Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2015 Contents PARIS---With more countries competing
at the 2016 European Championship, the
draw for the tournament will have an
extra eight teams hoping to avoid
Next year s tournament in
France, the first to have 24 teams,
will feature a new second round
that includes the best four third-
place finishers. That will give
an added bit of optimism to
the three teams that get drawn
Saturday to face World Cup
champion Germany in the
Besides the Germans, the
other top-seeded teams in
Pot 1 are Spain, England,
Portugal, Belgium and host
The new faces include Albania, Iceland,
Northern Ireland and Wales in Pot 4 and Slo-
vakia in Pot 3.
The Germans will head into the tournament
trying to follow up their fourth World Cup
victory with a fourth European title, albeit
without retired greats such as striker Miroslav
Klose and defender Philipp Lahm.
In qualifying, Germany wasn t perfect, failing
to beat Ireland in two matches---losing away
and drawing at home---and losing to Poland
for the first time ever.
Spain, the two-time defending champion
which won the 2010 World Cup in between
European titles, has been rebuilding since being
eliminated in the first round at the last World
Cup. The Spanish have won nine of their ten
Sadly, Euro 2016 won t just be about soc-
cer.There are ongoing security fears in the wake
of last month s deadly attacks in Paris, and
the draw will take place amid the backdrop of
the turmoil surrounding UEFA President Michel
Three suicide bombers blew themselves up
outside Stade de France on Nov. 13, while France
was playing Germany, raising the question of
what the carnage would have been if they had
entered the stadium.
Nervous fans have received guarantees of
their safety from Euro 2016 organisers.
Today s draw will take place in Paris without
Platini, perhaps the country s greatest player
and the current---though suspended---president
Platini lost his appeal yesterday at the Court
of Arbitration for Sport to lift his 90-day FIFA
The case centers on FIFA President Sepp
Blatter s approval of $2 million of FIFA money
that Platini got in 2011 as backdated salary.
Another potential issue could arise if Russia
and Turkey are drawn into the same group.
Turkey shot down a Russian war plane last
month, leading to increased tensions between
the two countries.
Away from politics, the hosts are also facing
the likelihood of playing without one of their
Karim Benzema, a striker who plays for Real
Madrid, was suspended indefinitely by the
French soccer federation after being charged
with conspiracy to blackmail relating to an
extortion scam over a sex tape involving team-
mate Mathieu Valbuena.
With or without Benzema, there will be
plenty of star power throughout the expanded
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, now 34, may be playing
in his last big tournament for Sweden. Gareth
Bale will finally get a chance to shine on a big
stage for Wales.
Robert Lewandowski has been in excellent
form and scored 13 goals in qualifying for
Poland. And Cristiano Ronaldo, still chasing
his first major trophy with Portugal, will be
trying to add to his record 26 tournament goals.
"Portugal has never been the favorite. It s
normal, it never won a major title," Ronaldo
said in a recent interview with The Associated
Press. "I m hopeful that this time Portugal can
come up with a brilliant performance." (AP)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, Decmber 12, 2015
PARIS---The Champions League and Europa
League could have goal-line technology as
soon as next season.
European football s governing body discussed
the technology at a meeting yesterday of its
Executive Committee. Notably absent in Paris
was Michel Platini, the banned UEFA president
who has been a vocal opponent of soccer tech-
nology in the past.
Meeting without him, UEFA s Exco ruled
that it will make a final decision on goal-line
technology in January.
"It looks pretty positive," said UEFA general
secretary Gianni Infantino.
There are practical issues to overcome. UEFA
would still have to decide which system to use
and many more stadiums would need equipping
with their technology.
With the Exco s blessing in January, goal-
line technology could be used at the European
Championships in France next June.
"If it is for the Euro this season, it will be
for club competitions as from next season,"
Infantino said. "Club competitions means
Champions League and Europa League."
In other business, the UEFA meeting also:
• Got an update on security planning for
Euro 2016, in the wake of the Paris attacks that
killed 130 people. Euro 2016 organizer Jacques
Lambert promised all necessary lessons will be
drawn from the November 13 attacks. He
revealed reinforced security for the 24-team
draw in Paris today. Security will be "at the
center" of the June 10-July 10 tournament,
• Approved a big bump in money for Euro
2016 teams. All 24 will get a minimum of 8
million euros ($8.8 million) each, plus prizes
for wins. A group-stage win will earn one
million euros ($1.1 million); a draw 500,000
($550,000). Reaching the last 16 will earn 1.5
million, with an additional 2.5 million for reach-
ing the quarterfinals and another 4 million for
Victory in the July 10 final will earn eight
million, with five million for the runners-up.
So the champions could pocket a total of 27
million euros ($29.5 million) in all. (AP)
UEFA edging toward goal-line technology in Champions League
BERLIN---Stuttgart s bid to provisionally
leave the Bundesliga s relegation zone was
thwarted with a scoreless draw at Mainz
The visitors first big chance fell to Alexan-
dru Maxim, whose shot was saved by Lorius
Karius in the 26th minute, and Timo Warner
had the ball in the net six minutes later, but
it was from an offside position. Lukas Rupp
hit the right post shortly afterward.
"A pity it didn t hit the inside of the post
and go in but that s the way the current sit-
uation is going for us," Rupp said.
The close shave spurred Mainz into a
response as Daniel Brosinski drew a save
from Przemyslaw Tyton. The Stuttgart keep-
er made another to deny Japanese striker
Yoshinori Muto in the 57th, and an even
better one to stop Pablo de Blasis in the
Stuttgart was two points from safety after
its fifth game without a win, while Mainz
climbed provisionally sixth before the rest
of the 16th round. (AP)
draws 0-0 at Mainz
MADRID---Real Sociedad had
to recover from a goal down to
draw 1-1 at Getafe in the Spanish
Getafe caught Sociedad s
defense off guard and Pablo Sara-
bia headed in Juan Rodriguez s
cross, having raced past a static
Sociedad equalised after Alge-
ria midfielder Madhi Lacen fouled
Esteban Granero, and striker
Imanol Agirretxe found the back
of the net after a cross from the
ensuing free kick in the 68th.
"We had three points in our
grasp toward the end," said Agir-
retxe, whose goal was his 12th in
La Liga this season, two more
than Real Madrid s Cristiano
Ronaldo. Only Luis Suarez and
Neymar have scored more.
Brazilian Jonathas forced an
athletic save from Getafe goal-
keeper Vicente Guaita in the 71st.
"Stopping goals, that s my job,"
said Guaita. Barcelona leads on
34 points ahead of its match
against Deportivo La Coruna
PARIS---Defender Syam Ben
Youssef scored a late equaliser
as ten-man Caen drew 1-1 away
to Rennes in the French league
Colombian midfielder Juan Fer-
nando Quintero gave Rennes the
lead in the 63rd minute, hitting a
low strike that Caen goalkeeper
Remy Vercoutre let slip through
Third-place Caen remains level
on 30 points with second-place
Angers, which hosts Bordeaux on
Sunday. Rennes is ninth.
Caen s hopes were dashed when
defender Emmanuel Imorou was
sent off in the 35th for impeding
Quintero as he raced through.
After Caen midfielder Jordan
Adeoti saw his shot saved, Ben
Youssef scored from the corner
in the 79th for his third goal of
the season. (AP)
said yesterday that an autopsy
shows Honduran national foot-
ball player Arnold Peralta suf-
fered 18 gunshot wounds in what
they called a "vicious attack."
Peralta was killed Thursday
when he was attacked at a shop-
ping mall in his hometown.
The statement from the chief
prosecutors office says Peralta
"was viciously attacked, and he
died of multiple gunshot wounds
to the skull, face and chest."
The killing occurred at the park-
ing lot of the Uniplaza mall in La
Ceiba, on the country s Caribbean
coast. Police said two men on a
motorcycle sprayed Peralta with
Peralta was on vacation follow-
ing the conclusion of the Hon-
duran national league season. He
earlier played for the Rangers Foot-
ball Club in Scotland.
Police said yesterday no sus-
pects were in custody and the
motive for the attack was
unknown. Officials ruled out rob-
bery as a possible motive, because
Peralta still had all his possessions,
including his Porsche SUV. (AP)
Caen grabs late equaliser
in 1-1 draw at Rennes
Autopsy shows Honduran footballer shot 18 times
France's Karim Benzema was indefinitely
suspended from the French national team
on Thursday over his involvement in an
ongoing blackmail case, throwing a major
doubt over his international career. The Real
Madrid striker has been charged with
conspiracy to blackmail, relating to an
extortion scam over a sex tape featuring
France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
Sociedad holds Getafe to 1-1 tie
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