Nine-star Belgium book Euro place
Netherlands, Croatia, Poland, Register Wins
Paris: Belgium became the first team to qualify for the 2020 European Championship finals as Romelu Lukaku scored twice in a 9-0 thrashing of San Marino in Brussels on Thursday, while the Netherlands needed a late comeback to beat Northern Ireland. The world-number-one ranked side booked their spot at next year’s tournament, which will be played at 12 venues across Europe, after seven straight qualifying wins. Russia appear set to take the second automatic slot from the group, after a 4-0 win over Scotland moved them eight points ahead of Cyprus.
The Group I leaders opened up an unassailable 11-point lead over third-placed Cyprus with three games remaining. Russia appear set to take the second automatic slot from the group, after a 4-0 win over Scotland moved them eight points ahead of Cyprus.
Memphis Depay’s late brace rescued the Netherlands a 3-1 win over Northern Ireland which sent Ronald Koeman’s men top of Group C. Croatia took control of Group E by beating Hungary 3-0 in Split, while
Slovakia jumped into second despite being held to a 1-1 home draw by Wales. Elsewhere, Robert Lewandowski netted a hattrick, taking his tally this season to 18 goals for club and country, as Poland won 3-0 at Latvia to strengthen their position at the top of Group G.
They sit three points clear of closest challengers Austria, who saw off Israel 3-1.
Jamie Vardy’s wife receives death threats:
Rebekah Vardy says she has received death threats even aimed at her unborn child since Wayne Rooney’s wife Coleen accused her of leaking stories. Seven-months pregnant Vardy, a reality TV star married to former England striker Jamie Vardy, told Friday’s Daily Mail she has received abuse via social media since Rooney went public with her accusations on Wednesday.
Rooney, 33, said she had a suspicion of who might be the source of the leaks and blocked everyone apart from an Instagram page belonging to Vardy from seeing her stories.
The wife of England’s record goalscorer told her 1.3 million Twitter followers she had worked out Vardy was the culprit after she had posted a series of false stories, some of which made it into The Sun.
FIFA bans former Afghan official in abuse case:
The former general secretary of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) has been banned for five years and fined after FIFA’s ethics committee found him guilty of violations relating to the abuse of female players.
The world soccer body said in a statement that the investigation into Sayed Aghazada concerned complaints lodged by several female Afghan football players against former AFF president Keramuudin Karim. Karim was banned for life in June. The female players’ complaints related to sexual abuse between 2013 and 2018, at a time when Aghazada was the AFF’s general secretary.
Liverpool teen Elliott banned over Kane video:
Teenage Liverpool winger Harvey Elliott has been banned for 14 days from domestic club football after an investigation into a social media video in which he appeared to mock Harry Kane. The 16-year-old admitted breaching Football Association rules and must also complete a face-to-face education course and pay a 350 pound fine.
“Harvey Elliott has been suspended from playing in all domestic club football for a period of 14 days, running up to and including 24 October 2019, after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a video posted on social media and providing a public apology,” the FA said in a statement. It added that the incident constituted an “aggravated breach” of FA rules.
The Snapchat video, taken during the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham in June, appeared to show Elliott performing an offensive impersonation of the England captain.
Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring Belgium’s first goal