EURO 2012: Jermaine Defoe loses father, flies home

England football squad for the EURO 2012 tournament is one man short as Striker Jermaine Defoe returned home from Poland where the tournament opened today with news of father’s death Jimmy who died overnight.

On hearing the sad news, Jermaine flew back to England and it has been confirmed that the striker could miss England’s opening game against France which will be played on Monday.

Jermain’s father; Jimmy has been battling throat cancer for a while now before he died early hours of today.

The English Football Association released a statement to confirm the return of the Tottenham star saying: “England striker Jermain Defoe has returned home to England this morning following the passing of his father overnight. Jermain will re-join the England Euro squad in due course. There will be no replacement player called in.’

Defoe left England’s hotel ten minutes before the rest of the squad boarded a coach for their first training session in Poland having only arrived in the country on Wednesday evening.

Tottenham Hotspur passed on their condolences to the forward. A statement on their website said: “Jermaine Defoe has returned home from the England squad base in Poland this morning after receiving the sad news of the passing away of his father overnight.”

England players paid their respects to Jermaine, who grew up in Beckton and is currently a supporter of many local charities, at press conferences this afternoon.

EURO 2012: Poland wary of Greek defense

Coach and captain of the Polish national team, Franciszek Smuda and Kuba Blaszczykowski, have both confessed that the defense of the Greek team is a major worry for them ahead of the opening match of the EURO 2012 on Friday.

According to the coach, they believe the Greek’s tactic from back to front is purely defensive in play.

one the co-hosts of the much awaited EURO 2012 tournaments spoke up today on what worries them they clash with Greece as the tournament opens today.#

Coach Smuda, admitted that the ironclad defense of Greece will be a hard nut to crack.

He said this while the team was having their training in Warsaw National Stadium where the first clash of the tournament will hold. He said their strong point is their style of play as it is defensive-minded.

On the part of the captain, Blaszczykowski admitted that the Greeks will introduce a defensive style of play but went further, saying a breach can always be created as his own team can boast players who can achieve that for Poland.

Greece went into the EURO 2012 finals without any defeat against all the teams they clashed during the qualifiers, scoring 14 goals and conceding 5 goals in the process.

It was thought to be a relief by Polish fans after the draw was done and they were not drawn in the group of Germany, the 2008 EURO finalists-Spain.

The performance of the Polish team is however unsure having failed to reach the 2010 World Cup, they have relied on friendly matches for 968 days in preparation for Euro 2012 with the squad with an average age of 25, the pressure is on for the young squad to reach and surpass older squads as they are on paper as the weakest team at the 16-nation European championship, hosted with neighboring Ukraine, and as hosts did not have to come through qualifying.

Smuda reiterated that his basic target is to make it out of Group A, which also includes Russia and the Czech Republic.