FIFA has confirmed that Brazil are appealing Thiago Silva’s automatic suspension, picked up for his second yellow card of the tournament. If successful, the defender will then be available to face Germany in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
Thiago was shown the yellow card in Brazil’s firey clash with Colombia on Friday – though not, perhaps surprisingly, for a harsh challenge on the likes of Juan Cuadrado or James Rodríguez. The referee pulled the card for Thiago’s block on David Ospina, which occurred when the Colombia goalkeeper was attempting to take a kick.
It is unlikely the appeal will be successful, however. Appeals against accumulated yellow cards are typically not permitted; it is only red cards that may be overturned.
Then there’s the question of whether, should Thiago’s suspension be overturned, it will appear as though FIFA is favoring the hosts. The officiating in Brazil’s opening game against Croatia came under heavy scrutiny, particularly when Brazil were awarded what looked to be a rather soft penalty. On Friday, when it looked as though Brazil were targeting specific Colombia players with heavy fouls, yet not being booked for their troubles, the thought of bias crossed many minds once more.
With the start of the semi-final, all existing yellow cards are wiped clean. In other words, players from teams that progress to the final will only miss out on the side’s last game if they manage to get themselves sent off.
This future clean slate provides little comfort to Brazil, however, who will almost certainly be without their captain for the Germany clash.
The group stage of qualification is complete, as 20 teams have clinched a berth at EURO 2016, which kicks off next summer in France.
The top-two finishers in each group automatically qualified, as did the best third-place side out of all the groups (Turkey). France qualified automatically as the host nation.
[ MORE: EURO 2016 roundup ]
That leaves eight third-place teams to battle for the final four spots through a play-off. The draw for the matchups will take place on October 18, and those matches will be held from November 12-17 as a home-and-home play-off.
- Czech Republic
- Turkey (automatically qualified as best third-place side)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (qualified for play-off)
- Ukraine (qualified for play-off)
- Republic of Ireland (qualified for play-off)
- Slovenia (qualified for play-off)
- Northern Ireland
- Hungary (qualified for play-off)
- Sweden (qualified for play-off)
- Norway (qualified for play-off)
- Denmark (qualified for play-off)
The group stage of qualifying for the 2016 European Championship has come to a close, and one of the top teams in the world will not be playing in France next summer.
Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic
The Netherlands finished second at the 2010 World Cup and third at the 2014 World Cup, but have failed to qualify for EURO 2016. Playing in front of a home crowd in a must-win match against the Czech Republic, the Dutch got off to a dreadful start, falling behind 2-0 as manager Danny Blind was forced to make a substitution within the opening 40 minutes. The Czech Republic was sent to ten men before the break, but an own-goal from Robin Van Persie made it 3-0 as the Dutch couldn’t recover. A disastrous result for the Netherlands, as big changes will surely come from the top down.
[ RELATED: David de Gea fighting for starting goalkeeper position with Spain ]
Italy 2-1 Norway
Italy finishes atop Group H without a loss after defeating Norway 2-1 today. Norway took the lead through Norwich City’s Alexander Tettey, but late goals from Alessandro Florenzi and Southampton’s Graziano Pelle gave the Italians all three points.
Malta 0-1 Croatia
With Norway’s loss, Croatia jumped into second place in Group H and secured qualification to EURO 2016 with a 1-0 win away at Malta. Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic scored the game’s only goal, as Croatia advances despite having one point deducted due to inappropriate actions from their fans.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Turkey 1-0 Iceland
Latvia 0-1 Kazakhstan
Belgium 3-1 Israel
Wales 2-0 Andorra
Cyprus 2-3 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria 2-0 Azerbaijan