Press release from Sunderland AFC:
Sunderland goalkeeper Mart Poom and defender George McCartney have both being named in their respective national sides for the forthcoming Euro 2004 Qualifying games.
Poom is part of an Estonian side that will travel to Belgium for the Group 8 clash on October 11th 2003.
Belfast-born McCartney, 22, joins the Northern Ireland side as they take on top of the table Greece, at the Panathinaikos Stadium in Athens, on October 11th 2003.
Should any more Sunderland players be selected for international duty – the Republic of Ireland are due to face Switzerland on the same day as the Estonia and Northern Ireland matches above – then the SAFC v Gillingham match, scheduled for that day, would be postponed, as we reported back in August. Players who could potentially be selected for the RoI squad are Gary Breen, Colin Healy and Thomas Butler. Jason McAteer is highly unlikely to be included in the squad as he is not expected to be back to full fitness after his recent injury.
Football League rules stipulate that games can be re-arranged where 3 or more players from a side are called up for international duty. However, the club will be unable to confirm any potential postponement until approximately 15 days prior to each game when the international sides are announced.
Advance tickets purchased for these games will be valid for the rearranged fixtures in the event that the games are postponed.