Euro 2024 bid chief: ‘High time’ for Turkey to host major tournament

The head of the Turkish bid for the 2024 European Championships has said it is “high time” his country was given the chance to host a major event.

Having failed with three previous bids for the Euros and a campaign to host the 2020 Olympics, Turkey is up against a strong bid for the European tournament from Germany.

Speaking to reporters in London,nfl cheap nike jerseys Turkish Football Federation vice-president Servet Yardimci admitted losing to France by one vote in 2010 for the 2016 Euros was “upsetting” but it made Turkey more determined to try again.

In fact, Yardimci revealed that European football’s governing body UEFA offered Turkey the chance to host the last three games of Euro 2020, which is being shared by 12 different countries as a one-off to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition — but said no.178

“We were given the semi-finals and final in 2020 to host but we said we’d like to do the whole tournament, so we politely declined,” said Yardimci.

That decision opened the door for Wembley, which is now hosting seven of the 51 games in two summers’ time. Turkey, on the other hand, wants all 51 in 2024.

Yardimci listed the major finals Turkey has hosted, including Liverpool’s memorable 2005 Champions League win over AC Milan, and said its clubs, fans, league and stadiums proved the country “is ready now” for a large summer tournament.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

He also pointed to Turkey’s improving infrastructure and historic position as a bridge between Europe and Asia as evidence of the commercial opportunities a Turkish Euro 2024 would present.

“Turkey will take great pride in being able to deliver the best ever Euros — that’s what we’re saying to UEFA and we mean it,” said Yardimci, a member of UEFA’s executive committee.

The ongoing fallout has forced former Turkish striker Hakan Sukur to live in California in exile after he moved into politics and criticised Erdogan. There is also the long-running tension with Turkey’s Kurdish minority and the small matter of Syria on its southern border.


Fulham end long wait for playoff win to reach Wembley

Fulham ended their play-off hoodoo in style by coming from behind to beat Derby 2-0 and put themselves one win away from the Premier League.

The Cottagers had not won any of their previous seven play-off ties, including Friday’s Championship semi-final first leg, but second-half goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Denis Odoi overturned a one-goal deficit at Craven Cottage and sent them to Wembley.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Sessegnon, tipped for a potential summer move to a big club, will take the headlines but it was an all-out attacking display from Slavisa Jokanovic’s men, who were worthy winners.

Fulham, who have only lost twice since December 16, will now meet either Aston Villa or Middlesbrough at the national stadium on May 26 and are 90 minutes away from a first return to the Premier League since 2014.177

The Rams would have wanted to put up more of a fight and they are condemned to an 11th successive season in the second tier.

After a disappointing night at Pride Park on Friday, Fulham were desperate to wipe out their deficit as quickly as possible and they could not have wished for a better chance in only the eighth minute.

The Cottagers showcased their attacking speed as they broke from a Derby corner with Aboubakar Kamara squaring for Sessegnon but the 17-year-old first touch was not great and his shot was too close to Scott Carson, who palmed behind for a corner.

Aleksandar Mitrovic took a while to get into the game, but he soon became a threat and was within inches of an opener 10 minutes before half-time when he superbly turned Curtis Davies on the edge of the area and curled just wide.nfl cheap nike jerseys

The only reason Fulham did not go into half-time at least a goal to the good is due to the heroics of Carson, who pulled off three top drawer saves in the space of five minutes.

First he blocked Kamara’s swerving shot, then tipped over Ryan Fredericks’ dipping effort before saving the best until last when he miraculously kept out Mitrovic’s powerful header.

Carson, though, was finally breached just two minutes after the restart as Sessegnon struck.


Huddersfield holds Manchester City, claims massive point in relegation battle

Manchester City fans arrived at the Etihad on Sunday expecting to see evidence of the greatest team in Premier League history. They were, in all honesty and likelihood, expecting a romp. There were records to be broken and a party to be had.

Instead, they witnessed something they hadn’t witnessed all season at home: a goalless draw.best price nfl jerseys

City will still enjoy its postgame celebration. Fans still stormed the pitch at the final whistle. Players still queued up to receive their winners medals. But Sunday belonged to Huddersfield Town. And it could ultimately prove to be crucial at the bottom of the table.

Huddersfield became the first Premier League side to keep a clean sheet at City in 2017-18, and claimed a point that could prove crucial in the battle to avoid relegation. It moved three points clear of both Swansea in 18th place and Southampton in 17th.119

The Terriers, for the second time this season against City, fought and scrapped with relentless enthusiasm and courage. Their defensive line sunk increasingly deep, but the intensity of their challenges never wavered. Every clearance was emphatic. Every tackle was spot on. And this time, unlike in a 2-1 loss to City back in November, they held on for a result.

They are not safe. Not quite. They have two games remaining, against Chelsea and Arsenal, and they’ll be underdogs in both. They will still sweat out the final week of the campaign. But they are much closer than they were hours before the City clash.where to buy nfl jersey

They were huge underdogs on Sunday as well. They had been limping toward the finish line, having scored just two goals in seven games. And with three Big Six opponents to close the campaign, there was almost an assumption that Huddersfield would not pick up another point; that their Premier League survival would depend on other results.

There was certainly an assumption that City would break Premier League records for points, wins and perhaps goals on Sunday. And they likely still will next week. But Huddersfield beat the odds.

They’ve now scored only two goals themselves in their last eight. One more point, though, would surely be enough. Two definitely would be sufficient to secure another season in the top flight. That won’t appear to be a remarkable accomplishment, given the Terriers strong start to the season. But according to manager David Wagner, and given the quality in the squad that came up from the second tier, it would be a “miracle.”


Chhetri warns India against Asian Cup complacency

At the draw ceremony for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, India’s captain Sunil Chhetri appeared to have picked the best group possible for his team.

After all, India’s opponents, alongside hosts UAE, are two sides – Thailand and Bahrain – placed below them in the FIFA rankings. It seemed like the latest bit of positive news, as Indian football appears to be in a good place at the moment. nike nfl jerseys from china The country is inside the top 100 of the world rankings and only recently saw a 13-match unbeaten streak end.

Chhetri, a veteran of 97 international caps, remains guarded about India’s prospects. Having been a part of the squad that played against giants South Korea and Australia at the 2011 Asia Cup, he doesn’t buy for instance the notion that India are in a favourable pool.

“If you are being optimistic because of the way we are playing, then it is ok. But do not be mistaken thinking our opponents are going to be Thailand, Bahrain and UAE. If you have watched Thailand over the past few years, you would know they are the most improved side in Asia,” he said.117

“They’ve drawn 2-2 with Australia at home so they are not a bad team. If people are thinking it is going to be easy for us just because we didn’t meet Australia and South Korea, then no it’s not going to be like that.”

Chhetri, 33, doesn’t’ think the current rankings or the team’s recent unbeaten run will have much of an impact in their performances in Dubai either.

“I haven’t ever taken rankings seriously. I’m happy that we have broken inside the top 100 but the way it works is very tricky. I can’t give too much importance to it. I am happy with the kind of performances that we have put, but at the Asia Cup, we are talking about a different stage and a different level of competition. I don’t think it will help us to talk about what we did in the last two years.”

Chhetri feels the current side has challenges that the previous bunch to play the Asia Cup didn’t.best price nfl jerseys

“In 2011, we had an established team where all the players were playing in the national team at least for three or four years. Youngsters like me could learn from Steven, Gourmangi and Renedy. It was an already settled team,” he said. The current squad in contrast is still a work in progress.


LAFC’s downtown stadium sets new marker for MLS expansion teams

Every Major League Soccer expansion team since 2007 has checked off a varying number of key boxes. The most successful have added to the to-do list, raising the bar for each ensuing new franchise.

Toronto and Seattle both set the general framework: buy cheap authentic nfl jerseys Plop your stadium as close to the city center as possible, encourage a vibrant supporter culture and prioritize attracting urban millennials over suburban families.

Orlando City followed this model to make an immediate splash in a market most had serious doubts about; New York City FC contributed the combined financial might of the Yankees and Manchester City. Atlanta took things even further, building a state-of-the-art training ground and dropping unprecedented transfer fees while compiling a loaded roster. LAFC has come as close as any to ticking off every box.

Like NYCFC, it has an ownership group with deep pockets featuring big names as varied as Magic Johnson and Mia Hamm. Like Atlanta, it has targeted in-their-prime impact signings who could contribute more on the field than in a marketing sense, and also invested tens of millions of dollars in its practice facility.

LAFC’s own fresh contribution to the blueprint will be revealed on Sunday night against the Sounders, a nationally televised showdown that will double as the grand opening of Banc of California Stadium.22

Most MLS stadiums are an either/or proposition: They are either downtown and shared with another tenant, or soccer-only and out in suburbia. Seattle and Atlanta both do a good job of individualizing their respective buildings for home matches, but there’s only so much they can do when splitting time with NFL teams.

Though a 4-3 loss to the crosstown rival Galaxy — featuring two late goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the LA comeback — was a high-profile setback, LAFC has otherwise started the season as well as could be expected. Starting the year with six straight road matches, it has won four of them.nfl discount jerseys Heading into the weekend, it sits in second place in the Western Conference, and with a backlog of home games, it could really take off from here.

Atlanta put down a marker last season when it netted 70 goals en route to a top-four seed in the loaded Eastern Conference. Following in the tradition of MLS expansion teams continuing to raise the bar, LAFC — and every other newcomer to follow — will take aim and attempt to improve upon that mark further.


English criticism of Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Dele Alli ‘strange’ – Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has described English football’s tendency to criticise their leading players as “strange” and called on the country to put club loyalties aside and back Harry Kane, Dele Alli et al. at the World Cup.

The Tottenham manager warned that the current negativity around Kane, buy cheap nfl jerseys which includes a tweet mocking the striker from a Football Association (FA) account, could affect the England talisman’s form in Russia this summer.

The FA have written to both Spurs and Manchester United to apologise after a tweet, since deleted, mocking Kane’s subdued performance was posted just minutes after the team’s 2-1 defeat to United in last Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal.

Alli, who is perceived by some as a cheat, has been booed at nearly every away ground this season, while Kane has also faced derision for claiming Spurs’ second goal against Stoke from teammate Christian Eriksen, even facing questions from former England captains and current teammates.

Pochettino said: “[The criticism] is a little bit strange from my point of view. Both Harry and Dele are massive talents and they are going to defend the England national team shirt.

“But I think the people love Harry Kane and Dele Alli. It is in fashion sometimes to boo or criticise [players] like this but I think people love them but it is true sometimes we magnify the situation and we create an issue when really there is not an issue.21

“But yes, sometimes [the criticism] is difficult to understand. Like it was so difficult to understand this tweet from the FA after the game of course.”

As well as Kane and Alli, England and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has faced intense scrutiny from English media, which has frequently been accused of unfair criticism of the country’s internationals.

Spurs manager Pochettino continued: “For me, the most important thing here in England is try to back English players. It is so important for English football to back them. Kane is going to compete in international games at the World Cup and everyone wants to support the national team.

“If Harry Kane scores he is an English player not a Tottenham player or United or Chelsea, buy cheap authentic nfl jerseys something like that.

“The most important thing is to back them. I don’t think people need to show more respect — it is only to show a little bit more love to them because, sure, this type of situation, like the one that happened after the game [against Man United], doesn’t help to create a good atmosphere.


Home form can keep Swansea safe, says Carvalhal

Swansea City’s impressive recent home form could be the key to keeping them in the Premier League, manager Carlos Carvalhal has said.

The Welsh side, who were bottom of the table when Carvalhal was appointed in December, are four points clear of the relegation zone in 17th position and play three of their remaining four games at Liberty Stadium.wholesale nfl jerseys outlet

Swansea have four wins and a draw from their last five home league matches and begin the run-in on Saturday at home to Chelsea before travelling to face Bournemouth.

They the host Stoke City and Southampton, the two teams directly below them, in their final two games.274

“At the Liberty, we have a different face – this is the reality,” Carvalhal told Swansea’s website.

“We know where we are, we know what we have done so far and we know exactly what we can do. We will continue on our path and do what we are doing. We will be ready.

“In three months, we have made up nine points on other teams.buy authentic nfl jerseys It’s amazing,” the Portuguese boss added. “If you asked me when I arrived, nobody would believe that we could achieve that.

“Now we have four games to play – some clubs near us have three. We haven’t got easy games, but it is all in our hands.”


PFA award winner Sane hails ‘best coach’ Guardiola

Manchester City playmaker Leroy Sane has hailed Pep Guardiola as the “best coach in the world”, crediting the manager for improving the team’s overall performance which culminated in their Premier League triumph this season.cheap nfl china jerseys

German Sane has been key to City’s title charge this campaign, with the 22-year-old scoring nine goals and providing 12 assists which also earned him the PFA’s Young Player of the Year award.

“He is, for me, the best coach in the world,” Sane told Sky Sports of Guardiola. “Everyone can see that we’ve improved a lot and have taken the next step.

“He always tries to get the best and show us the way to play good football.”273

Sane, who joined City in 2016, also described the team as “perfect” and credited their efforts in helping him win the award.

“I’m really grateful because the team is perfect,” Sane added. “They are all really good guys and we work really hard.

“To play with fantastic players like we have in our team is great.wholesale nfl jerseys outlet Thankfully the club gave me the chance to do it and I enjoy it a lot.”

City, who blanked Swansea City 5-0 on Sunday, will be eager to continue their blistering league form when they travel to West Ham United next weekend.


Mauro Icardi ‘shouldn’t be happy’ with scoring 25 goals – Luciano Spalletti

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti demanded more from Mauro Icardi despite a superb performance from his player in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Cagliari.

Icardi scored his career-high 25th Serie A official nfl jerseys cheap goal of the season to boost Inter into third place as they fight for a place in the Champions League next year.

But Spalletti said he wasn’t totally satisfied, and said the 25-year-old shouldn’t be either.

“I think a player like him shouldn’t be happy,” he told Mediaset Premium. “It’s true 25 goals are a lot and he is learning to track back to tighten up the team, so he got a lot of touches.178

“Anyone who says he just has to stand there and score goals is hurting him, because if he helps out then he’ll score twice as many.

“If he just stands there, it’s easier for the defenders to mark him. If he comes back, spaces are created.”

Spalletti also called for Yann Karamoh to improve his finishing after the speedy winger missed a number of chances to score.

“He’s a very good player and when he turns on the afterburners, he leaves you in the dust,” Spalletti said.

“He’s very creative and that means collaborating with teammates is tricky, reebok nfl jerseys but he mustn’t get into bad habits. I know the crowd loves him, but it’ll help him become a better player.

“He is capable both of squirming through defenders and of going down the flanks. He does lose the ball cheaply and has to improve his finishing, but we can work on that.”


Accrington promoted to League One for first time in club history

John Coleman hailed a team effort as Accrington secured promotion to League One for the first time in their history with a 2-0 win over Yeovil.

On a historic day at the Wham Stadium, nfl jerseys from china a quickfire double from fans’ favourite Billy Kee sent unfancied Stanley, who have one of the lowest budgets in League Two, into the third tier.

It was Coleman’s fourth promotion in two spells with the Reds — he has led them all the way from the UniBond First Division and now into League One.

They are still going for the title but Coleman wanted to reflect on an emotional night in Lancashire.

“It’s been a tough season,” said the Stanley boss. “We lost one of our apprentices Jordan Moseley, one of our former directors John Demaine died last week and we wouldn’t be where we are now without him.177

“And it’s my late dad’s 91st birthday and you would like to think he played a part.

“You can’t help but get emotional but it’s all about the players. They were fantastic against Yeovil, it was 2-0 but it could have been 16-0 as we really turned on the style in the second half.

“The fans have come out in their numbers and I am delighted for them as well.

“The whole team, and staff, have worked so hard and we have got our rewards. We will give it a good go in League One, it is a massive achievement. It’s absolutely fantastic.”

Sean McConville, who missed out in the playoffs in 2011 and 2016 with the Reds, official nfl jerseys cheap hailed it as “the biggest achievement of my career”.

“It’s unbelievable, we have an amazing set of lads here,” said the midfielder.

“We said at the start of the season we wanted to get promotion and a lot of people might not have believed us but we certainly believed it.