Football

Euro 2020: Italy’s form yet to convince some ahead of Wales clash

ROME, Italy (Reuters) – Italy will look to make it 11 wins in a row in all competitions against Wales in their last European Championship group match on Sunday, with last-16 qualification already secured, but...

‘Miracle man’ Witsel back for Belgium after determined recovery

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Axel Witsel has been hailed as Belgium’s “miracle man” after his sooner-than-expected return from a serious Achilles tendon injury, but he said his recovery came with doubt and sacrifice. The midfielder tore his tendon in early January in Bundesliga action with Borussia Dortmund and, after surgery, was told it could take up...

Euro 2020: Lovren starts for Croatia against Czech Republic

GLASGOW (Reuters) – Dejan Lovren returns to the heart of the Croatian defence for their second Group D game of the European Championship against Croatia on Friday, with Duje Caleta-Car dropping to the bench. Lovren missed Croatia’s opening game, a 1-0 defeat by England, after suffering a knee ligament injury in the build up to...

Fiji FA hopes to complete football season

The Fiji Football Association is confident of completing its 2021 season before the end of the year with the inclusion of all the three major tournaments. Football, like all sports, has been affected because of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The major tournaments such as the Digicel Fiji FACT have been put on...

UEFA hoping UK will allow overseas fans for final Euro games

June 17 (Reuters) – UEFA hopes negotiations with the UK government on lifting quarantine restrictions for overseas fans will result in a change that allows them to attend the semi-finals and final of the Euro 2020 tournament at Wembley Stadium. Under current regulations in England, fans travelling from countries on the government’s ‘amber list’ must...

18th June

Euro 2020: Ukraine bounce back from opening loss to beat North Macedonia

Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk both scored again, and this time it was enough. The pair of forwards netted a goal each in the first half on Thursday (Friday NZT) to give Ukraine a 2-1 victory over North Macedonia at the European Championships. The same two players also scored in the team’s opening match at...

Antonio Rüdiger regrets putting mouth on Paul Pogba’s back at Euro 2020

Holding France midfielder Paul Pogba from behind, Germany defender Antonio Rüdiger appeared to open his mouth and lightly bite his opponent’s back. Pogba said the German “nibbled” on him, and Rüdiger said he regrets doing it. The incident happened towards the end of the first half during France’s 1-0 win at the European Championship. “I...

Euro 2020 teams asked to stop removing sponsor bottles

Reacting to a bottle-snatching trend at the European Championship started by Cristiano Ronaldo, players on the 24 teams have been asked to stop removing strategically placed sponsor drinks from the news conference platforms, UEFA said. Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Manuel Locatelli all removed sponsor bottles away from the view of cameras when taking their seats...

17th June

Ronaldo, Pogba snub sponsors at Euro 2020

June 16 (Reuters) – France midfielder Paul Pogba removed a Heineken bottle in front of him at a Euro 2020 news conference, a day after Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo removed two Coca-Cola bottles, sparking a furore among football fans. Pogba, a practising Muslim, moved away the beer bottle when he sat down to speak to...

Navua footballers receive assistance from Fiji FA

Nineteen players from Navua today received assistance from the Fiji Football Association. Fiji FA vice-president Susan Wise was present to hand over the rations to the players. Navua FA President Rajeev Prasad said the help has come at the right time. “We have been trying to help the players with whatever we can. It has...

Fiji FA to complete season

The Fiji Football Association is confident of completing its 2021 season before the end of the year with the inclusion of all the three major tournaments. Football, like all sports, has been affected because of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Major tournaments such as the Vodafone Fiji FACT has been put on hold...

Players thankful – Vanuatu imports looked after well

Vanuatu footballers Alex Saniel, 24, and Asaraia Soromon are thankful to their Fijian counterparts for looking after them during their stay here as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the country. The Vanuatu football imports who play for Suva Football Association are among sports personal who are also facing the full brunt of the pandemic....

Euro 2020: Russia beat Finland 1-0 to keep last 16 hopes alive

With a slick one-two and a beautiful curling shot, Aleksei Miranchuk finally gave Russia something to smile about at the European Championships. The left-footed playmaker produced the one moment of class in a chaotic game Wednesday to give Russia a 1-0 win over Finland and its first points at Euro 2020. “I have to give...

Euro 2020: Wales put one foot in last 16 with comfortable 2-0 win over Turkey

Gareth Bale made sure his missed penalty didn’t matter by setting up two goals. The Wales captain created chance after chance in his team’s 2-0 victory over Turkey on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) at the European Championships. Bale lofted a pass over the defence that Aaron Ramsey chested down before knocking it past onrushing Turkey goalkeeper...

Fiji FA continues ration distribution to footballers

The Fiji Football Association continues to assist affected men and women players around the country. The Fiji FA team, led by vice president Yogeshwar Singh, distributed food ration to the players of Rewa men and women’s team together with Tailevu Naitaisiri women’s team at FoodCity Warehouse in Manoca, Nausori earlier this week. A total of...

‘I’m fine under the circumstances’: Christian Eriksen’s heartwarming thank you message from hospital bed

Christian Eriksen sent his first public message from the hospital on Wednesday NZT, thanking supporters for their “sweet and amazing” well-wishes after his collapse at the European Championship. Eriksen remains in the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest during Denmark’s game against Finland on Saturday, when he had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator on the...

Belgian Castagne undergoes surgery on double eye socket fracture

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium defender Timothy Castagne has undergone surgery on a double fracture of his eye socket suffered in the European Championship at the weekend, officials confirmed on Wednesday. The fullback was injured in a heavy collision with Russian Daler Kuzyaev in the first half of Saturday’s 3-0 Group B win in St Petersburg,...

Juve, Barca and Real admitted to Champions League next season

(Reuters) – Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been admitted to next season’s Champions League despite their involvement in the proposed breakaway European Super League project. Admission letters have been sent to all Champions League participants, European soccer’s governing body UEFA has said. Disciplinary proceedings against Juve, Barca and Real over their involvement in the...

Portugal’s record-breaking Ronaldo sinks battling Hungary

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo struck a late double to help holders Portugal get off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over Hungary in front of a 67,000 crowd on Tuesday as the forward became the all-time leading scorer at European Championship finals. Hungary rode a wave of early pressure from Portugal in...

Hummels own goal gifts France 1-0 win over lacklustre Germany

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Title favourites France launched their Euro 2020 Group F campaign with a 1-0 victory over Germany on Tuesday, courtesy of an own goal by Mats Hummels, as the sluggish-looking hosts lost their opening fixture at the European Championship for the first time. The world champions went ahead in the 20th minute...

Turkey hoping for ‘home’ advantage against Welsh

(Reuters) – Turkey head into Wednesday’s Group A match with Wales hoping that a large presence of their fans in Baku will help them to earn three sorely needed points. The 3-0 defeat to Italy in their opening Group A game has piled the pressure on the Turks while Wales know they too need a...

16th June

Footballers commend assistance

Food rations distributed by the Fiji Football Association to its affiliated players and officials are like manna from above, says Suva women’s football rep and university student Makereta Cagialawa. The Nabagasau Village, Cakaudrove lass who started playing football in 2015, said the assistance came at the right time because she lived with a big family...

Food ration continues

The Fiji Football Association will continue to assist players who solely rely on football as their main source of revenue during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. Last year Fiji FA, in partnership with Punjas Group of Companies, distributed 400 relief packages to players and officials affected by the pandemic through the Oceania Football Confederation Solidarity Fund....

Australia heading in right direction with Scottish convert Souttar

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – With his brother having earned three caps for Scotland, Harry Souttar’s decision to play for Australia raised eyebrows in his homeland but is paying dividends for the Socceroos as they plot their route to the World Cup in Qatar. The towering Stoke City centre back nodded in his sixth goal in five...

Russia coach says criticism deserved after tepid show in Euro opener

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) -Russia deserved the criticism they got for their lacklustre performance against Belgium in their Euro 2020 opener, manager Stanislav Cherchesov said on Tuesday, but added the squad was preparing well for their next match against Finland. Russia lost 3-0 to Belgium on Saturday on home turf in St Petersburg, prompting criticism...

Brazil says 31 Copa America players, officials test positive for COVID-19

Brazil’s Ministry of Health said on Monday that 31 players and Copa America delegation members had tested positive for COVID-19 by Sunday, the first day of the 10-nation South American soccer tournament. Another 10 cases were confirmed among employees working at hotels where the players and their delegations are staying in Brasilia, Health Minister Marcelo...

15th June

Messi free kick not enough as Argentina held to draw by Chile

Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored one of his trademark free kicks in the first half but Eduardo Vargas equalised for Chile in the second to leave honours even at 1-1 in their Copa America opener in Rio de Janeiro on Monday. When the two sides met in a World Cup qualifier earlier this month, Chilean goalkeeper...

Pre-trial hearings begin in Maradona death case

An Argentine prosecutor began hearing evidence on Monday involving seven people accused of contributing to the death of soccer player Diego Maradona. Maradona, the revered former Boca Juniors and Napoli star who had alcohol and drug addictions for many years, died last Nov. 25 from heart failure at the age of 60 after undergoing brain...

Fiji FA continues handing out rations

The Fiji Football Association assistance for the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic was rolled out to the Suva men’s and women’s team players at the Fiji FA Academy in Vatuwaqa yesterday. Fiji FA vice-president Jitendra Reddy was present to hand-out groceries to the players and some officials. So far, the Lautoka, Nadroga, Nadi, Ba and...

Euro 2020: Patrik Schick scores long-range stunner as Czechs spoil Scotland’s party

Patrik Schick spotted the goalkeeper off his line, launched a looping shot from just inside the halfway line, and gave his team a two-goal lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Schick scored both goals for the Czech Republic on Monday (Tuesday NZT) in a 2-0 victory over Scotland at the European Championships. But it was his second...

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