UEFA have confirmed that the final Euro 2000 Group 8 clash between Macedonia and Ireland takes place on October 9th at 7.30pm local time, 6.30 p.m. Irish time. FAI Chief Executive Bernard O' Byrne said that UEFA wanted all the games completed on Saturday the 9th so no team would have an advantage in the competition for the best runners-up slot. It had been expected that the game would have had an afternoon kick-off because of the floodlighting at Macedonia's home ground in Skopje. But UEFA have inspected the ground and deemed that the floodlights are up to standard.The decision means that the Croatia-Yugoslavia game will also kick off at 6.30 Irish time on the 9th of October.

In other news Manchester United started their defence of the European Cup this evening. They played Croatia Zagreb at Old Trafford in Group D and the game has ended scoreless. The other match in that group was Marseille against Sturm Graz. Marseille have won 2 nil helped by a Ravanelli goal after 33 minutes. In Group B Arsenal have drawn nil nil away to Fiorentina while Barcelona have beaten AIK Solna two goals to one. On the English domestic front there are 11 games in the second round of the league cup involving sides from the Premiership. In the UEFA Cup first round first leg Partizan Belgrade took on Leeds United in neutral Holland this afternoon. The game finished Partizan 1, Leeds United 3 - Timic(P) :21, Lee Bowyer (L) :26,:82, Lucas Radabe(L) :39.

The worst kept secret in Formula One was revealed today when Eddie Irvine confirmed that he had signed a three year contract to drive for the newly formed Jaguar Formula One team. Irvine has signed a deal that reportedly will be worth some 15 million pounds over three seasons. Irvine will be partnered by Johnny Herbert who will be in the third year of his contract with the team that took over Stewart Grand Prix.

In snooker Ken Doherty is in action in the British Open at Plymouth. Steve Davis, John Parrott, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Fergal O’ Brien have all advanced to the next round.

It has been announced by Cablelink that the Ryder Cup, due to start in 10 days time in Brookline, outside Boston, is to be broadcast live to its subscribers in Dublin, Waterford and Galway. The coverage will be free and up to 12 hours a day. The announcement comes about after initial intentions to screen the competition on satellite digital television exclusively were set back due to the service not being available in the country as yet.