Euro 2020 crowd breaks out in deafening chant in support of Eriksen
The 15,000 spectators at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen let out a deafening chant in support of Denmark’s Christian Eriksen on Saturday shortly after the Danish midfielder collapsed during the Group B match of Euro 2020 against Finland stage. Avisen reports Finnish supporters began the chant, shouting “Christian”, which was then answered by the Danish fans who shouted “Eriksen”. The 29-year-old collapsed on the field before halftime where he laid unresponsive.
Danish soccer federation director Peter Moeller later said that he got a “heart massage” on the field and was fortunately awake when he left stadium”. UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said in a statement: “Moments like this put everything in life into perspective. At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone. Football is beautiful and Christian plays it beautifully.”
The match resumed after an hour and fans cheered as the Danish team returned to the pitch for a second warm-up. Only a few minutes were played before a shorter-than-normal halftime break. Finland defeated Denmark 1-0 and Eriksen was named player of the match. Meanwhile, in another Group D match later, Belgium beat Russia 3-0 and in a Group A match, Wales and Switzerland drew 1-1.
Modric: “England have an unfair advantage”
The Euro 2020 competition continues this afternoon with England playing Croatia in Group D at Wembley Stadium at 3pm, followed by two Group C matches: Austria v. North Macedonia at 6pm and Netherlands v. Ukraine at 9pm. Croatia captain Luka Modric told the BBC England have an “unfair advantage” because all three of their Group games are at Wembley Stadium. Wembley will also host England’s other two group matches against Scotland on 18 June and the Czech Republic on 22 June.Modric, 35, believes England are one of the favourites for Euro 2020.
G7 rivals China’s belt and road with grand infrastructure plan
The Group of Seven richest democracies on Saturday sought to counter China’s growing influence by offering developing nations an infrastructure plan that would rival President Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative. The Economist says the G7, whose leaders discussed strategic competition with Beijing had been searching for a coherent response to the growing assertiveness of Xi after China’s surging economic and military rise over the past 40 years. They hope the plan, known as the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, will provide a transparent infrastructure partnership to help narrow the US$40 trillion needed by developing nations by 2035.
Election boycott in Algeria
Al Watan quotes Algeria’s election authorities saying that four hours before the polls closed for early legislative elections, less than 15% had cast their ballots. The elections were designed to legitimise the orphaned power system of the late president Abdelaziz Bouteflika but boycotted by the “Hirak” protest movement who, in April 2019, pushed the sick autocrat to resign – with the decisive shoulder of the military. The high abstention rate favours independent candidates and moderate Islamist formations capable of garnering a relative majority.
Week-long holiday for Moscovites
Moscow’s mayor has effectively declared a public holiday for all of next week to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases. Sergei Sobyanin announced the decision on Saturday (Jun 12), telling Pravda it would not affect organisations that maintain the Russian capital’s infrastructure, the military, or other strategically-important enterprises. On Saturday, Russia reported 13,510 new COVID-19 cases in the preceding 24 hours, the highest daily tally since early February. Of those, 6,701 were reported in Moscow, the highest tally in the city so far this year.