Bayern Munich's Julian Green fights for the ball with Al-Merrikh's Ramadan Ajab during their friendly soccer match in Doha

SI report: Bayern high on Julian Green, turned down PL loan offers


American wunderkind Julian Green looks even closer to a stay in Bayern Munich this season, according to an interview with chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge conducted by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.

Rummenigge says Bayern has turned down multiple loan offers from Premier League clubs this offseason, adding that they were “not bad clubs.”

[ RELATED: Guardiola says Green set for Bayern stay, for now ]

The German champions simply favor the 19-year-old American, who made a splash by scoring moments into his World Cup debut to give the USMNT brief hope late in their Round of 16 loss to Belgium.

From SI:

“He’s something special and very young,” said Rummenigge of Green ahead of Bayern’s arrival in New York City on Wednesday for friendlies against Chivas de Guadalajara (in Harrison, N.J., on Thursday) and the MLS All-Stars (in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 6). “On our team he’s the backup of players like [Arjen] Robben and [Franck] Ribéry, world-class players, so it’s not easy to take their place in the first 11 of our team.”

Rummenigge wouldn’t specify which Premier League teams made offers for Green (“not bad clubs, I can tell you”), but he sounded optimistic about Green’s future.

“He came up from our youth department, had a big opportunity in the World Cup and scored a fantastic goal vs. Belgium,” Rummenigge said. “With a bit of luck he can do well [at Bayern].”

Bayern is Stateside for the aforementioned friendlies in the hopes of trumping up their new American office, as the Bundesliga giants look to step up its branding on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

[ MORE: Julian Green news archives ]

Playing time is hard to come by at Bayern, and a loan move would not be a bad thing for Green. Still, he’s an injury away from playing significant time on one of the biggest teams in the world. Staying with Bayern’s first team at age 19 is not a bad thing for neither player, club nor country.

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