Saturday 24 February 2018

Euro 2012 round-up

EVER wonder what Roy Keane gets up to during his spare time in Poland, away from the banality of Adrian Chiles' questions?

One of the English hacks based in Warsaw has an idea after spotting his Corkness last week.

Keane was pedalling furiously around the Polish capital on a hire bike and he wasn't prepared to settle for a boring straight-line approach. No no, Keano was weaving from left to right and back again like a young lad testing the limits of his BMX.

But, most shockingly of all, the 41-year-old was sporting a manbag as he embarked on his personal city tour, an item that you would normally associate with metrosexual footballers and frustrated writers. Seriously Keano? You didn't come to Poland for a manbag.

Dejected poles turn on association chief

Failing to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012 can cost a football administrator his job. Well, that's the groundswell of opinion in Poland, anyway, with the chairman of their association, Grzegorz Lato, under pressure to resign after the co-hosts missed out on the final eight.

Lato promised to step down if the Poles failed to reach the group stages, a pretty spectacular own goal by any standards given his team's lowly ranking.

His biggest problem is that the country's sports minister is actually leading the mob calling for his dismissal. "The minister of sport's powers in this area are very limited and we can only appeal to the chairman to keep his word," said Joanna Mucha.

Number of the day

21 In millions of euro, that's what a leading figure in Gdansk's Euro 2012 organising committee believes that hosting the finals has been worth to the Polish city.

Anna Zbierska, a director of city promotion, revealed the slightly surprising figure as it emerged that the local authorities had spent €700,000 on advertising in the build-up to the competition. Zbierska subsequently revealed details of a research study which indicated that foreign media coverage during the tournament was worth over 30 times that sum.

Spain, who played all three group games in the Baltic, naturally provided the most coverage, closely followed by Germany whose training camp is in the area -- and they play Greece in the PGE Arena tonight.

"The Irish and Croatian press wrote about the city to a lesser degree," she added. "99pc of the materials were positive."

Presumably, the 1pc refers to the ridiculous 3km exclusion zone around the stadium, which left thousands walking through driving rain after Spain's win over Croatia on Monday.

Unfortunate stat of the day

Robbie Keane topped the tournament charts for being caught offside in the group stages, with the Tallaght man caught out on seven occasions. Indeed, Keane was flagged by the linesman more times than the total registered by eight other competing teams.

Irish Independent

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