UEFA will ask football's lawmakers to introduce a margin error for offside calls in a bid to clean up the VAR "mess", Aleksander Ceferin has confirmed.

Players, coaches and supporters have criticised the implementation of technology since its infiltration of the Premier League for the 2019-20 season.

Disallowed goals for extremely marginal offside decisions have proved particularly contentious, with controversial incidents arising on a regular basis.

UEFA president Ceferin said he understood the frustration of fans and would take up the issue with the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body responsible for the Laws of the Game.

"If you have a long nose, you are in an offside position these days," Ceferin told the Mirror.

"Also, the lines are drawn by the VARs. So it's subjective drawing of objective criteria.

"So our proposal will be that it is a tolerance of 10-20 centimetres.

"Second thing, we had at UEFA the top coaches two weeks ago, in Nyon. There was Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Max Allegri, Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane.

"All the top coaches of European teams and our referee officer, Roberto Rossetti, shows a handball. He says: 'Handball or not?'

"Half the room said yes. Half said no. So tell me how clear the rule is. We don't know anything!"

Ceferin admitted he was "not a big fan" of VAR but confirmed it would be in operation at Euro 2020.

"Look, we simply have to, because the teams will all complain when there’s a mistake against them," he said.

Roberto Mancini has warned Italy not to underestimate the less glamorous teams joining them in Group A at Euro 2020.

The Azzurri will face Turkey, Switzerland and Wales next June after receiving a relatively kind draw.

Mancini's men will be expected to reach the knockout rounds after maintaining a perfect record through qualifying, the only nation alongside Belgium to accomplish this feat.

But in 2016 semi-finalists Wales, a talented Turkey team and a Switzerland side boasting the best FIFA ranking of the four, Mancini found hidden demons.

"I don't think the group will be as simple as some are saying," the former Inter head coach told Radio Anch'io.

"They are annoying teams with nothing to lose. They all have good players and a lot of young players.

"Switzerland know us well and are always annoying to face, Wales can be a surprise with players in the Premier League and Turkey took four points from France in their qualifying group.

"These are teams that are difficult to deal with, but we are optimistic."

Euro 2020 will mark Italy's first appearance at a major tournament in four years, following the shock failure to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Mancini confirmed the squad he intends to take is already largely settled.

He said: "I believe the group is now outlined, but obviously if an extraordinary young man, a Paolo Rossi or [Salvatore] Schillaci, were to emerge in the next six months, we would be very pleased."

Niklas Sule is determined to prove Uli Hoeness wrong as the injured defender aims to recover full fitness in time for Euro 2020.

The Bayern Munich centre-back tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a Bundesliga game in October.

The serious injury was expected to end Sule's season and former Bayern president Hoeness told him to forget about representing Germany at the Euros.

But the 24-year-old said his rehabilitation is going well and could lead to an early comeback.

"The knee's fine, I'm ahead in the healing process. That speaks to the good work of the surgeon," Sule told reporters at a Bayern fan event.

"For me, the European Championship is clearly the goal and I assume that I can and will do it.

"I work for it every day. I hope to return to the team in March or April and then it's absolutely within feasible range. It's a tough journey but I know I can do it."

Asked about the likelihood of achieving his target, Sule added: "For my part, 100 percent."

Sule made his international debut in 2016 and has gone on to win 24 caps for Germany.

Joachim Low's men will face holders Portugal and World Cup winners France in a tough Group F at next year's tournament.

Fernando Santos has claimed defending champions Portugal are outsiders in a Euro 2020 group containing "two favourites" in France and Germany.

The three heavyweights were drawn together in a tough-looking Group F for next year's tournament, with a play-off contestant still to be added.

France and Germany will enter as winners of the past two World Cups, while Portugal are preparing to defend the trophy they unexpectedly won in 2016.

Santos' side were also crowned inaugural Nations League champions in June but the wily 65-year-old coach quickly positioned his team as underdogs.

"It will be a strong group, two favourites and a candidate," Santos told reporters.

"[France and Germany] have a responsibility to win and they have to assume that responsibility. We will believe in our possibilities. We come as candidates and obviously we want to win.

"Two world champions, a European champion and winner of the Nations League – I think this is a group that nobody wanted because each team wanted to avoid the other two.

"Everyone will respect each other and just wait to see who will be the fourth."

Portugal finished second behind Ukraine in their qualifying group, losing once and drawing twice in eight games.

Real Madrid shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world, according to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

Courtois was dropped to the bench for Real Madrid's 2-1 win over Deportivo Alaves in LaLiga on Saturday amid criticism of his performances.

However, his international boss Martinez labelled the 27-year-old the world's best despite admitting the goalkeeper was going through a "difficult period".

"Thibaut is for me the best goalkeeper in the world, as he showed at the [2018] World Cup," Martinez said on Saturday.

"From there, he is the best person for me to defend Real Madrid's goal.

"It has been a difficult period, but I think that the opportunity to return with the national team has helped him to regain the good feelings, in the same way that we hope that the successes he has at Real Madrid can help us in the Euros."

Belgium were drawn alongside Denmark, Finland and Russia in Group B for Euro 2020.

Eden Hazard's time at Real Madrid will develop into something "very special", according to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

Hazard appeared to be finding some form for Madrid before suffering an ankle injury in a Champions League draw against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

The former Chelsea star has just one goal and two assists in 13 games this season, but Martinez believes the Belgium playmaker will become a Madrid star.

"I saw Eden at the [Santiago] Bernabeu against PSG and I have to say that we saw a fascinating hour," Martinez said on Saturday.

"He taught us how his season with Real Madrid will be and the truth is that it makes your mouth water.

"Too bad he had to come off because of the injury, but we see an Eden Hazard that is going to contribute more and more, that his mates know him more and more and the truth is that the project of Eden at Real Madrid will be very special."

Martinez was speaking after Belgium were drawn to face Denmark, Finland and Russia in Group B at Euro 2020.

Another player sure to be key to possible success for Belgium at next year's tournament is Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 11 goals in 17 games for Inter this season.

"The truth is that he had a very difficult period in Manchester United, especially the last six months," Martinez said about the striker.

"He is now leading a project with Antonio Conte and it will be very interesting to see its evolution."

Luis Enrique was "looking on the bright side" after Spain were handed a good draw for the group stage at Euro 2020.

Spain will face Sweden, Poland and a play-off winner in Group E, with all their games to be played at San Mames in Bilbao.

The three-time European champions avoided the 'group of death' – featuring France, Germany and Portugal – and Luis Enrique was satisfied.

"It's about always looking on the bright side," the Spain coach told reporters.

"If we had to face France or Portugal, finishing first or second we would have avoided them until the end, which is not bad either way. Now future planning doesn't make much sense.

"I'm happy for the draw and to come back to represent the Spanish national team. Now let's wait for the months to pass to arrive at the competition."

With Spain playing at home, Luis Enrique said San Mames was among Europe's best stadiums.

"For me, without any doubt, San Mames is one of the most beautiful stadiums in Europe, along with Wembley. It's wonderful, beautiful," he said.

"The atmosphere that we are going to live there will be full of support and I hope not to disappoint, that we can do great in the group stages and win the three games."

Spain will begin their campaign against Sweden on June 15.

Didier Deschamps accepted France faced a huge test at Euro 2020 as Germany coach Joachim Low had no doubt Group F was the "group of death".

World champions France were drawn alongside Euro 2016 winners Portugal and Germany, plus a play-off winner, in the group on Saturday.

Deschamps acknowledged his team would be challenged in Group F, which will be played in Budapest and Munich.

"It's a difficult group, but I think that Joachim Low and Portugal head coach [Fernando Santos] think the same thing. It's the hardest group, but we have to accept it," he said.

"We will need to be ready at the beginning of the competition because our first game will be against Germany in Munich. They will play at home.

"On paper, it's a tough group. These two teams have many qualities and they recently had good results."

France's first match will be against Germany at the Allianz Arena on June 16 before playing two games in Budapest.

Deschamps said: "It could be better, but what can we do? Germany and Portugal are in our group. We know when we will play and where.

"We still have to wait to know our third opponent. But we already know the quality of two of our opponents. So we can prepare to be ready for the match day."

Low was surprisingly happy about getting the opportunity to play against France and Portugal, but said it was undoubtedly the toughest group.

"At first I feel joy because these are highlight games against France and Portugal. We play against the reigning world champions and European champions," the Germany coach said.

"I think the players are also looking forward to these games. Of course it's a group of death. Everyone in this group has to go to the limit if they want to get ahead.

"But I think that these games will be football festivals. Then we also play in Germany. I'm looking forward to it."

Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne labelled Euro 2020 a "fake competition" and claimed the draw format is a sign of football becoming more of a business than a sport.

Roberto Martinez's side won all 10 qualifiers to finish top of Group I and qualify automatically for next year's finals, which will be staged in 12 different cities across Europe.

The group draw will take place on November 30 but, due to seedings and rules involving host nations, Belgium already know they will be drawn into Group B with Russia and Denmark.

Belgium can start planning for the expansive tournament, but Manchester City star De Bruyne is unhappy with the format.

"It's a shame," he told VTM Nieuws after scoring twice in Tuesday's 6-1 win over Cyprus.

"For me, this feels like a fake competition. Football has become more and more [like] a business."

De Bruyne featured in six of Belgium's qualifiers, scoring four times and assisting a further six goals.

Marcus Rashford believes England's "frightening" attacking talent can power the World Cup semi-finalists to a successful Euro 2020.

Gareth Southgate's side cruised through qualifying for next year's tournament, winning seven of eight matches and scoring 37 times.

Only once before – in 1908 – have England struck more goals in competitive matches in a calendar year than the 38 scored in 2019.

Question marks remain over certain positions in the starting XI but in Rashford, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling there looks to be a defined and dangerous attacking trio.

"I think it is a good combination," said Manchester United forward Rashford.

"But we have played games without that particular front three and it is frightening what we can do as a group of attackers.

"I think all of these games are just gearing you up for the summer and if we go into the summer anywhere near the sort of form we have been in recently then it will be a successful tournament."

Rashford was among the scorers as England signed off from qualifying with a 4-0 win over Kosovo on Sunday.

Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who started in Pristina, are among those pressing for spots, while Jamie Vardy could add another element to the squad if the in-form Leicester City striker reverses his international retirement.

Rashford said: "I have been in two tournaments now and the squad is so important.

"With the qualities that every individual has in this team, it is something we have to use to our advantage. People are going to be playing at different moments but when you are on the pitch you have to do your best and try to come up with the goods.

"It is good competition. We really do have that kind of environment when we are in the camp together and it is positive."

Paul Pogba has decided where he wants his next move to be, while Mauricio Pochettino is nearing a Tottenham exit.

Pogba, 26, was linked with a Manchester United departure during the close season but ended up staying at Old Trafford.

However, the France midfielder's future remains a talking point.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA PREFERS JUVENTUS RETURN OVER MADRID MOVE

Pogba would prefer to return to Juventus but would not say no to Real Madrid, according to Tuttosport.

The Serie A champions and LaLiga giants were the two clubs most heavily linked with a move for Pogba – who is contracted until 2021 – during the close season.

A potential Juve deal for Pogba could see Mario Mandzukic head to Manchester United, the report says.

ROUND-UP

- Pochettino has held "crisis talks" with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy as he nears an exit, according to The Telegraph. Spurs have struggled this season and sit 14th in the Premier League table through 12 games.

- While Mandzukic is wanted by United, Borussia Dortmund are ready to compete for the striker, according to Kicker. Mandzukic starred during two seasons with Bayern Munich before leaving the Bundesliga in 2014.

- Spain have offered Luis Enrique a chance to lead the nation at Euro 2020, according to AS. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have called a news conference for Tuesday, with Luis Enrique reportedly set to replace Robert Moreno at the helm.

- Manchester United are preparing to try to sign both Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and RB Salzburg's Erling Haaland in January, according to Goal. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to try and strengthen his squad with United nine points adrift of the top four in the Premier League.

- Chelsea attacker Willian and Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz have slowed contract talks with their respective clubs amid interest from Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo. Willian is out of contract at season's end, while Fabian's deal runs until 2023.

- Manchester City are considering making a move for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, according to the Mirror. The Premier League champions lost Aymeric Laporte to a knee injury in September and may look to strengthen, although the Frenchman is expected to be back in early 2020.

Roberto Mancini is unsure if rivals are worried about Italy ahead of Euro 2020, but feels they may prefer to avoid playing his side at the tournament.

Italy completed a perfect qualifying campaign in Group J with a 9-1 demolition of Armenia in Palermo on Monday.

While their impressive performances are sure to see them considered among the favourites at next year's showpiece tournament, Mancini feels other nations are ahead of Italy in their growth.

"I don't know if they are worried or not," the Italy coach told a news conference.

"I think they are stronger because they are one step ahead with their plan. France started some years ago, they reached a Euro final and won the World Cup. They are young and I think they are one of the strongest teams. Spain the same.

"Belgium in the last five, six years produced a lot of outstanding talents. Then England.

"All those teams stared earlier. Italy has a great history. I don't think other teams will face Italy easily.

"Maybe they are not scared, buy if they could choose would face another opponent instead of Italy."

Ciro Immobile and Nicolo Zaniolo scored braces against Armenia, while Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli, Jorginho, Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa were also on the scoresheet.

Mancini praised his players for their improvement and hopes there is more to come from Italy at Euro 2020.

"These are all young lads who are improving game by game. Playing at international level brings experience, they've got the quality, it's just a matter of time," he told Rai Sport.

"We’ll see what happens at Euro 2020. We'd never won all 10 games in a qualifying group, we've got six months to prepare for the championship and unfortunately I will have to leave some behind, as I can only bring 23 players.

"If we can continue like this, that would be great."

The draw for the final tournament will be held on November 30.

The Czech Republic secured their qualification for Euro 2020 with a dramatic comeback win over Kosovo in Thursday's crucial Group A encounter.

Kosovo – who are guaranteed a play-off place thanks to their efforts in the UEFA Nations League – needed to avoid defeat at Doosan Arena to keep their chances of automatic qualification alive.

The visitors looked set to cause an upset when Sheffield Wednesday forward Atdhe Nuhiu put them ahead with a superb header in the 50th minute.

But the Czechs fought back, Alex Kral's stunning hit pulling them level before the midfielder provided the assist for Ondrej Celustka's winner eight minutes later as Jaroslav Silhavy's side completed the comeback to book their place at next year's tournament.

Elsewhere in Group A, leaders England wrapped up progression with a thumping 7-0 demolition of Montenegro at Wembley.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkey ensured their qualification with a 0-0 draw against Iceland – a result which also guaranteed France's spot in the finals, with the world champions coming from behind to defeat Moldova 2-1.

Despite a 6-0 win over Lithuania, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick, reigning champions Portugal must beat Luxembourg in their final match to take their place at the finals.

Spain, Belgium and Italy had already confirmed their places last month, with Ukraine, Russia and Poland having also sealed qualification.

Ronald Koeman claims there is a "possibility" he could become Barcelona's next coach, but not before presiding over Netherlands' Euro 2020 campaign should they qualify.

The 56-year-old spent six years at Barca as a player before later having a spell as Louis van Gaal's assistant from 1998 to 2000 and he has been strongly linked with a return since overseeing an impressive improvement of the Netherlands national team.

Koeman took over the Oranje last year after they had missed out on a spot at the 2018 World Cup, but he has since transformed them into a force, leading the team to the Nations League final and on course to qualify for Euro 2020.

It was recently confirmed Koeman has a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave Netherlands for Camp Nou if the situation arose after the Euros, and with Ernesto Valverde under increasing pressure it looks likely a change could be made in the next year.

Koeman insists he would not turn his back on Netherlands before Euro 2020, however.

"Joining [Barcelona] is a possibility," Koeman told reporters. "But only after Euro 2020.

"I don't know if I'll keep [speaking about the Barca job] in the future because it's a bit strange to speak about the possibility of going to the club while you're the Netherlands coach.

"There is no other side I would leave Netherlands for except for Barcelona."

Netherlands have two Euro 2020 qualifiers remaining against Northern Ireland and Estonia. They head into the double-header level on 15 points with Germany in Group C, but ahead of them by virtue of a better head-to-head record.

Spain head coach Robert Moreno says there is no reason why Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati could not be in the squad for Euro 2020.

The 17-year-old, born in Guinea-Bissau but a resident of Spain since the age of six, has been a revelation at Camp Nou this season during an inconsistent first half of the season from Ernesto Valverde's side.

Fati was cleared to play for his adopted country in October and was named in the Under-21 squad for this month's qualifying matches for the Euro Under-21 finals in 2021.

Moreno admits he will keep an eye on the winger's progress with a view to including him for the senior tournament next year, for which Spain have already qualified.

"Ansu Fati is in the preliminary list and so there is no reason why he can't be with us at Euro 2020. He ticks all the boxes," Moreno told reporters in Madrid.

Spain's latest squad for their final Euro 2020 qualifiers against Malta and Romania includes Dinamo Zagreb winger Dani Olmo, who has impressed in the Champions League this season.

"Dani Olmo enjoyed a great tournament with the Under-21s [at this year's European Championship] and he's doing well for his club in the Champions League. We're very happy to be able to give him this opportunity," said Moreno.

Moreno also suggested there could be a place in future squads for Valencia centre-back Gabriel Paulista, who has not played for Brazil and is now obtaining a Spanish passport.

"Gabriel Paulista is processing his passport but right now he cannot be called up," he said. "When he gets his Spanish passport, we'll see.

"There are a lot of very good players but only 23 are able to make the squad. Out of a list of 45 players, we end up selecting the 23 who we think will do the best."

Moreno took charge after Luis Enrique stepped down in June for family reasons.

The 42-year-old wants to remain at the helm as far as the 2022 World Cup, but he says there are no plans for talks over a new deal.

"I haven't been offered the chance to renew and nor am I expecting it to happen in the near future," he said. "If you were to ask me how long do I expect to be in the job - I would like to still be here for the Euros and the World Cup - so at least for one whole period. But that will depend on the results, that's how it is for all coaches."

Page 6 of 7
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.