Protester with rainbow flag tackled by stewards

A pitch invader held up a rainbow flag before being tackled to the ground ahead of Hungary’s game against Germany in Munich.

Supporters were also handed out rainbow flags, while others wore the rainbow colours entering the stadium.

UEFA rejected Bayern Munich’s plan to light up the Allianz Arena – the venue for the Group F game – in response to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation passed in Hungary.

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Protester raises flag in front of Hungary team

Image credit: Getty Images

A tweet shared by UEFA responded to further criticism of the governing body’s stance which has seen various football teams and players, including Antoine Griezmann, imply their opposition to the decision by sharing rainbow images to their social media accounts.

“Today, UEFA is proud to wear the colours of the rainbow,” the tweet read, referencing UEFA’s rainbow-coloured badge on their Twitter account.

“It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything that we believe in – a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background, belief or gender.

Some people have interpreted UEFA’s decision to turn down the city of Munich’s request to illuminate the Munich stadium in rainbow colours for a EURO 2020 match as ‘political.’

“On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the Hungarian football team’s presence in the stadium for this evening’s match with Germany.”

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Froome: Tour de France can be 'stepping stone' to former level

Chris Froome says he hopes to use the Tour de France as a ‘stepping stone’ to get near to his best level pre-injury.

The 36-year-old will be the road captain for Israel Start-Up Nation at the Tour de France with Michael Woods to lead in the general classification.

Froome is yet to fully rediscover his best racing form after suffering a huge crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine which left him requiring surgery.

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The four-time Tour winner is excited for the 2021 edition and says he is approaching it like his Tour debut 13 years ago.

“I’m really excited for this year’s start, especially given Brest was where I first discovered the Tour back in 2008 as a neo-pro, it’s come full circle for me now,” Froome said during a pre-race press conference.

“In a funny kind of way, I’m heading to the Tour de France with a similar mindset as back in 2008.

I’m looking to gain something through racing the Tour de France. Hopefully, it will be a stepping stone for me to get back to my former level of racing.

“I’m really happy to be on the start line this year and to be putting my recovery process behind me.”

Froome is looking forward to racing in a support role and that he hopes he can be a good teammate.

He added: “For me, it feels great to be able to give back now, in a very different way to the team. Typically going into the Tour de France I’ve got a lot of pressure on my shoulders as a GC contender, but that’s not the case this time.

“My only focus is on the guys around me and trying to do the best job possible to support them.

“For almost the last decade now, I’ve been going into the Tour de France with the team doing a similar job for me, and it feels great to be on the other side now and to give back a bit.”

– – –

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'That is a howler' – Dubravka dunks ball into own net during Slovakia v Spain

Martin Dubravka scored a calamitous own goal during Slovakia’s clash with Spain at Euro 2020 – just minutes after saving a penalty.

A rogue pass from Lubomir Satka across his own goal found opponent Pablo Sarabia, who smashed an effort against the top of the crossbar.

The ball looped up into the air as Dubravka waited to tap it over for a corner, but the Newcastle United stopper inexplicably pawed it into his own net.

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“Put it over the bar, just jump up and put over the bar,” exclaimed former Scotland international Ally McCoist on ITV commentary.

“As goalkeeping errors go, that is a howler.”

The European Championship had never seen an own goal by a goalkeeper prior to this tournament. It’s seen three already in 2021.

Wojciech Szczesny claimed the unwanted honour of doing it first during Poland’s 2-1 defeat to Slovakia, watching in horror as Robert Mak’s shot rebounded off the post, into him and into the net.

Lukas Hradecky made it a club of two when he inadvertently flapped the ball into the net during Finland’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium.

But Dubravka ensured neither would be immortalised with the pick of the bunch, cancelling out any credit he had built from saving Alvaro Morata’s first-half penalty.

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Mikel Azcona and CUPRA made Touring Car history in Vallelunga as they were the winners of the inaugural event of the PURE ETCR series. Azcona’s teammate Jordi Gené made it a CUPRA one-two, while Rodrigo Baptista finished third for Romeo Ferraris M1RA.

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City’s £100m Kane bid just the start, Man Utd move for Pau Torres – Paper Round

£100m Kane bid just the start for City

Word spread of Manchester City’s £100m bid for Harry Kane on Monday after Fabrizio Romano’s tweet, and Matt Law at the Telegraph is among several journalists to back these reports up. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy values Kante at £150m and so the Telegraph claim this initial offer will not be received well. Spurs are also not interested in players being part of the deal – amid reports Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte or Gabriel Jesus could head in the other direction – but for City it is just the start of negotiations which will no doubt ramp up once England’s Euro 2020 campaign is over.

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Paper Round’s view: A tidy £100m for a 27-year-old with a history of injury problems. That’s a lot of money, but Levy knows he can hold out for more and if City have come in with such a hefty opening bid, they too know it will take a lot more to prise him away. Despite their wealth, City don’t normally go this big, so it shows you how much they want the England captain.

**

Man Utd move for Pau Torres

Manchester United are making progress in their attempts to sign centre-back Pau Torres, the Manchester Evening News reports. The Villarreal defender played and scored the penultimate penalty in their Europa League final shootout win over United, and now the Premier League club are hoping to sign the 24-year-old this summer. His involvement with Spain means any deal will not be finalised until after the Euros.

Robin Quaison of Sweden battles for possession with Pau Torres of Spain during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group E match between Spain and Sweden at the La Cartuja Stadium on June 14, 2021 in Seville

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: If you can’t beat them, get them to join you… Nothing new here regarding the rumours of Pau Torres and United, but the MEN’s latest reports adds a little more weight to the fact they’ll push hard to sign the Spaniard this summer. With a contract until 2024, it could be intriguing to see what Villarreal demand.

**

Villa unaware of any Grealish interest

Back with Manchester City, BirminghamLive have been told Aston Villa remain unaware of transfer interest in captain Jack Grealish. According to the paper, there has been no contact from City with Villa keen to build around their star player. Having already signed Emi Buendia, Villa are keen to form a strong side capable of reaching Europe and know Grealish will be key to reaching that goal.

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Paper Round’s view: Villa could well be hoping City’s pursuit of Kane comes off because it seems unlikely they’ll pay a hefty sum for two players in one window. The interest will be where City turn to striker-wise if they cannot get Kane, but Grealish to City seems like a long-shot given the circumstances. We’ll see…

**

Favre to Palace?

Crystal Palace have held positive talks with Lucien Favre as they look to finally replace Roy Hodgson, the Mail reports. Favre has been out of work since being sacked by Borussia Dortmund in December, and the 63-year-old is said to be leaning towards a move to Palace amid talk of Everton potentially looking at him as a managerial option too.

Lucien Favre

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: One of a handful of managerial searches that have dragged on in the Premier League – you get the feeling the Euros and potentially departing managers on the international scene could be delaying some decisions – but for Favre this would be an intriguing move after it didn’t quite work out in Dortmund.

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England, France and three others through to knockouts after Belgium win

Belgium’s win over Finland in their third Euro 2020 game ensured that England, France, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland qualified for the knockout round.

A quirk of the 24-team format means nations can progress – or be eliminated – based on the results in other groups. The best four third-placed teams will join the six group winners and six runners-up in the last 16.

A Lukas Hradecky own goal 16 minutes from time opened the scoring for Belgium, before Romelu Lukaku added another with nine minutes remaining.

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In the group’s other game, Denmark secured an excellent 4-1 win over Russia to secure their own passage.

That left the Danes on three points along with Russia and Finland, but they qualified for the next round courtesy of their superior goal difference. Finland must wait to see if they will be one of the best third-placed teams.

England will play Czech Republic on Tuesday, which could still be a contest as Gareth Southgate’s team attempts to finish top of the group.

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Hayward: England’s strength is in attack – time for Sancho and Bellingham?

Gareth Southgate was preparing himself for a pre-match media to-and-fro about holding midfielders and team balance when he heard Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell would need to isolate. Just to really spice up the England manager’s day, Sky were reporting a £100m offer from Manchester City to Spurs for Harry Kane.

Previous England managers have seen bigger complications. Think Sven-Goran Eriksson in Baden Baden in 2006. But you could see why Southgate might be exasperated. Post-match contact between Mount and Chilwell and their Chelsea comrade, Billy Gilmour, had thrown his team selection for the Czech Republic to the winds of the pandemic. Any planned rejig was now more complicated. And just as Kane had been settled down with the guarantee of a starting place against the Czechs, along came our old friend, Premier League wealth and power, to annex the day’s agenda.

“This is tournaments. You have to adapt, you have to respond, it’s why the depth of the squad is so important,” Southgate said of the uncertainty around Mount. “Calmness around what’s going on at any given time is really critical, I think.”

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At least external chaos saved him from having to answer England fans and pundits who think a shift is needed away from caution towards adventure. Most of the talk was about Covid and whether Mount, who Southgate regards as a “fourth attacker”, would be playing against the Czechs or watching it alone in his room.

Mason Mount (top) and Billy Gilmour

Image credit: Getty Images

The fault-line for grumblers has been Southgate’s preference for two ‘defensive’ midfielders, even though Kalvin Phillips, on the edge of Croatia’s box, provided the neat pass for England’s only goal of the tournament so far. But it’s undeniable that England’s Leeds-West Ham midfield combo looked conservative in the context of how Scotland played and the sluggishness of Southgate’s attackers, which is unlikely to be repeated, unless there really is a “problem” with this team.

Discounting “fatigue”, this is how Southgate explained the Scotland performance: “I think we had a tactical problem to break Scotland down. We couldn’t get the overloads in wide areas as easily as we had done in previous matches and that’s great credit to Scotland. We’ve talked that through with the team. The team that started were in good physical shape and I had no concerns about them.”

The most strident reviews of the Scotland game portrayed Southgate as a coach with a fixed outlook. In reality he has a history of adaptation.

In the six months leading up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland had become unhappy with England’s play. Over dinner on a reconnaissance trip to Russia they designed a new formation with wing‑backs, three central defenders and two No 8s to support Harry Kane – initially Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli. The formation was so effective in the early stages of that World Cup that England’s opponents began changing shape in mid-game to deal with it.

Landmark tournament switches are an entertaining sub-plot. For England, Bobby Robson’s transformative change to three-at-the-back at Italia 90 turned a team who’d faced the front-page “send them home” treatment after the draw with the Republic of Ireland into semi-final opera stars.

In 1966, for England’s only tournament victory, Alf Ramsey had unveiled his wingless wonder 4-3-3 formation against Spain six months earlier but played a winger in each of the World Cup group games, shifting to 4-3-3 only in the knock-out rounds. Ramsey changed direction halfway through a tournament: a detail missing in many of the wingless wonder narratives.

At Euro 96, Terry Venables had his team ready to alternate between a back-four and a three according to the opposition. Tactical inflexibility was anathema to Venables and his successor, Glenn Hoddle, who both loathed the regimentation of 4-4-2.

It doesn’t always work. Graham Taylor springing a back three on England before the ‘Norse Manure’ game in Oslo in 1993 caused mayhem, with players not knowing where to go or who to mark. Nobody is demanding a radical tactical upheaval from Southgate, but the Scotland game landed him in a place familiar to England managers, where the shouting assails both ears.

Players, too, come and go, rise and fall. Peter Beardsley replacing Mark Hateley in Mexico in 1986 was a catalyst for Gary Lineker’s hat-trick against Poland and added sophistication and fluidity to England’s attack. Four years later, David Platt earned his starting place with his spectacular over the shoulder volley against Belgium on the third of his substitute appearances.

The beauty of this England squad is that Beardsley and Platt have many potential incarnations. Jack Grealish, Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho are the obvious candidates to provide more thrust and tip the balance from six defensive and four offensive players to five and five (Bellingham, notably, is able to provide just about every midfield function and has the ‘legs’ to go box to box.)

Poking out from the gloom over Mount and Chilwell and the lingering inquest from Scotland was a reminder of England’s strengths. It came when Southgate was asked why Sancho hasn’t kicked a ball yet.

“Well we just have so many good attacking players,” Southgate replied. “In terms of wide players or players who can play in those areas and come inside we have Raheem Sterling, we have Phil Foden, we have Jack Grealish, we have Marcus Rashford, we have Bukayo Sako and we have Jadon, and they’re all very good players, so if you weren’t asking me about Jadon you’d be asking me about one of the others.”

If England win at Wembley, the emphasis will shift away from Scotland and back to the surfeit of riches everyone was talking about before the tournament. For now though Southgate is in the infernal realm of national agitation he witnessed in his England playing days: a reality even a Covid drama couldn’t disguise.

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Welsh fans banned from travelling to Netherlands for last 16 match

Wales fans will not be permitted to travel to the Netherlands for their first round knockout game at Euro 2020.

Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan announced that Dutch police would “not be letting Welsh fans into the country”.

The Netherlands is currently on the UK amber list, meaning any returning visitors from the country must self-isolate for 10 days and take at least one Covid test.

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Wales’ players will play on Saturday in Amsterdam, with four possible opponents in the last 16: Belgium, Finland, Russia and Denmark.

Morgan continued: “We have had some guidance from the police in Amsterdam who have told us that they will not be letting Welsh fans into the country.

“And so that means that we would encourage you of course to stay here and watch the matches carefully.

“If local authorities come forward and ask us for the setting up of fan zones, then of course we will as a government consider that and publish guidelines for how that could be done in a safe way.”

Several hundred Welsh fans had travelled to Baku in Azerbaijan and Rome in Italy for previous Wales games despite travel being cautioned against.

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Euro 2020: North Macedonia v Netherlands – Follow LIVE

Follow the Euro live Football match between North Macedonia and Netherlands with Eurosport. The match starts at 18:00 on 21 June 2021.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers: Igor Angelovski or Frank de Boer? Find out by following our live matchcast.

Catch the latest North Macedonia and Netherlands news and find up to date Football standings, results, top scorers and previous winners.
Football fans can find the latest Football news, interviews, expert commentary and watch free replays. See detailed profiles for North Macedonia and Netherlands. Catch all the upcoming competitions. Make Eurosport your go-to source for sports online from Football to cycling, F1, winter sports and more. Enjoy live streaming of this season’s top sports competitions.

Euro 2020: Ukraine v Austria – Follow LIVE

Follow the Euro live Football match between Ukraine and Austria with Eurosport. The match starts at 18:00 on 21 June 2021.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers: Andri Shevchenko or Franco Foda? Find out by following our live matchcast.

Catch the latest Ukraine and Austria news and find up to date Football standings, results, top scorers and previous winners.
Football fans can find the latest Football news, interviews, expert commentary and watch free replays. See detailed profiles for Ukraine and Austria. Catch all the upcoming competitions. Make Eurosport your go-to source for sports online from Football to cycling, F1, winter sports and more. Enjoy live streaming of this season’s top sports competitions.