The Latest: Queen's praises England team at Euro 2020
The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:
Queen Elizabeth II has praised the “spirit, commitment and pride” of the England soccer team a day before the European Championship final against Italy.
The queen reminisced in a letter to England coach Gareth Southgate about the national team’s only previous outing in the final of a major competition.
The queen says that in 1966 she was “fortunate” to present the World Cup to then-England captain Bobby Moore and “saw what it meant to the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament.”
The 95-year-old monarch says she wanted to send her and her family’s “good wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves.”
There’s a spare ticket available for the European Championship final.
England rugby player Marcus Smith was planning to go to Wembley Stadium for the match between England and Italy on Sunday. But he found out moments after coming off the field following the England rugby team’s 70-14 win over Canada at Twickenham that he had been called up as an injury replacement by the British and Irish Lions for their tour of South Africa.
Smith was interviewed by former England rugby player Ugo Monye on British broadcaster Channel 4 after the Canada game. Smith was supposed to be going to the Euro 2020 final with Monye.
Smith says “I know we were meant to go but I think I’ll be on a plane instead.”
Injured Italy defender Leonardo Spinazzola has flown to London with the rest of his teammates for Sunday’s European Championship final against England.
Spinazzola was using crutches and had his left leg bandaged. He will watch Sunday’s match from the stands at Wembley Stadium.
The 28-year-old Spinazzola was arguably Italy’s best player until he injured his Achilles tendon against Belgium in the quarterfinals.
Spinazzola had surgery in Finland on Monday and is expected to be sidelined for about six months.
The English Football Association has been fined $35,600 by UEFA for incidents in the crowd during the team’s win over Denmark in the European Championship semifinals at Wembley Stadium.
That included the use of a laser that was pointed at Kasper Schmeichel by a supporter as the Denmark goalkeeper prepared to face a penalty by Harry Kane in extra time. Schmeichel saved the spot kick but Kane converted the rebound for the clinching goal in a 2-1 win.
The FA was also punished for England supporters jeering Denmark’s national anthem and lighting fireworks at Wednesday’s game.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports