UEFA announce referee for Euro 2024 final

UEFA have confirmed that François Letexier will be referee the Euro 2024 final between Spain and France.

The 35-year-old has officiated three matches in Germany so far, including Spain’s 4-1 victory over Georgia in the round of 16.

The Frenchman was also the fourth official for the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund last season.

Full refereeing team

Referee: François Letexier (France)

Assistants: Cyril Mugnier, Mehdi Rahmouni (both France)

4th Official: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

Reserve Assistant Referee: Tomasz Listkiewicz (Poland)

Video Assistant Referee: Jérôme Brisard (France)

VAR Assistant: Willy Delajod (France)

VAR Support: Massimiliano Irrati (Italy)

Spain manager kickstarts mind games ahead of the Euro 2024 final

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente has kickstarted his mind games ahead of the Euro 2024 final, talking up England’s chances in the match.

Speaking after the Three Lions progressed past the Netherlands, De La Fuente said: “Before starting the tournament, England and France would have been favourites, as well as Germany for the fact they were playing at home.

“We have had the chance to keep overcoming those games [against the favourites] and now we have another huge match. Maybe Spain have offered a better version so far at the finals [than England], but that won’t have any influence on a one-off game.

“England have quality players that can appear at any moment. We are up against a really powerful side full of experience, not just in terms of the national team, but at club level as well. It’s going to be tough. But we’re looking forward to this one. We want to keep growing. This group of players are going to keep fighting to try and win the trophy.”

REVEALED: Why Uruguay star’s mother fainted amid massive fracas after Copa America semi-final clash

One Uruguay star’s mother fainted amid the chaos as players’ families were embroiled in the shocking scenes that overshadowed last night’s Copa America semi-final clash.

A massive fracas erupted between fans and Uruguay players after the team’s loss to Colombia in Charlotte, North Carolina. Liverpool ace Darwin Nunez was caught up in the melee, having led some of his teammates towards the stands as tempers flared.

Online clips reveal Nunez squaring off with Colombian fans after the match, with the 25-year-old striker taking a punch to the head from an irate supporter while being restrained by security staff.

The scuffle ensued as Uruguay players’ families were ushered onto the pitch for protection, with youngsters being hoisted from the seating area. According to Favian Renkel, midfielder Manuel Ugarte’s mother reportedly collapsed as the altercation kicked off, seated not far from the disturbance. It was also noted that Uruguay players were heard shouting at Colombian fans “with family no, with family no” as the brawl escalated.

Atletico Madrid’s Jose Maria Gimenez lambasted the handling of the situation post-match, stating: “It was a disaster; there was no police and we had to defend our families,” he declared. “This is because of two or three who have one drink too many. A certain sector of the Colombian fans made an avalanche where our loved ones were.”

Nunez was later spotted consoling his young son and relatives on the pitch, joined by Luis Diaz and Luis Suarez in comforting the Liverpool forward. The Uruguayan Football Association’s head Ignacio Alonso has since come forward regarding the kerfuffle, standing by the response from the Uruguayan contingent.

“The Uruguayan players had an instinctive, natural reaction, which was to defend the children who were being attacked, their wives, parents, siblings. It was a natural, instinctive reaction that was rational given the events that were taking place,” he remarked, via ESPN.

“We were in a box, where we had some attacks and we protected some children, opening the area to some kids who were scared and having some crises, but fundamentally what is worrying is what happened down on the field, where there was more diligence in repairs than in precaution.”

“They quickly followed the evacuation protocol and we were able to resolve the situation, not without some inconvenience that you all saw.”

Europe’s top club plot move to sign Bukayo Saka

Manchester City are reportedly angling to sign Premier League rivals Arsenal’s winger Bukayo Saka.

City are known to be long-term admirers of Saka, while the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have previously been linked with his signature.

The England international has three years remaining on his current deal but interest from Manchester City has reportedly forced Arsenal to take action.

The Gunners are planning to hold extension talks with their star winger in the hope of preventing a move to the Etihad Stadium, according to CaughtOffside.

He has never shown a willingness to leave Arsenal, but the likelihood of winning more trophies elsewhere could be tempting if any offers are made.

Arsenal have grown reliant on Saka to provide the goods in the final third, especially given their lack of alternative options on the right flank.

A summer exit would give the north Londoners a massive hole to fill and could risk derailing their hopes of mounting a renewed title challenge.

“Blues bosses are already in contact”: Chelsea shock transfer swoop for star confirmed

Chelsea are plotting a shock transfer swoop for Borussia Dortmund star Karim Adeyemi.

According to Sport Bild reporter Christian Falk, the Blues have already opened talks on a deal for Adeyemi.

Falk tweeted: “Blues bosses are already in contact with player and want to persuade him to move to the UK.”

Now negotiations between the West Londoners’ chiefs and their Dortmund counterparts are planned for the 22-year-old.

The journalist claimed Chelsea are also facing competition from Italy for the winger.

Juventus are also interested in the Germany international with Dortmund demanding around £25m.

Arsenal, Man United ready for ‘battle’ as EURO 2024 star rejects club’s new contract

Arsenal and Manchester United are on high alert with Crystal Palace star Marc Guehi set to reject a new contract from his club.

Palace want Guehi to sign a new deal which would include a release clause when he returns from Euro 2024 but SunSport has now learned he has no intention of doing so.

The defender, whose contract runs out in 2026, is understood to be keen to explore his options this summer amidst interest from United and the Gunners.

The Red Devils are particularly impressed with the ease with which the 23-year-old has adapted to playing as England’s left-sided centre-back in Germany despite being right footed.

Spain boss condemns German fans over Marc Cucurella

Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente has hit out at the supporters who booed and jeered Marc Cucurella during his side’s Euro 2024 victory over France, claiming they ‘do not represent German society’ as a whole.

It was heartbreak for France as Spain came from behind to win 2-1 in Munich, with Lamine Yamal and Dani Olmo scoring in quick succession after Randal Kolo Muani’s headed opener in the eighth minute.

Chelsea left-back Cucurella has been one of the surprise stars for Spain in Germany, starting all but one of his nation’s matches en route to Sunday’s showpiece.

However, loud boos rang out whenever Cucurella touched the ball versus France and many viewers were left confused as to why the defender was copping so much abuse inside the Allianz Arena.

It soon became apparent that the culprits were not disgruntled French fans, rather neutral German supporters venting their frustrations after the curly-haired full-back escaped punishment for handball in last Friday’s quarter-final.

“We think we’ve worked out why Marc Cucurella is getting booed, by the way,” Steve Wilson explained on BBC’s commentary of the game.

“The reason is because, the German press have made a lot of this, in the game against Germany, they had a shot which hit Cucurella on the hand inside the penalty area.

“They felt the hand was away from the body, it was on the front page of the German papers the other day, I thought he was getting booed by the French fans. It’s not, it’s the German fans who feel they should be in this semi final.”

After Anthony Taylor waved away calls for handball against Cucurella in Spain’s quarter-final victory over Germany, UEFA released a statement explaining why the Premier League official had in fact made the correct decision.

“Cucurella’s hand was not in an unnatural position at the time it was hit by the ball,” the statement read.

Facing the media after Spain’s defeat of France, De la Fuente condemned the treatment of Cucurella by German supporters in Munich and claimed the booing only provided the left-back with extra motivation.

“I don’t know the reason for the booing of Cucurella, but all it did was motivate him,” the triumphant Spain manager told reporters.

“I am against disrespect and those who booed do not represent German society.”

UEFA told to ‘blacklist’ England Netherlands referee

Dutch legend Pierre van Hooijdonk has called for UEFA to ‘blacklist’ referee Felix Zwayer following his performance in England’s victory over the Netherlands.

The 54-year-old felt that the German official was ‘terrible’ and, again, was among those to question why Harry Kane was awarded a penalty.

Speaking after the match, Van Hooijdonk fumed: “They can thank Felix Zwayer. He really needs to be blacklisted. Terrible. Also in the second half… A duel with Cody Gakpo where he simply blew his whistle again, ten meters from the linesman. Those are moments that were crucial in this match.

“We can talk about it at length, but if you’re going to award a penalty for this. Then you could end up with eight of them on the spot in the final. Really terrible.”

Meanwhile, Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk was left furious by the decision and felt that the German official was quick to walk down the tunnel after he had sounded the full-time whistle.

Van Dijk said:”I don’t know if I should say something about this, but I said it outside to our Dutch media. I think it says it all that the referee went in quite quickly after the game. We had no time to shake his hand, but it is what it is.

“They keep changing certain things, making small changes that could have big impacts. But maybe it would be a good thing that they could be held accountable, let them come here and speak to you guys and explain themselves like we have to explain ourselves when we do something wrong.”

Photo Credit: EURO2024/x

(Watch Video) Liverpool star embroiled in shocking Copa America free-for-all fight with fans

Liverpool star Darwin Nunez was embroiled in a shocking brawl with fans following Uruguay’s Copa America exit at the hands of Colombia. Nunez and teammates scaled the stands as punches were thrown and chaos ensued inside Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The tension between the two nations reached boiling point after the final whistle, as Colombia clinched a narrow 1-0 victory thanks to Jefferson Lerma’s 39th-minute header. Once the on-pitch chaos had died down, the Uruguay players made their way towards the stands.

Nunez led a contingent of Uruguay players into the crowd, where they were met with hostility from Colombian fans, sparking a full-blown fight between the players and supporters. Nunez was hit by a fan and was seen defending himself, retaliating against several supporters.

Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo also found himself in the midst of the melee, with thousands of fans recording the shocking scenes on their phones. Security staff stepped in to separate the two groups, quickly escorting the Uruguay players towards the dressing room.

According to Uruguayan news outlet El Pais, the Uruguay players had ventured into the crowd to support family and friends seated behind the team bench. With the stadium largely filled with Colombian fans, the relatives of the Uruguay players were subjected to abuse.

Nunez led the charge of players into the stands as their loved ones were guided onto the pitch for safety. However, the situation rapidly escalated and turned violent.

The chaos at the match saw Uruguay’s national team director Jorge Giordano and press officer Felipe Cotelo caught up in the mayhem. Amidst the turmoil, Uruguay midfielder Manuel Ugarte was reported to have dashed to the pitch to aid his family members who were injured.

A contingent of Uruguayan fans faced serious injuries during the clash, starkly outnumbered by Colombian supporters. Uruguay defender Jose Maria Gimenez didn’t hold back his criticism of the event, calling it a “disaster” due to the lack of police presence.

Photo Credit: SergioADippW/x

(Watch Video) Moments Chelsea hero realized he shouldn’t be supporting England vs Netherlands

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink went wild after England’s winning goal against the Netherlands – before cutting his celebrations short.

The Three Lions secured their place in the Euro 2024 final on Wednesday.

Xavi Simons had given the Dutch the lead with a stunning effort before Harry Kane equalised from the penalty spot. Substitute Ollie Watkins fired home a dramatic winner in the 90th minute.

The goal sent fans, players and staff alike barmy as they celebrated the strike and England’s place in the final.

The legendary Premier League striker was caught up with split loyalties after Ollie Waktins’ dramatic winning goal against Holland.

Hasselbaink is one of Gareth Southgate’s assistant coaches and, having earned 23 caps for the Netherlands between 1998 and 2002, has unique experience of both setups.

The former Chelsea, Leeds and Middlesbrough striker works primarily with England’s attackers

As Watkins, 28, scored the winner the Three Lions bench erupted into celebration.

This included coach Hasselbaink when ran up to celebrate with Gareth Southgate.

However, Hasselbaink, 52, smile quickly faded after realising he was celebrating a goal against his native side.

The moment was caught on camera and fans could not help but find it amusing.