UEFA hasn`t spoken to 2012 European Championship co-host Poland over the fan arrests stemming from the team`s Euro 2008 match against Germany, according to AP.About 157 people were detained Sunday by police in the southern Austrian city of Klagenfurt, where Germany beat Poland 2-0 in Group B. A senior police official said 144
Germans, 10 Poles, two Austrians and one Slovenian were held, and that 140 of the arrests were for shouting Nazi-like slogans.
UEFA said Tuesday it hasn`t spoken to officials in Poland, which will co-host Euro 2012 with Ukraine, over the arrests.
«Obviously, there were some incidents there. We`ve not had any specific discussions with the Polish authorities about these incidents,» UEFA general secretary David Taylor said. «The security issues are matters for the local and national authorities in the country concerned. We, of course, have our own security advisers and officers that participate fully in the discussions, but it`s primarily a matter for the local and national authorities.
There has been concern that the stadium construction in both Euro 2012 co-hosts is behind schedule, but Taylor said the focus will only turn to that tournament once Euro 2008 is over.
«There has been some comment and information put out by UEFA itself about the issues concerning the stadiums in 2012,» Taylor said. «At the end of this particular tournament, we will then pay a visit to Poland and Ukraine, led by the (UEFA) president Michel Platini, myself and a few others.
«And we will be going to both countries and having some detailed discussions about the areas of concern in the hosting of that particular tournament. It`s not appropriate to go into aspects of that particular tournament when we are still in this one.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Portugal goalkeeper Nuno Espirito Santo did not complain when he got a call ending his much-anticipated vacation in the beautiful Algarve region.
The call came from the Portuguese football federation, summoning him for the European Championship to replace injured teammate Quim da Silva.
«I thought it was a joke, I really did,» Nuno said.
After the shock, came the «stress» to accommodate the family and get to Switzerland as fast as possible to join the national team.
«I had just arrived with my family for a weekend in the Algarve and was beginning to unpack,» Nuno said. «I was about to order a beer, but didn`t even have time.
Nuno was called up by Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari after Quim fractured his right wrist the day before the team`s 2-0 opening victory against Turkey on Saturday in Geneva.
Ricardo is Portugal`s starting goalkeeper. Portugal faces the Czech Republic on Wednesday in Geneva in Group A.
CHAMPIONS?: Greece midfielder Stelios Giannakopoulos want his teammates to forget they won the European Championship four years ago.
«We have to play like we`ve never won anything, and be hungry for victory in every game,» said the 34-year-old player, who was released by Bolton just ahead of the European Championship, but played an important role in Greece`s win four years ago.
«Am I hungry for victory? You bet I am,» the midfielder said. «You will see it on the field.
UNFORGETTABLE POBORSKY: Karel Poborsky`s lob in the 1996 European Championship quarterfinals shocked just about everyone _ Portugal goalkeeper Vitor Baia, the fans at Villa Park and the people watching on TV.
«It was an impulsive idea that turned out to work and mainly help us advance,» said Poborsky, who breezed past four Portuguese defenders and lobbed the goalkeeper for a spectacular goal that surprisingly sent the Czechs to the semifinals.
Now, he`s hoping someone on the current Czech Republic team can emulate that goal when the team faces Portugal in Geneva on Wednesday.
«It doesn`t have to be such a tricky score,» Poborsky said at the Czech base in the Alpine resort of Seefeld, Austria. «Any goal leading to a victory would make me happy.
The 36-year-old Poborsky, who played for the Czechs at the previous three Euros, retired from international football after the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He`s currently the head of the Czech team at the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.
OFF TARGET: The best-laid advertising plans of Fiat looked as off target as a header from Luca Toni.
Shining out of the sports pages of Switzerland`s best-selling tabloids is a full-page notice for the Italian auto giant`s vehicles featuring the national team. The same team that was trounced by the Netherlands 3-0 Monday at Euro 2008.
The upper half of the page shows a line of smiling Azzurri players and the names on the shirts of Alessandro Del Piero and Andrea Pirlo.
The slogan reads «Dans cette equipe, il n`y a que des champions» in Geneva-based Le Matin; «In diesem team ist jeder ein koenner» in Zurich-based Blick. It means, «In this team there are only champions.
No one can take that 2006 World Cup win from them, but that big, red van in the bottom half of the ad looks big enough to smuggle the whole Italian squad back across the Alps _ thereby avoiding a hostile reception at the airport _ if they are knocked out of Euro 2008 by next Tuesday.
DON`T BLAME THE BALL: Greece coach Otto Rehhagel said he is totally unconcerned with the type of ball used at Euro 2008.
The design of Adidas` Europass ball has upset several goalkeepers at the tournament, but not the outspoken German coach.
«If we concede a goal, I won`t blame the ball,» Rehhagel said. «Both teams use the same ball anyway, so I can`t see what the issue is.
«Do you think it would make any difference to (Portugal star Cristiano) Ronaldo if he used one type of ball or another? I think he`d still take great free kicks,» added Rehhagel, who led Greece to a surprise victory at the European Championship four years ago.