Britain Soccer Premier League

Premier League Player of the Week (Week 2) – Cardiff City’s Fraizer Campbell

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The Premier League Player of the Week for Week 2 is Cardiff City’s Fraizer Campbell.

Campbell’s brace came in a nine minute span in the second half, with both goals the result of hard-work, determination and the dusting of Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta. While the pay-dirt came late, the danger that Campbell presented was writing that had been on the wall for most of the match.

The 25 year spent the first half chasing down loose balls and wracking Joe Hart’s nerves with a few good looks on target. In the second stanza Campbell continued to display a third lung as he hunted down defenders, worked himself back on defense and was a constant menace in the box.

In the 60th minute it was Campbell’s creative abilities that allowed Aron Gunnarsson to level before winning the match on two headers off of corners in the 79th and 87th minutes. When he was subbed off the field in the 93rd minute, Campbell was deservedly showered with a standing ovation from the Cardiff City faithful.

For Campbell, the adulation had been a long time coming. The Manchester United academy product made only two appearances for the Red Devils before loan spells at Royal Antwerp, Hull City and Tottenham saw him transfer to Sunderland in 2009. It was in Wearside where Campbell’s career took a turn for the worse as he twice blew out his knee, requiring surgery.

Last January he made his move to Cardiff City, who paid the Black Cats a measly transfer fee of $930,000 (£600k). With Sunday’s brace, Campbell has bagged 9 goals in 14 matches with the Bluebirds.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia