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Very true, Stefan. I guess we have to explain to our international friends what we mean with Gauland, though: A leading politician of the right-wing populist German party AfD, Alexander Gauland, rece

Obvious choice. No real surprise they won, even though Turkey pushed them very close.

Congratulations to France., hosts of Euro 2016.

Excellent from Italy. They may not have been seen as serious contenders by many going into the tournament, but they will be now.


Unfortunately, as long as there is that tiny minority of our fans (& others - there was a small bit of trouble with a few German fans in Lille last night) who consider a football tournament as nothing more than a chance to go abroad & neck pints for 12 hours straight, there's gonna be these problems. Mix it with groups of Russian fans who do seem to have come for a fight (I've seen reports that some were armed with MMA gloves - not an essential item for supporting a team) & add in local ultras, notorious ones in Marseille, plus an understandably tetchy police force, it's a toxic mix. The Irish Times writer makes a good point about how these kinds of 'fans' don't consider the city & country they're in. What will be interesting is Thursday when England play Wales, to see a) what happens when the England fans aren't around Russian ones & Marseille ultras, & B) what effect the alcohol ban Lens will have in operation has on fan behaviour.

Lille on Wednesday is a much greater concern to me at the moment, particularly given the FA saying it has "serious concerns" about security arrangements. The fact Russia have also been threatened with potential expulsion, to me, is not the point. Before going after individual nations, UEFA should be addressing its own failures. It won't though. Governing bodies never do until they are forced to. We've seen that all too often before.

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Very true, Stefan.

I guess we have to explain to our international friends what we mean with Gauland, though: A leading politician of the right-wing populist German party AfD, Alexander Gauland, recently gave a newspaper interview where he claimed that many people like (black) German defender Jerome Boateng as a footballer, but wouldn't like him if he was their neighbour. That caused quite an outrage in the German public and many gestures of solidarity towards Boateng and the German football team (and one must say that it was particularly stupid from Gauland to attack a member of the national football team, shortly before a major tournament, in football-crazy Germany). Since then, many Germans say that they would much prefer Jerome Boateng over Alexander Gauland as their neighbour.

And yes, I was particularly proud and pleased that two players with migration background played such a massive role in Germany's victory tonight. There couldn't have been any clearer message to those stupid a**holes in Germany who are currently trying to destroy our country's good reputation (especially after the 2006 World Cup) by saying racist and discriminatory nonsense and getting appallingly much applause from at least parts of the German society. This development has to be stopped, and the performance of our national team could play a considerable role in that, at least for the moment.

Similar things was uttered about Mesut Ozil implying that he's a not a real German too, given that his parents were guest workers from Turkey. AfD is just so tone deaf in the sense they don't like the idea that their beloved Germany, like all of Europe, is rapidly becoming a multicultural and multiracial nation (though nowhere near as heterogenous like the USA) and fail to learn to co-exist happily. Scares the HELL out of them in attempting to cope. In fact, I met a handful of black Germans in recent times, including two brothers who hail from Cologne that are half German-half Togolese that we mutually enjoyed being around a had a real nice conversation with. I named several black Germans like Dennis Schroder, Steffi Jones, Nico Montleban, Jerome Boateng, David Odonkor, Ademola Okulaja, and Malik Ruddigkeit. We discussed the "multikulti" issues in Germany in which many Americans don't know about. Agreed the neo-fascism developing must be stopped.

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Similar things was uttered about Mesut Ozil implying that he's a not a real German too, given that his parents were guest workers from Turkey. AfD is just so tone deaf in the sense they don't like the idea that their beloved Germany, like all of Europe, is rapidly becoming a multicultural and multiracial nation (though nowhere near as heterogenous like the USA) and fail to learn to co-exist happily. Scares the HELL out of them in attempting to cope. In fact, I met a handful of black Germans in recent times, including two brothers who hail from Cologne that are half German-half Togolese that we mutually enjoyed being around a had a real nice conversation with. I named several black Germans like Dennis Schroder, Steffi Jones, Nico Montleban, Jerome Boateng, David Odonkor, Ademola Okulaja, and Malik Ruddigkeit. We discussed the "multikulti" issues in Germany in which many Americans don't know about. Agreed the neo-fascism developing must be stopped.

I think there has always been some suspicion within national football fans that certain players play for one country over another because of the greater chance of success playing for France instead of Haiti/Benin or Germany instead of Turkey/Poland/Tunisia.

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Muchly deserved! :lol::D

Kari Arnason, the Iceland defender, has responded to Cristiano Ronaldo’s scathing attack on his team’s European Championship debut....

...The former Plymouth Argyle, Rotherham United and Aberdeen defender Arnason has not taken Ronaldo’s condescension lightly. “He’s a fantastic footballer but he’s not a gracious human being,” responded the Malmo central defender, who enjoyed a commanding night against Portugal’s front line. “The thing is we almost nicked the win so him saying we weren’t going for the win contradicts that. We got a draw and could have nicked it.

“Obviously we’re not going to create as many chances as a fantastic team like Portugal but his comments are the reason why Messi is always going to be one step ahead of him. You wouldn’t expect Messi to say that. It shows we got under his skin. It was lovely to hear that.”

Ronaldo ended the game embroiled in an argument with the referee and, despite his reluctance to shake hands with Iceland’s players, did so with the captain Aron Gunnarsson.

Arnason added: “It makes it even sweeter when he’s a sore loser like that. He can say whatever he wants. He didn’t really get a chance. He got one and he couldn’t put it away. What can I say? Sore loser. Tough ****. What does he expect – for us to play like Barcelona against him? He fannies about and dives around.”


https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jun/15/iceland-kari-anderson-cristiano-ronaldo-portugal-sore-loser-messi

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I think there has always been some suspicion within national football fans that certain players play for one country over another because of the greater chance of success playing for France instead of Haiti/Benin or Germany instead of Turkey/Poland/Tunisia.

Funny you mention that about France. Many young French players with African antecedents (and grew up in France) like Pierre-Emerick Aubemuyang have switched from playing with Les Bleues in their junior ranks and play for the likes of Gabon, Algeria, and Togo at the senior level.

Reza Ghoocheanidjad, Mbark Boussoufa, and Ashkan Dejegah, all European born and raised, opted to play for Iran and Morocco instead of donning the Oranje and Die Nationalmannschaft. So if it helps raise and deepen the talent level all around worldwide in spreading the wealth, so be it. Plenty of cases abound that they wouldn't necessarily make it onto the European national team roster because of that tremendous depth and subsequent pecking order. Croatia has been known to use a couple of Aussies on their team like Joey Didiuca. The Reggae Boyz famously uses lots of Jamaican Brits, especially around their 1998 World Cup debut.

But the national soccer governing bodies must be careful: try not to emulate what Tunisia's and Qatar's did a decade ago.

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Dissapointing to hear the Euro is being pretty much marred by hooliganism as more fights happened in Lille. I doubt many french people are going to want their country host a major football event again after this.

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More acts of violence today, this time in the stadium itself, at the Croatia vs Czech Republic match, caused by the infamous Dynamo Zagreb and Rijeka fans, which forced the match to be stopped for 5 minutes.

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I don't recall a football tournament being this marred by violence like this Euro.

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Apparently the riots were caused by people who wanted to protest against Davor Zuker, president of the Croat federation because of alleged corruption, and they had nothing to do with the fans.

PS: Even Zuker too became corrupt? You can't give them a bit of power without them becoming corrupt. Ain't that right, Platini?

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Interesting. Slaven Bilic (who for some reason is on ITV here) suggested that it was a group of fans from Split & southern Croatia trying to punish the federation for its focus on Zagreb & the north of the country.

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Funny you mention that about France. Many young French players with African antecedents (and grew up in France) like Pierre-Emerick Aubemuyang have switched from playing with Les Bleues in their junior ranks and play for the likes of Gabon, Algeria, and Togo at the senior level.

Reza Ghoocheanidjad, Mbark Boussoufa, and Ashkan Dejegah, all European born and raised, opted to play for Iran and Morocco instead of donning the Oranje and Die Nationalmannschaft. So if it helps raise and deepen the talent level all around worldwide in spreading the wealth, so be it. Plenty of cases abound that they wouldn't necessarily make it onto the European national team roster because of that tremendous depth and subsequent pecking order. Croatia has been known to use a couple of Aussies on their team like Joey Didiuca. The Reggae Boyz famously uses lots of Jamaican Brits, especially around their 1998 World Cup debut.

But the national soccer governing bodies must be careful: try not to emulate what Tunisia's and Qatar's did a decade ago.

It happens a lot in a lot of sports. If you are a person that has connections to multiple countries you tend to pick the one that is most suitable to your career. For someone like Mesut Ozil, playing for Germany instead of Turkey, for Ashkan Dejegah playing for Iran. If you are good enough to make the bigger team you take that chance. I can actually only think of one case where a highly skilled player was good enough for the bigger national team, to have then played for the lesser team. Hamit Altintop being the only one I can think of.

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Dissapointing to hear the Euro is being pretty much marred by hooliganism as more fights happened in Lille. I doubt many french people are going to want their country host a major football event again after this.

Well the benefit of hosting the World Cup is that the majority of Europe doesn't get to play with the exception of a handful of countries, countries who know not to act like complete pieces of s**t.

Woops nevermind. Looking at the list from the 2014 WC, all the hooligan teams made the cut: Russia, Croatia, and England lol

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lol what a bitch. He shouldn't be pissed, he should be downright embarrassed that a team like Portugal couldn't defeat Iceland of all countries. They're not known to be a powerhouse in football, but then again neither is Portugal. Their most recent best placement in the World Cup was in 2006 and came in 4th. Their best placement overall was in 1966 where they won bronze. They've also never won the Euro Cup. Ronaldo's just a very good player stuck with a national team that sucks and he has to carry them.

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Well the benefit of hosting the World Cup is that the majority of Europe doesn't get to play with the exception of a handful of countries, countries who know not to act like complete pieces of s**t.

Woops nevermind. Looking at the list from the 2014 WC, all the hooligan teams made the cut: Russia, Croatia, and England lol

You're not half wrong, though. Expanding the number of teams was a big mistake. Now all the meme teams and meme fans are invited to the party. And since France is more focused on islamic terrorist threats than the Ultra hooligans...

In other news, Ultra croat hooligans already made clear they would try to sabotage the Spain vs Croatia match.

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Russia, Croatia, England, and Poland would likely qualify in a 16 team tournament as is.

I just find the tournament to be very boring, slow football. Horribly slow, lacking in scoring.

Edited by Faster
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^^ I agree. Sum up all the riots and incidents by the Ultra fans and this is pretty much one of the worst Euros in a long while. Unless they improve the score rate on the next stages.

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Well done Wales....superb result against, admittedly, one of the poorest teams at Euro 2016.

British 1-2 in Group B. B) Wales top the group, England have the bragging rights after the head to head. Both can be happy.

As for Slovakia, they are a really very solid team and I hope they qualify with that 3rd place. They came up against better opposition tonight. A more one-sided 0-0 you'll never see - the whole match was played in Slovakia's half. Ridiculous that we couldn't score.

Edited by Rob.
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