Prandelli takes 21km walk in
middle of the night
Italy’s players might have felt exhausted after beating Ireland on Monday but that was nothing compared to the staff, who walked 21km to a monastery in the middle of the night to celebrate their Euro 2012 quarter-final berth. The Camaldolese monks, whose origins are in Italy but who run a monastery 21 kilometres from Italy’s base outside Krakow, met the squad before the tournament and the team staff promised to make a pilgrimage to the monastery if they got out of Group C. No one expected coach Cesare Prandelli, his backroom team and federation vice-president and former midfielder Demetrio Albertini to take the walk at 3:00am local time, shortly after arriving back in Krakow from beating the Irish 2-0 in Poznan. The federation said in a statement that the group, who first ‘had to deal with the jokes of the players...who went off to bed’, took 3-1/2 hours to complete the walk and returned to the team base at 7:00am – by car. Italy meet England in the last quarter-final in Kiev on Sunday when Azzurri fans hope Prandelli will not have another sleepness night – this time for the wrong reasons.
— Reuters, Krakow
Cameron jokes about disallowed Ukraine goal
British prime minister David Cameron joked on Tuesday he may drop his support for goalmouth technology after England benefited from referee error in a Euro 2012 group stage match against Ukraine. England beat Ukraine 1-0 in Tuesday’s match, qualifying for the quarter-final knockout stage in the process, but only after Ukraine’s 62nd-minute equaliser was wrongly adjudged not to have crossed the line. Asked about the game at a news conference at the G20 summit in Mexico, Cameron was happy to offer his warm congratulations, but a little more coy when asked if the mistake should lead to the introduction of sensors to confirm goals. He referred back to a previous international match in which England was the team on the wrong end of a bad refereeing decision. ‘Goal-line technology?,’ he pondered. ‘I remember thinking it was a thoroughly good idea when Frank Lampard was disappointed in that previous England-Germany game. I’ll have to reflect a little bit further but don’t expect an immediate U-turn,’ he joked.
— AFP, Los Cabos
Low turns to
English to put Dutch journalist in his place
Germany coach Joachim Low lapsed into English for a rare moment in a press conference ahead of Friday’s quarter-final against Greece when asked a provocative World War II-based question. The Germans are based in Gdansk for the duration of Euro 2012 and the north Polish city was where the first shots of World War II were exchanged when the battleship Schleswig-Holstein fired on the Polish garrison on September 1 1939. Low lost his customary cool when asked ‘Did you think it would be a provocation to the Polish people to base the Germans here?’ by a Dutch reporter and swiftly replied in English: ‘No, not for a minute, we are happy here,’ Wolfgang Niersbach, the president of the German Football Federation will lay a wreath at the Westerplatte memorial on the Gdansk peninsula on Wednesday in memory of those who died during the battle. — AFP, Kiev
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