England goalkeeper Joe Hart insists that England players had no plans to defy FIFA by wearing poppies during Saturday's game with Spain.

The furore over FIFA preventing the symbol being worn on England's kit had threatened to overshadow the fixture, but a compromise was reached.

The Republic of Ireland are in action tonight, facing a crucial Euro 2012 play-off as they bid to reach a major finals for the first time since 2002.

Meanwhile, the FA Cup begins this weekend, with lower league teams kicking off the 1st Round of the oldest football competition in world.

Today's transfer news sees reports that Barcelona are preparing a £35m bid for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Gareth Bale.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has said he does not expect to open contract talks with Robin van Persie until next summer.

And finally, Seydou Keita has welcomed reports linking him with Liverpool, saying it would be an "honour" to play at Anfield.

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