Euro 2012 diary
Another insult for Ireland. UEFA have opened the voting for their Fans Team of the Tournament, via their official website, with a shortlist of players presented for each position. Only two countries have failed to secure any nominations -- Giovanni Trapattoni's men and the misfiring Dutch. The other six teams who exited in the group stages are represented.
Outraged? Obviously, you shouldn't be. It's a fair enough call given the dreadful nature of Ireland's displays. Keith Andrews can reflect with his head held high, but it's pretty hard to find any reason to rate his performances ahead of the nominated central midfield luminaries, Schweinsteiger, Pirlo, Iniesta, Moutinho, Karagounis and Gerrard.
Quite ludicrously, UEFA have already opened up the voting for the supporters choice of Coach of the Tournament, with Roy Hodgson nominated along with the coaches in last night's Germany-Greece quarter final.
Ukraine points finger of blame at own city
WHILE the post-mortem to Poland's Euro exit has revolved around the head of their FA and internal wrangling over the distribution of match tickets, most anger in Ukraine has been directed towards the officials who failed to award the goal that should have been in their decisive match with England. But in a country that remains politically torn, another reason for failure has been pinpointed -- Donetsk.
The venue for tonight's quarter-final between Spain and France is predominantly Russian-speaking, and Ukrainian nationalists have always suspected that the citizens would feel more loyalty towards Moscow than Kiev. "It was an away game," said Mykola Tomenko, a deputy parliamentary speaker from the same party as jailed ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
"How can one have two important matches in a city that never cheered for Ukraine? Lviv, Kiev and Kharkiv respect the national team a hundred times more."
Donetsk will also host Tuesday's semi-final between the winners of tonight's clash and Portugal.
Flier of the day
Congratulations to Gdansk's Que Pasa bar, which has numerous volunteers working the streets handing out fliers that caught our eye.
And, no, it's not because of the erotic show and the pictures of the girls who are clearly there every Saturday night. Nor is it the promise of Friday's 'Mega Sexy Night.'
Instead, it's Monday that really catches the eye. For that is the night when Gdansk comes together to 'Party With Egg.' Your guess is as good as mine. . .
Number of the day
29 Cristiano Ronaldo could never be accused of being shy about having a pop at goal. He tops the charts for both attempts on target and attempts off target thus far in Euro 2012. Fourteen of his strikes on goal have given the goalkeeper something to think about, with the other 15 missing the mark. Keith Andrews, with seven strikes off target, sits fifth in that table going into the weekend fixtures.