The Latest: Kasper Schmeichel awed by outpouring of support
The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:
Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel says the outpouring of support in the wake of Christian Eriksen’s collapse at the European Championship has shown “exactly why we love this game so much.”
Schmeichel says “to see that football can unite a country the way it has the last few days” is the reason he plays.
Eriksen and the entire Denmark team has received a flood of messages and well-wishes after the midfielder suffered cardiac arrest during the game against Finland at Euro 2020. Schmeichel also praised the unity shown by his teammates over the last week.
He says the team showed that “the reason we play football to start off with as children … is because of what football can do and the kind of togetherness it can harvest.”
Ukraine might be without injured defender Denys Popov for its final Group C game against Austria in Bucharest on Monday.
Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko says the Dynamo Kyiv player has a calf problem and “there’s a high chance he won’t be playing tomorrow.”
Popov was on the bench for the opening 3-2 loss to the Netherlands and was not available for the second game against North Macedonia. Ukraine won that match 2-1.
Both Ukraine and Austria are looking to advance from the group stage at the tournament for the first time. They have three points each and a draw might be enough for both.
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter will write to UEFA to ask for permission for Germany’s stadium to be lit up in rainbow colors as a sign against homophobia and intolerance when the team plays Hungary on Wednesday at the European Championship.
Reiter tells news agency dpa “this is an important sign of tolerance and equality.”
Munich’s city council had already called for the stadium to be lit in rainbow colors for the final group game to protest a law passed by Hungarian lawmakers on Tuesday that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment. The law has been denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination by human rights groups.
The Munich council’s application states it is important “to set a visible sign of solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Hungary.”
The council says Munich “is committed to diversity, tolerance and equality in sport and in society as a whole.”
Finland’s players have received a good luck message from the country’s president as they head into what coach Markku Kanerva describes as “the biggest match in the history of Finnish football.”
Finland plays Belgium on Monday at the European Championship and likely needs a point to qualify for the knockout stage in its first appearance at a major soccer tournament.
Finland defender Jere Uronen says among the “great amount of messages” from well-wishers was a personal greeting from Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.
Uronen says “just the fact of being here and playing here is for me and many of us the best time of our professional careers and we don’t want it to end.”
Italy can complete a perfect group stage at the European Championship by beating Wales.
The two teams will meet at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in the final set of Group A matches.
Italy has already beaten Turkey and Switzerland and guaranteed itself a spot in the round of 16. Wales is in second place in the group with four points.
The Turks will take on Switzerland in Baku at the same time as the match in Rome. Turkey has lost both of its matches in the tournament so far. Switzerland has one point after a draw with Wales.
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