SPORTING DIGEST: FOOTBALL

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The Independent Online
SPORTING DIGEST: FOOTBALL

Gary Croft, the former England Under-21 defender, looks set to start the season with Blackburn Rovers despite interest from Charlton Athletic. Rovers' chief executive, John Williams, said: "Gary Croft is not for sale. Our manager Brian Kidd is keen to start the new campaign with as strong a squad as possible. That means maintaining healthy competition for places and covering all positions."

European football's ruling body, Uefa, has decided that only teams from a state-wide Bosnian league to be launched next August can compete in European cups in the 2000-01 season, Munib Usanovic, the Secretary General of the Bosnian Football Association, revealed yesterday. No Bosnian team will play in Europe next season because of this month's cancellation of the championship play-offs. There are currently three separate Moslem, Serb and Croat leagues.

The Northern Ireland international goalkeeper, Aidan Davison, is a target for Aberdeen and Dundee United after rejecting a new contract offer at Grimsby Town.

Real Mallorca's Argentinian international goalkeeper Carlos Roa announced yesterday that he was giving up football and dedicating his life to religious work. The 29-year-old is a devout member of the Church of the Seventh Day Adventists and has said several times he was opposed to playing on Saturdays.

CSKA Moscow were ordered to play their next home match against city rivals Lokomotiv at a neutral venue following an assault on a referee, the Russian league ruled yesterday.

Hearts have revealed plans to complete the ambitious revamping of Tynecastle Park by transforming their main stand as the centrepiece of a major investment programme. The Edinburgh outfit also intend to establish a permanent training base within the capital with state-of-the-art facilities for both the first team squad and to act as a base to develop youngsters. But the club have admitted the money is not yet in place to make these long-term plans a reality and that the funds required will mean strict limits as to what can be spent on new players.

Clydebank have had their proposed move to share the stadium of the non- League club Gala Fairydean rejected by the Scottish Football League. The Netherdale ground in Galashiels has been deemed "unsuitable to stage First Division football". The homeless First Division club, who have been sharing with Dumbarton in recent seasons since quitting their now-derelict Kilbowie Park, have been given 14 days to come up with a suitable alternative.

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