Fans earn English FA a fine
The English FA has been fined 5,000 euros (US$6,332) after England fans tried to invade the pitch in Kiev during their 3-2 win over Sweden in Group D on Friday last week, UEFA said in a statement. UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body said on Wednesday that England can lodge an appeal within 24 hours of the decision. England, who won Group D and face Italy in the quarter-finals in Kiev on Sunday, are the latest team to be punished by UEFA for crowd trouble at the finals in Poland and Ukraine. The Croatian Football Federation was fined 80,000 euros by European soccer’s ruling body on Tuesday for racist chants directed at Italy striker Mario Balotelli, while other teams have also had problems with their supporters at the championship.
Villarreal names new coach
Recently relegated Villarreal has named B-team coach Julio Velazquez as its new manager, less than two weeks after his predecessor died of a heart attack a day after accepting the job. The 30-year-old Velazquez was promoted from Villarreal’s third team to take charge of its B team midway through last season, when the club shuffled around its coaching staff after a poor start in the top-flight. Villarreal’s relegation was confirmed in the closing minutes of the final round, leading to the exit of Miguel Angel Lotina, its third coach in an injury-plagued season. The club came to an agreement on June 6 with Manuel Preciado to replace Lotina. However, the former Sporting Gijon manager died the following morning at the age of 54.
Irish fan’s body found
A body found floating in a Polish canal has been identified by a family member as that of an Irish soccer fan who came to the country for the European Championship, an official said. Polish deputy chief prosecutor Wlodzimierz Marszalkowski said on Wednesday that the family member confirmed the identity of the body as James Nolan, who went missing early on Sunday in the northern city of Bydgoszcz. He would not identify the family member, but said it was a close relation. Documents in Nolan’s name were found on the corpse. Marszalkowski said an autopsy would be held yesterday to establish cause of death. James Nolan, 21, of Blessington, County Wicklow, disappeared early on Sunday in Bydgoszcz, sparking a huge search effort in the city. Police divers found a body early on Wednesday and authorities were awaiting the arrival of Nolan’s father, Jimmy, and other family members later to make a formal identification.
Croatia face more charges
The Croatian Football Federation, fined 80,000 euros by UEFA on Tuesday for racist chanting by their fans, faces further punishment after it was charged on Wednesday for the display of racist banners against Spain. “UEFA has today opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian football federation [HNS] for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks, and the improper conduct of supporters (display of racist banners and symbols) at the UEFA Euro 2012 Group C match against Spain in Gdansk on Monday,” the governing body said in a statement. The disciplinary case, UEFA said, also involves the “improper conduct” of the Croatian team, after six of their players were booked in the 1-0 defeat that condemned them to a group-stage exit. UEFA will deal with the latest case on Sunday.