Football: McAllister may return for Scots

THE FORMER Scotland captain Gary McAllister has offered to step in and help his country's midfield crisis, despite not having played a first-team match for seven months.

The Coventry midfielder came through his fourth reserve game in a month on Tuesday, on the way to recovering from from major knee surgery.

The Scotland coach, Craig Brown, had previously identified McAllister as one of eight midfield men unavailable to him for the Euro 2000 qualifying double-header against Estonia and the Faroe Islands.

Ryan Giggs could boost Wales' hopes with a comeback in their Euro 2000 qualifier against Belarus at Anfield next Wednesday.

Giggs has been out of action since injuring an ankle against Liverpool a fortnight ago and was ruled out of Wales' game against Denmark in Copenhagen on Saturday. But if his progress continues, he could be fit in time for next week.

Iain Jenkins has pulled out of Northern Ireland's qualifier against Finland on Saturday because of a back problem.

A photographer has lodged an official complaint with police after being involved in a scuffle on Monday with France's World Cup-winning goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez. Barthez and his companion, Linda Evangelista, were in a bar in Toulouse.

Gheorghe Hagi has rejected an appeal from the Romanian Football Federation to make himself available for Euro 2000 qualifying matches. Hagi said he would not reverse his decision to retire from international football, which he made after the World Cup finals.