Keane to appeal Chopra ban after Lisbon
Sunderland are likely to appeal against striker Michael Chopra's dismissal in Portugal as he waits to see if he faces a three-match ban. The 24-year-old was sent off by referee Bruno Paixao for an 80th-minute lunge in a 3-1 victory over Sporting Lisbon in Albufeira, and manager Roy Keane's angry protests to fourth official Nuno Campes saw him similarly despatched. Keane later revealed he had apologised to Mr Paixao after the game and is hopeful the matter is now closed. However, Chopra faces an anxious wait to see if he will be banned when the new Barclays Premier League season kicks off against Liverpool on August 16. His hopes rest on whether or not the Portuguese Football Association report the incident to their English counterparts, who would then have no choice but to impose a suspension. An FA spokesman told PA Sport: 'The FA will wait to see if the matter is reported by the Portuguese FA.' Should that happen - and sources on Wearside believe it is likely - they will almost certainly appeal. Speaking after the game, Keane was clearly unhappy with the conduct of some of the Sporting players. He told the club's official website: 'There were a few tackles going in on our lads, but what we tend to find with most of the English teams is they get up and get on with it. 'But it doesn't seem to work the other way round. 'I don't mind there being an edge to a game and a few tackles because you have got to tackle in football. There were a few tasty tackles going in, and that's what football's all about. 'I think Michael Chopra was very unlucky to get sent off and hopefully, not too much will come of it. 'Anyone who knows Chops knows he can't tackle. I suppose it was a typical striker's tackle - slightly mistimed. 'I thought a booking would have been the worst possible scenario, but unfortunately, he got red. We will see how it goes. Hopefully that will be the end of it.' Keane arrived in Portugal later than his players after staying behind in the north-east to hold talks with Tottenham quartet Pascal Chimbonda, Steed Malbranque, Younes Kaboul and Teemu Tainio on Saturday. He said: 'There's no news yet on the transfer front. We have worked really hard and everyone knows I spoke to players over the weekend, and that went well. 'There are still one or two loose ends to be tied up at the Spurs end with one or two of these players, and hopefully it won't drag on too long. 'I would like a few positive decisions over the next couple of days, but I have to say I was very impressed with the four players when I met them, and we look forward to the news over the next few days. 'I have to say the club have made some very good offers and fingers crossed we can get across the finishing line.'