The Latest: Puma says Switzerland shirts were defective


PARIS (AP) — The Latest from soccer’s European Championship (all times local):

___

5:40 p.m.

Puma says Switzerland’s players were wearing defective shirts in the match against France, and that’s why they ripped so easily at the European Championship.

The sports apparel company, which sponsors Usain Bolt, apologized to the Swiss federation and players on Monday for the “very unfortunate incident.”

Switzerland players Granit Xhaka and Admir Mehmedi were both left wearing shredded shirts when grabbed by French opponents during a 0-0 draw in Lille.

Puma says the problem affected “only a limited number” of shirts, which are a mix of elastane and polyester fibers and made in Turkey.

Puma says the batch of shirts included yarns that can be damaged if “the combination of heat, pressure and time is not properly controlled.”

The German firm supplies shirts to five European Championships teams, including Italy.

___

5:20 p.m.

Albanian soccer federation officials say the plane carrying the national team was forced to land at a different airport in France because of bad weather.

Albania beat Romania 1-0 on Sunday in Lyon and was flying back to their team base but had to land in Brest. The team is staying in Perros-Guirec and normally lands in nearby Lannion.

Albania team spokesman Tritan Kokona says the delegation took a bus 125 kilometers (80 miles) to their L’Agapa Hotel, adding they will hold a normal training session on Monday.

Albania finished in third place in Group A but will need to wait until Wednesday to find out if it has advanced to the round of 16.

___

4:35 p.m.

Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is still trying to recover from an injury he picked up in his team’s first European Championship match in France and appears certain to miss the last one.

The Roma goalkeeper was injured in Poland’s 1-0 win over Northern Ireland and coach Adam Nawalka said Monday he hasn’t yet resumed full training ahead of Tuesday’s final Group C match against Ukraine at Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

Nawalka says there is “progress with his rehabilitation,” but did not speculate on when Szczesny would be fit to return.

In his absence, Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski kept a clean sheet in Poland’s 0-0 draw with World Cup champion Germany.

Poland is second in Group C behind Germany on goal difference.

___

4:20 p.m.

Spain and Croatia were not allowed to practice at Stade de Bordeaux ahead of Tuesday’s Group D game at the European Championship because of poor field conditions.

There were several lighting machines on the field Monday to help the grass recover. The most-affected areas were located near the sidelines.

The teams’ practice sessions were transferred to Stade Chaban-Delmas, about half an hour away.

Two-time defending champion Spain has already advanced to the knockout stage but Croatia needs at least a draw to guarantee second place and qualify without depending on other results.

___

3:45 p.m.

France’s interior minister says 557 “violent supporters” have been arrested so far at the European Championship, and 344 of them were held by police.

Bernard Cazeneuve says custody has been followed by “very firm prison sentences for a certain number” of them.

In a statement, the government later said that 21 fans have been sent to jail and another six have been given suspended prison sentences. French authorities have ordered a further 25 supporters to be deported.

Trouble flared in Marseille during the opening days of Euro 2016, when England fans, Russian supporters and local youths clashed with each other and French riot police. Tear gas and water cannons were used to break up the trouble.

The hooligan threat at Euro 2016 comes amid heightened security in France after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, which claimed 130 lives.

___

2:50 p.m.

UEFA has charged the Albanian and Romanian soccer federations over fan behavior at the European Championship.

UEFA says it opened disciplinary proceedings against Albania for “field invasion” by a fan, and lighting and throwing fireworks. Romania fans lit flares after their national anthem was played in Lyon.

Albania beat Romania 1-0 on Sunday.

UEFA did not specify when its disciplinary panel will judge the cases.

Both federations face additional sanctions for incidents at earlier Euro 2016 matches involving fireworks and an offensive Albanian banner.

Romania was eliminated on Sunday, and Albania must wait until Wednesday to find out if it advances as one of the four best third-place teams.

___

1:10 p.m.

Even Switzerland’s players see the funny side of their shirt-ripping issues.

One of the main talking points of the Swiss team’s 0-0 draw with France was how easily and often the red shirts shredded.

Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri quipped to broadcasters: “I hope Puma doesn’t make condoms.”

The German manufacturer makes kits for five European Championship teams, including Italy. The Italians, however, have not yet had a wardrobe malfunction.

Puma’s main rival, Adidas, also had an equipment issue during Sunday’s match in Lille. The “Beau Jeu” ball designed especially for Euro 2016 burst open when two players converged on it in a second-half challenge.

___

11:20 p.m.

UEFA’s competitions director says there is no fear of teams colluding to produce favorable results in the final round of European Championship group games.

Giorgio Marchetti says there is “little room for speculation” despite teams playing on Wednesday being able to plan how finishing first, second, or third will decide their opponent in the round of 16.

Marchetti says “we think we are pretty safe because there is a need by many teams to win.”

Euro 2016 expanded from 16 teams to a 24-team format where four of the six third-place teams advance. A five-step tiebreaker process ranks the third-place teams.

Marchetti says “biscotto” games, where a certain result suits both teams, could happen with the old format.

He says “it is not the fault of the 24-team format.”

comments powered by Disqus