Most Of UK Revises COVID-19 Travel Lists Amid Rising Case Fears

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Monday unveil a plan to lift most if not all of England’s pandemic restrictions from July 19, as he urged the public to “learn to live with” the coronavirus. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / POOL / AFP)

 

 

England and Scotland revised their COVID-19 travel rules on Wednesday, placing greater restrictions on travellers arriving from Spain’s Balearic Islands over fears of rising case numbers.

The Department of Transport in London said after a “sharp rise in cases”, the decision had been taken to move the Balearic Islands as well as the British Virgin Islands to England’s “amber” list — the middle-ranking for Covid-19 incidence.

The Scottish government, which sets its own transport policy, announced it would be making the same changes.

Under the “amber” restrictions, which will come into force after 4:00 am (0300 GMT) on July 19, travellers will have to isolate themselves at home when they arrive in the UK.

However, changes that come into effect on the same day mean those who have had both Covid vaccines as part of the UK’s innoculation campaign will not have to isolate after they return.

The Spanish islands, which include Ibiza, Menorca, Majorca and Formentera, were only moved to the UK’s green list at the end of June.

“Unfortunately when we put them on the green watch list from then we’ve seen the rates double, and also the rates of positivity of these tests double, meaning that we’re going to have to move quickly.” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

 

A passenger wears a face-mask as a Covid-19 protective measure as she travels on a bus in central London on July 14, 2021. – London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Wednesday called for use of face coverings to remain compulsory on public transport in the British capital after government plans to relax Covid curbs begin on July 19. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

 

Revisions in restrictions were also announced for Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Croatia which have been moved to the “green” watch list, the lowest ranking for Covid cases, which means travellers do not have to isolate in the UK but still have to test for Covid before and after arrival.

Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone will be added to the “red” list from July 19, with the strictest travel measures imposed, meaning those who have departed from or transited through the countries will be refused entry.

British and Irish citizens or UK residents must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days when returning from red-list countries.

Father Of England’s Maguire Broke Ribs In Wembley Chaos

Maguire’s family including his father, Alan (right). Photo: Daisssmaguire

 

Alan Maguire, 56, and the Manchester United player’s agent Kenneth Shepherd were trampled by unruly ticketless fans before the match between England and Italy at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

“It was not a nice experience — it shook him up. It was scary. I don’t want anyone to experience that at a football match,” Maguire told British tabloid The Sun.

Alan Maguire did not ask for medical treatment despite his injuries as England supporters overwhelmed security staff to enter the stadium and occupy the seats of paying spectators.

“My dad’s a big fan — he got on with it. He was struggling with his breathing because of his ribs, but he’s not one to make a big fuss,” the 28-year-old footballer was quoted as saying.

“He was fortunate as every game he has been to he has had my nephew or one of my kids on his shoulders.”

European football’s governing body UEFA on Tuesday charged England’s Football Association over the unsavoury scenes at the final and will appoint an “ethics and disciplinary inspector” to investigate the pre-match disorder.

The infractions included fans booing Italy’s national anthem, the lighting of a firework, a mid-game pitch invasion and supporters throwing objects.

London’s police force said it made 86 arrests and that 19 of its officers were injured in connection with managing the Euro 2020 final.

It also said it would look at reports of racist abuse of the three black England players who missed penalties, which has sparked an outpouring of support for them from fans.

A petition to permanently ban racists from football matches, created in response to the abuse, has garnered more than one million signatures in just two days.

Maguire condemned the behaviour of unruly fans at the match, calling it “totally wrong” and said his father would still go to games but would now be more aware.

“Things could have been a lot worse but we have to make sure it does not happen again,” he added.

Italy won the match 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time to claim their first European Championships title since 1968.

AFP

‘Never Apologise For Who I Am’ Says Rashford After Racist Abuse

England’s forward Marcus Rashford reacts after missing a penalty during the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)

 

England’s Marcus Rashford said he will “never apologise for who I am” in an emotional statement after receiving racist abuse following the side’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The Manchester United forward was one of three players, along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who were attacked by racist trolls after missing penalties in Sunday’s 3-2 shoot-out defeat by Italy.

Rashford’s England team-mate Tyrone Mings criticised British Home Secretary Priti Patel, saying she had “stoked the fire” by defending those who booed players taking the knee.

Rashford has become a hero to many outside football by lobbying the British government to provide free school meals for under-privileged children during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that,” Rashford wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Rashford, who came on late in the second period of extra time, apologised for his penalty miss and said “something didn’t feel quite right” when he came to take the kick.

 

England’s forward Marcus Rashford carries a note during the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

“It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently,” he wrote.

“I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from,” Rashford added.

– ‘Stoke the fire’ –
Images on social media showed a mural honouring Rashford in his hometown of Withington had been defaced before locals covered the hateful language with messages of support.

“Seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears,” Rashford said.

He added that he was proud to have worn the England jersey during his side’s first major final appearance in 55 years, and grateful for the “brotherhood” that was created in the England camp.

Mings criticism is not the first time he has disagreed with Patel.

The Aston Villa star criticised her — after the opening Euro 2020 win over Croatia — for her remarks that taking the knee was “gesture politics”.

She also refused to condemn the England fans who booed the team for doing it.

Premier League teams have taken the knee since last year following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the United States.

Patel had said on Monday the racial abuse of the three players was “disgusting” but it did not wash with Mings.

“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens,” tweeted Mings.

Mings remarks received support from Patel’s fellow Conservative lawmaker and former defence minister Johnny Mercer.

“The painful truth is that this guy (Mings) is completely right,” Mercer tweeted.

“Very uncomfortable with the position we Conservatives are needlessly forcing ourselves into.

“Do I fight it or stay silent? Modern Conservatism was always so much more to me. We must not lose our way.”

England captain Harry Kane lashed out at those who had posted the racial slurs — following England manager Gareth Southgate who had said the abuse was “unforgivable”.

“Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen (penalty) when the stakes were high,” tweeted Kane.

“They deserve support and backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night (Sunday).

“If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”

The racist attacks were strongly condemned by the English Football Association whose president, Prince William, said he was “sickened” by the abuse.

‘I Chose The Takers’: Southgate Takes Responsibility For Shootout Loss

England's coach Gareth Southgate (L) speaks with England's forward Marcus Rashford (R) ahead of going on during the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. JOHN SIBLEY / POOL / AFP
England’s coach Gareth Southgate (L) speaks with England’s forward Marcus Rashford (R) ahead of going on during the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. JOHN SIBLEY / POOL / AFP

 

England manager Gareth Southgate said it was his decision to put teenager Bukayo Saka as his team’s final penalty taker in their shoot-out loss to Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.

The home side, playing in their first major final since 1966, lost 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley.

Southgate also brought on Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford deep into extra time specifically to take spot-kicks, and they also both missed as England blew an early advantage in the shoot-out.

“I chose the takers,” Southgate told ITV. “I’m unbelievably disappointed not to go one step further.

“We decided to make the changes at the end of the game, but we win or lose together as a team.”

Arsenal winger Saka, who had only made five international appearances before the tournament, saw England’s final penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, after Jorginho had wasted the chance to secure the title for Italy when his effort was kept out by Jordan Pickford.

“That was my decision to give him (Saka) that penalty,” said Southgate, who missed the crucial penalty when England lost in the Euro 96 semi-finals to Germany on home soil.

“We worked with them in training. It was a gamble.”

 

AFP

Italy Win Euro 2020, Deny England First Trophy In 55 Years


Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (R) and teammates celebrate after winning the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP

 

Italy have beaten England on penalties to win the Euro 2020, denying the Three Lions their first major trophy in 55 years. 

The Italians defeated England 3-2 on penalties in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed in the shoot-out following a 1-1 draw after extra time at Wembley.

Luke Shaw scored for England inside two minutes, the fastest ever goal in a European Championship final, but Leonardo Bonucci bundled in an equaliser at a corner midway through the second half.

 


England’s defender Luke Shaw (R) celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. Andy Rain / POOL / AFP

 

Needing to score to keep England alive in the shoot-out, Saka’s spot-kick was saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as the Azzurri won the tournament for the second time.

Italy’s triumph came at the end of a shoot-out in which England scored their first two penalties but then saw Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho also fail.

Jorginho could have won it for Italy only for his penalty to be saved by Jordan Pickford, giving renewed hope to the England support who had earlier created a febrile atmosphere with their team looking set to run away with this final.

The nerve-shredding climax seemed unlikely given the way the match began, with Luke Shaw scoring for Gareth Southgate’s England after just one minute and 57 seconds, the fastest goal ever in a European Championship final stunning a team who arrived here on a record 33-match unbeaten run.

Italy were shell-shocked and struggled to recover in a stadium where the official attendance was 67,173 but more England fans clearly managed to enter after disgraceful scenes when supporters without tickets stormed the gates.

Serious questions will be asked about security — the game was also held up by a pitch invader late on — but English fans were obviously desperate to see their team finally win a major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup.

Italy, though, had most of the possession after falling behind and deserved their equaliser when it came midway through the second half through Leonardo Bonucci.

With no further scoring, this was the first European Championship final to be decided on penalties since 1976 and the decision to let the 19-year-old Saka step up when he did was a questionable one.

It is more penalty agony for England, whose list of previous shoot-out exits included losing to Italy at Euro 2012 as well as in the Euro 96 semi-finals against Germany when Southgate missed the crucial kick.

“We win and lose as a team and the penalty-takers were my call,” Southgate said.

“That is my decision, it is not down to the players but tonight it didn’t go for us.”

While their 55-year wait to win another major international title goes on, Italy’s own particular half-century of hurt is over.

Italy’s defender Giorgio Chiellini raises the European Championship trophy during the presentation after Italy won the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP

 

The Azzurri have won four World Cups but their sole European Championship triumph before this dated back to 1968. They had lost two Euro finals in little over two decades.

However, they have been the outstanding team in this competition, beating Belgium and Spain on their way to the final.

“We have been saying that something magical was in the air since the end of May, day after day,” said skipper Giorgio Chiellini.

“It’s an incredible emotion, and we savour it because it is magnificent. We conceded a goal straight away but we dominated the whole game.”

READ ALSO: Messi Ends Trophy Drought As Argentina Beat Brazil To Win Copa America

 Baying crowd 

England fans cheer before the start of the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. Carl Recine / POOL / AFP

 

Roberto Mancini’s team will now go back to Rome to celebrate, and yet they initially appeared completely unprepared for the experience that awaited them in London.

England’s baying supporters created a hostile atmosphere, and that combined with Southgate’s tactical choices seemed to catch the Italians off guard.

England brought back Kieran Trippier for Saka in the only change from their semi-final, reverting to a five-man defence.

Within two minutes England broke forward, Harry Kane supplying Trippier who crossed from the right to the far post for Shaw to score on the half-volley.

Italy, who had not been behind all tournament, were stunned and the only surprise was that England did not try to press home their obvious superiority.

Italian fightback 

taly’s midfielder Federico Chiesa celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between Italy and Spain at Wembley Stadium in London on July 6, 2021.
Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP

 

Italy had a constant threat in Federico Chiesa but the final only swung their way in the second half.

The equaliser arrived in the 67th minute. Marco Verratti stooped to meet a corner with a header that Pickford tipped onto the post, but Bonucci converted the rebound and celebrated with the Italy fans massed at that end of Wembley.

Italy then lost Chiesa to injury. Lorenzo Insigne did not last into extra time either, and Verratti came off too.

England sent on Jack Grealish in the hope of a bit of magic, but it would come down to penalties, and more gut-wrenching disappointment for them.

AFP

 

 

England And Italy Go To Extra Time In Euro 2020 Final


Italy’s players encourage each other during the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match between Italy and England at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021.
FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA / POOL / AFP

 

England and Italy went to extra time in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes at Wembley.

Luke Shaw scored inside two minutes, the fastest ever goal in a European Championship final, but Leonardo Bonucci bundled in an equaliser at a corner midway through the second half.

England are attempting to win their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup, while Italy won their only European title in 1968.

AFP

England Have Never Had It So Good As ‘Sweet Caroline’ Sweeps Nation

England’s forward Harry Kane (R) shoots and scores a penalty kick past Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (Back) during the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP)

 

 

England’s run to the Euro 2020 final is sweeping the nation into a frenzy ahead of Sunday’s clash with Italy, but over 60,000 fans at Wembley will be rocking to unfamiliar football anthem.

Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” has become the crowd and squad’s favourite of England’s first-ever run to a European Championship final.

“You can’t beat a bit of Sweet Caroline,” England manager Gareth Southgate said after a 40,000 strong Karaoke session celebrated victory over Germany in the last 16.

“It’s just a really joyous song, I think, that brings people together.”

The song “Three Lions”, commonly known by its lyrics “football’s coming home” has been the soundtrack to England success, and more commonly failure, for 25 years.

Recorded by comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner along with rock band The Lightning Seeds for Euro 96, it chronicles England’s series of heartbreaks in “30 years of hurt” since winning the 1966 World Cup.

That barren run has now extended to 55 years, but the “football’s coming home” mantra any time England win a match at a major tournament has become a target for opposition players and fans to take aim at a perceived English arrogance by claiming football as their own.

It is almost as long ago that “Sweet Caroline” first hit the charts in 1969.

Yet, despite constant reminders that this England squad is too young to be traumatised by tournament failures of the past, they are well aware of the lyrics they have belted out along with their adoring public.

“I thought Sweet Caroline went slightly better than Three Lions in the post-match sing-song,” Skinner said after the Germany clash.

“I felt like we’d beat Germany and lost to Neil Diamond in extra time.”

Diamond himself has even noticed the buzz.

“What a thrill it was to hear everybody singing Sweet Caroline at Wembley,” he told The Telegraph.

He has plenty of reason to smile with his song propelled up to second in the UK download charts on the back of Euro 2020 fever.

The band of the Coldstream Guards were even invited into the grounds of Clarence House by Prince Charles to play the tune ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final win over Denmark.

The communal outpouring of joy in the stands is not just reflected by the decades of waiting for England to reach a major final, but on the back of a series of strict lockdowns over the past 18 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Large scale football crowds were locked out of stadiums in England over a year before test events began in April on the back of a successful vaccine rollout.

Wembley Stadium DJ Tony Perry told TalkSport about his decision to put the track into his post-match playlist.

“The match director said in my in-ear, ‘The world’s been closed for 18 months… let ’em have it’.

“Even the German fans were belting it out in the end. It’s a song that all fans can enjoy.”

Whether or not the European Championship has a new home in England, the Three Lions and their fans have rarely had it so good.

Five Key Battles For Euro 2020 Final

A combination of file pictures created on July 9, 2021 shows Italy’s players (L) in Rome on June 11, 2021 and England’s players in Rome on July 3, 2021. – England face Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 final football match at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Andrew MEDICHINI and Alessandro GAROFALO / AFP)

 

 

The Euro 2020 final between Italy and England on Sunday at Wembley is widely expected to be a close match decided by fine margins.

Here, AFP Sport takes a look at five key battles on the pitch which could swing the game in one team’s favour:

Harry Kane v Giorgio Chiellini– Neither Kane nor Chiellini have enjoyed smooth rides through the tournament, but both will be crucial to their side’s hopes of winning the trophy.

England captain Kane was the top scorer in qualifying, but surprisingly looked out of sorts as he failed to score in the group stage.

But the Tottenham striker, who won the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup, has since bounced back with four goals in three knockout matches to lead England into their first major tournament final for 55 years.

Veteran centre-back Chiellini hobbled off in the first half of Italy’s second Group A game against Switzerland and did not return until the quarter-final victory over Belgium.

But the Azzurri skipper, alongside fellow Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, has played a big part in helping Italy withstand onslaughts from both Belgium and Spain in the semi-finals.

Raheem Sterling v Giovanni Di Lorenzo– Manchester City winger Sterling has been the driving force behind England’s run, scoring winners against both Croatia and the Czech Republic in the group stage before netting the opening goal in the 2-0 last-16 victory over Germany.

He also ran a tired Denmark ragged in the semi-finals, having set up Kane’s opener against Ukraine in the quarters, and won the match-winning spot-kick.

Di Lorenzo will likely be the man tasked with stopping Sterling on Sunday.

The Napoli right-back has enjoyed a solid Euro 2020, but struggled at times against the pace of Jeremy Doku against Belgium, conceding a penalty for a needless foul on the teenager.

Kalvin Phillips v Jorginho– Jorginho has been the heartbeat of the Italy midfield and one of the reasons behind a tactical shift which has seen Roberto Mancini’s men enjoy more possession than previous Italian teams.

The Champions League winner was not as dominant in the semi-final against Spain, though, with Barcelona’s teenage sensation Pedri shining in midfield.

Only Chelsea star Jorginho and Pedri have covered more ground in the tournament than Phillips, coached by the famously demanding Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds.

England will be hoping Phillips can put his energy to good use and nullify the influence of Jorginho, as he did to Luka Modric for long spells of their opening match against Croatia.

Luke Shaw v Federico Chiesa– Two of the tournament’s star players will go head-to-head on Italy’s right wing.

Juventus youngster Chiesa has tormented defences with his pace and skill, scoring brilliant goals against Austria and Spain.

Left-back Luke Shaw will be the man tasked with stopping him, but the Manchester United defender has been an attacking threat too, making three assists.

Both teams will be hoping that their man in this duel can keep the other occupied defensively, rather than being left free to run into space.

Harry Maguire v Ciro Immobile– Italy’s front man Immobile has not fired on all cylinders so far at Euro 2020, but has still netted twice and has a brilliant goalscoring record for Lazio.

But he will have to be at his best to cause Maguire problems, with the England centre-back having impressed in every match since coming back from injury for the final group game.

Immobile may also be tasked with pressing Maguire to prevent him from playing the forward passes that have often launched England attacks since he returned to the team.

How Italy And England Reached The Euro 2020 Final

A combination of file pictures created on July 9, 2021 shows Italy’s forward Lorenzo Insigne (L) in London on July 6, 2021 and England’s forward Harry Kane in London on June 18, 2021. – England face Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 final football match at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Frank AUGSTEIN and Laurence GRIFFITHS / AFP)

 

 

How Italy and hosts England qualified for Sunday’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley:

Italy Qualifying

Group J

Italy                10 10 0 0 37  4 30

Finland              10  6 0 4 16 10 18

Greece               10  4 2 4 12 14 14

Bosnia & Herzegovina 10  4 1 5 20 17 13

Armenia              10  3 1 6 14 25 10

Liechtenstein        10  0 2 8  2 31  2

Final tournament

 

A combination of file pictures created on July 9, 2021 shows England’s coach Gareth Southgate (L) in London on July 7, 2021 and Italy’s coach Roberto Mancini in Rome on June 16, 2021. – England face Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 final football match at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Frank AUGSTEIN and Ettore FERRARI / AFP)

 

Group A

Italy          3 3 0 0 7 0 9

Wales          3 1 1 1 3 2 4

Switzerland    3 1 1 1 4 5 4

Turkey         3 0 0 3 1 8 0

June 11

A combination of file pictures created on July 9, 2021 shows Italy’s players (L) in Rome on June 11, 2021 and England’s players in Rome on July 3, 2021. – England face Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 final football match at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Andrew MEDICHINI and Alessandro GAROFALO / AFP)

In Rome

Turkey 0 Italy 3 (Merih Demiral 53-og, Immobile 66, Insigne 79)

June 16

In Rome

Italy 3 (Locatelli 26, 52, Immobile 89) Switzerland 0

June 20

 

A combination of file pictures created on July 9, 2021 shows Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (R) in London on July 6, 2021 and England’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in London on June 22, 2021. – England face Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 final football match at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Matt DUNHAM / AFP)

 

In Rome

Italy 1 (Pessina 39) Wales 0

Last 16

June 26

In London

Italy 2 (Chiesa 95, Pessina 105) Austria 1 (Kalajdzic 114) after extra time

Quarter-finals

July 2

In Munich

Belgium 1 (Lukaku 45+2) Italy 2 (Barella 31, Insigne 44)

Semi-finals

July 6

 

A combination of file pictures created on July 9, 2021 shows England supporters (L) holding an English flag reading “It’s coming home soon” in London on July 7, 2021 and Italy fans holding an Italian flag reading “It’s coming to Rome” in London on July 6, 2021. – England face Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020 final football match at the Wembley Stadium in London on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Carl RECINE and Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

In London

Italy 1 (Chiesa 60) Spain 1 (Morata 80)

after extra time – Italy won 4-2 on penalties

England Qualifying

Group A

England           8 7 0 1 37  6 21

Czech Republic    8 5 0 3 13 11 15

Kosovo            8 3 2 3 13 16 11

Bulgaria          8 1 3 4  6 17  6

Montenegro        8 0 3 5  3 22  3

Final tournament

Group D

England          3 2 1 0 2 0 7

Croatia          3 1 1 1 4 3 4

Czech Republic   3 1 1 1 3 2 4

Scotland         3 0 1 2 1 5 1

June 13

In London

England 1 (Sterling 57) Croatia 0

June 18

In London

England 0 Scotland 0

June 22

In London

Czech Republic 0 England 1 (Sterling 12)

Last 16

June 29

In London

England 2 (Sterling 75, Kane 86) Germany 0

Quarter-finals

July 3

In Rome

Ukraine 0 England 4 (Kane 4, 50, Maguire 46, Henderson 63)

Semi-finals

July 7

In London

England 2 (Kjaer 39-og, Kane 104) Denmark 1 (Damsgaard 30) after extra time

UEFA Charges England For Fans’ Laser Pointing

England’s forward Harry Kane (R) shoots and scores a penalty kick past Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (Back) during the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Frank Augstein / POOL / AFP)

 

 

UEFA on Wednesday opened disciplinary proceedings and charged England over their fans’ behaviour during their Euro 2020 semi-final victory over Denmark, including allegations a laser was pointed at goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel’s face.

Photos in the British press showed the green light of a laser being pointed at Schmeichel’s face just before Harry Kane’s extra-time penalty.

Some supporters at Wembley also booed during the Denmark national anthem.

 

 

European football’s governing body on Thursday said it had charged England for “use of laser pointer”, “disturbance caused during the national anthem” and “lighting of fireworks” by their fans.

Schmeichel saved Kane’s penalty, but the England captain scored the rebound to give Gareth Southgate’s men a 2-1 victory which sealed England a place in their first major tournament final for 55 years.

They will face Italy in Sunday’s final at Wembley.

‘Bitter’ Defeat Ends Denmark’s Dream After Emotional Euro 2020 Ride

A Danish football fan sits at Kildeparken in Aalborg after Denmark was defeated by 2-1 in the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark on late July 7, 2021. (Photo by Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT

 

 

Denmark’s run to the Euro 2020 semi-finals was even more of a fairytale for the nation of five million people after their near-tragic start to the tournament.

On the opening weekend of the Euro, Christian Eriksen, his country’s star player for the best part of a decade, collapsed on the field against Finland after suffering a cardiac arrest.

As his teammates formed a protective circle around the Inter Milan midfielder to shield him from the cameras, captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel consoled his sobbing partner on the side of the pitch.

Thanks to the rapid medical response, Eriksen was resuscitated after one defibrillation and able to leave hospital less just six days later.

Three-and-a-half weeks on from the incident, Denmark were still in contention to repeat their shock success at Euro 92, which they won having initially failed to qualify thanks to Yugoslavia’s expulsion.

In the end, lightning did not strike twice. England, roared on by a 65,000 crowd at Wembley, booked their place in the final of a European Championship for the first time with a controversial 2-1 win after extra time.

The winning goal came about after a dubious penalty was awarded for Joakim Maehle’s challenge on Raheem Sterling.

 

Denmark’s players react to their defeat in the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP)

 

Schmeichel — a hero on and off the field for Denmark — saved Harry Kane’s spot-kick, but the England captain swept home the rebound to spark jubilant scenes of celebration.

“One thing is to lose a game, but losing this way is a disappointment because these guys have fought a lot,” said Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand. “It’s a bitter way to leave a tournament.”

– Physical and mental toll –
In time, Denmark will reflect on a emotional rollercoaster with nothing but pride for a squad who played plenty of slick football to go with their determination, courage and fight.

Russia and Wales were swept aside in four-goal thrashings before seeing off the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.

But that 9,000 kilometre (5,592 mile) round-trip to Azerbaijan and the physical and mental toll of the past month finally caught up with Hjulmand’s men.

After Mikkel Damsgaard’s stunning free-kick put them 1-0 up at Wembley, Kjaer’s own goal left them struggled to resist wave upon wave of English attack.

“I can’t describe with words how much I admire the technical staff behind these players. They have been through so much. Two of them saved the life of one of our best players,” said Hjulmand, reflecting on his side’s journey.

“We have been fighting like crazy, we played good football and I am grateful for the entire nation. We needed the support, the empathy, after what happened with Christian.

 

Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel reacts at the end of the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)

 

“We’ve been receiving a lot of love and support, it was amazing to feel. Unfortunately we didn’t get to the final but our future is full of hope and belief. These guys are outstanding and a whole nation can be proud.”

Amid complaints about the controversial penalty call from Dutch referee Danny Makkelie and a format that has seen England benefit from home advantage for six of their seven games, there was immense pride in Denmark on Thursday.

“The national team lost the match but won the whole kingdom,” said the Politiken newspaper.

Denmark’s talented generation will fancy their chances of another long run with the World Cup in Qatar just 16 months away.

But after seeing pre-tournament favourites France as well as Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands bow out, their chance to emulate the heroes of Euro 92 may have gone.

“It’s been emotional for the entire team,” said Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite. “It’s amazing to be Danish and be part of this. We wanted to be in that final so this is a great disappointment.”

England Beat Denmark To Reach Euro 2020 Final

England’s forward Harry Kane (C) and teammates celebrate their win in the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021.
Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP

 

England fed off the energy of a passionate Wembley crowd to beat Denmark 2-1 in the Euro 2020 semi-finals on Wednesday and now stand just 90 minutes away from ending their 55-year trophy drought.

Gareth Southgate’s men will face Italy on Sunday infused with belief they can win a first major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup.

For Euro 92 champions Denmark, defeat spells the end of a fairytale run to the last four after the trauma of witnessing star man Christian Eriksen collapse in their first match.

England emerged on a cool evening at Wembley after the crowd of almost 65,000 had whipped themselves into a frenzy with rousing renditions of “Sweet Caroline” and “Football’s Coming Home”.

England’s coach Gareth Southgate celebrates after winning the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. AFP

 

But Denmark ripped up the home script on the half-hour when Mikkel Damsgaard punished Luke Shaw for a foul on Andreas Christensen, smashing a free-kick past the despairing dive of Jordan Pickford.

That was the first goal England had conceded in the entire tournament.

The crowd went flat but England were level within 10 minutes when Simon Kjaer could only bundle the ball into his own net after a searching cross from Bukayo Saka.

Neither side could find a goal in the second period despite intense pressure from the home side as normal time drew to a close.

The volume in the stadium increased in extra time as England put Denmark under intense pressure and they finally got their reward when Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box by Joakim Maehle.

Harry Kane’s penalty was saved by Kasper Schmeichel but he converted the rebound to give England the advantage and they held Denmark at bay to seal the win.

The final whistle sparked scenes of delirium in the stands and on the pitch as the players partied with the crowd.

“It was a top performance — we had to dig in deep after the first goal we conceded in the tournament, and we regrouped well and showed a good team spirit to come back and win the game,” Sterling told ITV.

Despite the celebrations at Wembley, Sterling insisted the focus would almost immediately shift to the final against Italy.

“It’s another step in the right direction,” he added. “But once we’re back in the dressing room it’s over and we’ve got to focus on the weekend now. It’s step-by-step and that’s all we can do.”

The match was attended by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tweeted: “Tonight @England played their hearts out. What a fantastic performance from Gareth Southgate’s squad. Now to the final. Let’s bring it home.”

 Slow start

England have suffered semi-final heartbreak at major tournaments four times since becoming world champions in 1966 and those agonising defeats have been etched in the psyche of English football.

But Southgate has overseen the emergence of a vibrant young team unconcerned by the trials and tribulations of their failed predecessors in the national shirt and they are now through to their first European Championship final.

Denmark were fuelled by a sense of destiny and desire after Eriksen had to be resuscitated on the pitch in their tournament opener against Finland.

England’s forward Harry Kane celebrates in front of England’s supporters after winning the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-final football match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium in London on July 7, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)

 

They went into their final group game without a point but, with Eriksen on the mend, Kasper Hjulmand’s team embarked on a three-match winning run that took them to a first semi-final in 29 years.

Italy, who failed even to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, lie in wait for England at Wembley this weekend.

Roberto Mancini’s men beat Spain 4-2 on penalties at Wembley after a gripping 1-1 draw on Tuesday.

Federico Chiesa gave Italy the lead with half an hour to go only for Spain substitute Alvaro Morata to equalise with 10 minutes left.

Both sides missed their first two kicks of the shoot-out. Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Morata’s effort, with Jorginho converting Italy’s winner.

AFP