Football: Republic qualifier has to be called off

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THE NATO attack on Serbia has led to the postponement of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2000 qualifying match away to Macedonia, which was scheduled for Saturday in Skopje.

The European football union also postponed two other qualifiers in the Balkan region. The games in Belgrade between Yugoslavia and Croatia on Saturday and Yugoslavia and Macedonia next Wednesday have been rescheduled for 18 August and 4 September, respectively.

A trio of Scotland's defenders will have to tread carefully in the Euro 2000 qualifier against Bosnia at Ibrox on Saturday.

David Weir of Everton, Matt Elliott of Leicester and Callum Davidson of Blackburn are all on one yellow card. Another booking will see them suspended for the vital game against the Group Nine leaders, the Czech Republic, the following Wednesday at Celtic Park.

Craig Brown, the Scotland manager, is keen not to lose any more players after being forced to name a depleted squad for the two qualifiers. "I know all three players will have to be careful but I still want them to play their natural game. What I don't what to see is silly bookings for something like dissent, or, say, for kicking the ball away," Brown said yesterday.