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Monday 23 October 2017

UEFA probe Euro match

Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, hit with a flare in the head, lies on a stretcher while being transported during the Euro 2016 Group G qualifying soccer match against Montenegro in Podgorica March 27, 2015
Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, hit with a flare in the head, lies on a stretcher while being transported during the Euro 2016 Group G qualifying soccer match against Montenegro in Podgorica March 27, 2015

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro and Russia after Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier in Podgorica was abandoned in the second half following crowd trouble and a scuffle among the players.

European soccer's governing body said it was probing the "setting off and throwing of fireworks and objects" by fans during the Group G match.

Montenegro's FA (FSCG) is also being investigated for "holding a match that did not get played in full", UEFA said in a statement. The match was goalless when it was abandoned.

The game was delayed by 33 minutes when Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hit on the head by a flare thrown from the Montenegro section. He had to come off and was taken to hospital with burns.

Midway through the second half a scuffle ensued between players near the touchline and Russia midfielder Dmitri Kombarov was hit by a missile prompting the referee to abandon the game.

 

Conte to stick with the plan after death threats

Antonio Conte banished any idea that he was quitting as Italy coach and said that there was nothing wrong with hard work, in an apparent reply to suggestions he was overworking his players.

Conte was in emotional mood as he returned to the Juventus stadium, for an Italy training session ahead of tonight's friendly against England.

"I know it will not be easy but I am carrying on in my work," Conte tsaid.

"Mennea said that to achieve big dreams, one must make great effort," he added, citing the late Olympic champion Pietro Mennea.

 

Mata: I want to play for Spain again

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has not given up hope of playing for Spain again.

The 26-year-old has not featured for La Roja since a 3-0 triumph over Australia in Spain's final group game at last year's World Cup in Brazil.

Mata said: "I look forward to keep contributing and achieving more success with my national team."

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