

UEFA have become tougher on racism of late, with the organisation announcing on Thursday that they will support referees who halt games when there are racist incidents.

And The Times suggests that UEFA will have little option but to dish out a similar punishment to that given to Hungary and Bulgaria for their fans making anti-semitic chants and monkey chants respectively in recent games. Both were ordered to play subsequent matches behind closed doors.

Liverpool are to step up their attempts to sign Christian Eriksen from Ajax, according to The Sun.

The Reds sent scouts to watch the 21-year-old playing for Denmark in the recent qualifiers, and have now decided that the midfielder is worth a £15 million bid.

Brendan Rodgers is also linked with several other players in Friday's papers. The Daily Express claims that Liverpool will battle Manchester United for the signature of Fulham's 16-year-old striker Patrick Roberts.

The Daily Star, meanwhile, says the Reds are keen on Moussa Sow of Fenerbahce, though Tottenham are also said to be keen on the 27-year-old striker.

And that's not all: the Metro also reports Anfield's interest in a striker: Shakhtar Donetsk's Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Paper Round is happy to admit that it had never heard the name before, so ran it through an anagram solver to make sure that it wasn't some sort of elaborate hoax. "Hernia Hark Myth Ink" was one of the possible anagrams, as was "Remark hah! Think yin". The jury is still out.

Elsewhere, the Mirror reports that Aston Villa will offer cancer-battler Stilian Petrov a coaching role at the club, while Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez claims that having the international break off means that John Terry will fire the Blues to a good run-in.

Arsenal's chances of landing Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes seem ever more remote, according to the Daily Mirror, with big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala ready to offer the stopper an £8m deal. "The price looks too high for the Gunners", the paper claims.

And finally, light relief this morning comes from the Daily Mail, which reports comments from Tony Pulis that Michael Owen was a "great signing" for Stoke City. This despite the ageing striker managing just 122 minutes of play all season and scoring just one goal.

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