Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi labelled Barcelona's methods of raising funds unfair and suggested UEFA will investigate the Blaugrana's financial conduct.

Despite facing mounting debt levels and struggling to meet LaLiga's strict salary limits, Barca completed big-money moves for Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha – as well as signing several free agents – during the recent transfer window.

Barca sold 25 per cent of their future LaLiga media rights, as well as a 49 per cent share of their in-house production company Barca Studios, to raise funds for their transfer activity.

President Joan Laporta referred to those measures as economic "levers" that were activated to improve the squad, but Al-Khelaifi has cast doubt upon their legality. 

"Is this fair? No, it's not fair," he told Politico. "Is it legal? I'm not sure.
 
"If they allow them, others will do the same. UEFA of course have their own [financial] regulations. For sure they're going to look at everything."

Al-Khelaifi, who is also a UEFA executive committee member and serves as chairman of the European Club Association, has been critical of Barcelona on several occasions recently.

Last week, he appeared to reference the Catalan giants during a speech to European club representatives, saying: "The new financial sustainability rules are a positive development. 

"But we need to be careful. Dangerous levels of debt and magical equity deals are not a sustainable path."

Al-Khelaifi has also been embroiled in a war of words with LaLiga, with the Spanish league filing a complaint over PSG's spending following Kylian Mbappe's decision to reject a move to Real Madrid earlier this year.

The PSG president has also repeatedly criticised Barca and Madrid for their failure to abandon the European Super League project, declaring; "the ecosystem of football is bigger than just two or three clubs", earlier this month.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says the organisation will not repeat a pan-continental staging of the European Championship following Euro 2020, but has not ruled out further successful joint bids in the future.

Last year's rescheduled tournament, intended to celebrate its 60th anniversary, was beset by logistical difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2024 tournament will revert to a single nation host in Germany, but the 2028 edition could once again see multiple hosts, with a British Isles bid up against Turkey for duties.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Ceferin confirmed there will be no continent-spanning events in future, but he is not opposed to shared hosting between smaller neighbour nations.

"We are not considering such Euro tournaments in 10-11 countries, that was complicated enough," he stated. "With [the pandemic], it was even more complicated.

"With respect to sporting considerations, Switzerland played one game in Rome and then in Baku, and some teams played at home all the time.

"Those who did not travel and played at home ended up in the final. We don't like that concept at all.

"It was a good idea. It was the 60th anniversary of the Euros, some Pan-European friendship... These were the elements of that idea.

"I'm not saying that the idea was bad. But my feeling is that Euros should take place in one or two countries if we're talking about smaller countries."

UEFA has confirmed Russia will not be included in next month's qualifying draw for the 2024 European Championship.

Russia has been exiled by FIFA and UEFA following February's invasion of Ukraine, with the country's national teams and clubs banned from competing in any continental or international competitions.

UEFA confirmed ahead of the 2022-23 season that Russian clubs would be excluded from competing in their tournaments this season, although Euro 2024 was not mentioned in the previous update.

However, while confirming the procedure for the qualifying draw that will take place on October 9, UEFA has now confirmed Russia will not be among the 53 teams drawn.

"All Russian teams are currently suspended following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee of February 28, 2022 which has further been confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on July 15, 2022. Russia is therefore not included in the UEFA European Football Championship 2022-24 qualifying draw," a statement read.

Germany, hosts of Euro 2024 and automatic qualifiers, will also not be in next month's draw, which will produce seven groups of five teams and three groups of six teams.

The 53 participating teams are seeded according to the overall 2022-23 Nations League rankings and divided into seven pots, with the 10 group winners and runners-up qualifying for the tournament.

Playoffs will decide the final three qualification spots for Euro 2024, which is scheduled to begin on June 14, 2024.

A senior German official has written to UEFA to request both Russia and Belarus are excluded from next month's qualifying draw for Euro 2024.

Following February's invasion of Ukraine, FIFA and UEFA issued a joint statement to confirm that Russia and Belarus, who are supporters of Vladimir Putin's regime, will be banned from competitions "until further notice".

That was followed up an update in May, where UEFA announced Russian clubs would be banned from continental competitions for the 2022-23 season, with Russia also excluded from the Women's Euros.

However, the European Championships in 2024, due to be held in Germany, were not mentioned in UEFA's most recent update.

That has led German federal minister of the interior Nancy Faeser, who oversees sport in her role, to write to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to call for both nations to be excluded from the qualifying draw, due to take place on October 9. UEFA did not comment on the matter but did confirm receipt of the letter.

German publication Der Spiegel carries reported quotes from the letter, which they say states: "Not only Russia, which is waging a war of aggression in violation of international law, but also Belarus as an essential supporter of the Russian leadership should be excluded from all international football matches and tournaments."

Faeser adds UEFA should include "the suspension of Russian and Belarusian officials from the influential bodies of international sports federations", as football must "live up to its responsible role and show a united stance against this form of disregard for human rights".

"All those responsible must be deprived of any possibility of sporting participation, influence or other representation."

The letter follows on from requests from Ukrainian Association of Football president Andriy Pavelko, who also requested Russia be excluded from next month's draw.

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Nice and Koln after crowd trouble marred a Europa Conference League match between the teams.

Thursday's group game on the French Riviera saw a delayed kick-off due to fans clashing in the stands and missiles being thrown.

Reports also cited trouble around the city prior to the match, with vandalism and damage to the French team's official club shop.

A number of fans were injured, and European football's governing body confirmed the start of disciplinary proceedings.

In a statement, UEFA said: "Disciplinary proceedings have been instigated in accordance with article 55 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations following the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage match between OGC Nice and 1. FC Koln (1-1) played on 8 September 2022 in France."

Both clubs have been charged regarding the 'throwing of objects', 'lighting of fireworks' and 'crowd disturbances', with Nice also facing five further charges relating to their hosting of the game.

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere said on Friday: "We've had enough of this. When you experience it live, it's terrible. When the next day you experience it a second time with hindsight, it's even worse because we have terrible images. It can't go on.

"I'm not in the habit of leaving a ship when things are rocking. But when you see that, you inevitably say to yourself: 'What am I doing here?'."

A number of Paris Saint-Germain supporters were identified as being among those involved in fighting.

French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera expressed a fear for the safety of the ordinary supporter, looking to avoid trouble at all costs but still coming face to face with hooliganism.

She said, quoted by RMC: "We are fed up, we are really fed up that our sport is soiled in this way, that we can no longer tell ourselves that we are going with our kids in a serene and safe way to a stadium.

"I have a knot in my stomach because it's starting again, Nice-Koln, with incredible violence, shocking images on social networks. We really have to find the solutions together to get through this, to ensure that this violence which is penetrating more and more into our society stops at least at the door of our stadiums."

Koln said they would work closely with police to identify perpetrators.

Managing director Christian Keller said: "We are all very upset about what happened. That has nothing to do with football and counteracts the values ​​of FC Koln.

"With both clubs, it was a small minority of less than 100 people each that caused the excess violence in the stadium. Over 7,900 of the 8,000 spectators in the Koln block have nothing to do with the incidents. A blanket condemnation of our fans and in particular the active fan scene is therefore wrong."

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has paid tribute to HRH Queen Elizabeth II following her death aged 96, with a minute's silence held across the body's competition matches on Thursday.

Britain's longest-reigning monarch passed away at her home in Balmoral, just months on from her Platinum Jubilee.

News broke amid Arsenal's early Europa League kick-off against Zurich, with the Gunners returning to the field for the second half in black armbands and a minute's silence held before play resumed.

Manchester United and West Ham's subsequent European commitments were prefaced by a minute of silence and tributes to the Queen too, and Ceferin offered his condolences.

"UEFA and European football are truly saddened by the passing away of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, one of the world's most-respected figures," he stated.

"Our thoughts are with her family and the President of the English Football Association Prince William, as well as with the citizens of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms."

FIFA and UEFA have issued a joint statement condemning a "horrific act" that saw gunshots fired at the Turkish Football Association headquarters on Thursday.

Reports from Turkey indicate 11 shots were fired in the direction of the building in Istanbul as the board met inside, though fortunately nobody was hurt.

Turkish Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, said two suspects were arrested shortly after the incident occurred, describing them as "drunk", with investigations ongoing.

Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA condemned the indicent, expressing relief that no injuries were sustained.

"On Thursday, a horrific act of gun violence against the people and property of the Turkish Football Association (TFF) occurred at the TFF's headquarters in Istanbul," the statement read.

"As much as we are relieved that these acts resulted in no injuries, we regret that there are still people capable of such crimes with no respect for human life or safety.

"FIFA and UEFA jointly condemn this violent act and express our full support for the TFF and its staff at this difficult time. Violence is a disease that cannot be tolerated in any form."

Former Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Turkey international Hamit Altintop, now one of the federation's leaders, was in the building at the time of the incident.

"We threw ourselves to the ground as soon as we heard the shots," he told the Milliyet daily.

Women's club football in Europe is at "a critical juncture" but can soar to stunning new heights over the next decade, a new report from UEFA has disclosed.

Its commercial value can grow sixfold to €686million by 2033 and club sponsorship could swell to €295million by the same point, according to European football's governing body.

The developing professional leagues across Europe remain at an early stage of growth, emphasised by the fact spending on international player transfers topped €2m for the first time last year.

UEFA published its 'Business Case for Women’s Football' on Tuesday, with the women's game planning to capitalise on the success of international tournaments such as Euro 2022 by aiming to steer supporters and investors towards the clubs and leagues that in some cases are battling to survive.

The report said stakeholders have "an extraordinary opportunity to develop and professionalise women's football in Europe over the next decade by investing now" to unlock "enormous potential".

The report's findings would enable stakeholders "to make informed decisions and invest on the scale required", its authors said.

UEFA explained that previous data in this area, looking at the prospect for future growth, meant there was an "inconsistent and incomplete" picture of what the years to come might hold. It said its research and data investigations this time were "unprecedented" in their scale.

Former Germany striker Nadine Kessler, who is now UEFA's chief of women's football, hailed the game as being "on an incredibly exciting trajectory".

Kessler added: "The potential of the women's game is limitless and we believe we are on course to take women's football to heights that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

"As this report shows, now is the time to capitalise on the momentum we have created together, now is the time to get involved, now is the time to invest."

The research showed that a current fan base of 144million could reach 328million in 10 years' time. Followers were described as being broadly "diverse, progressive and young", with close to one in three fans of the women's game found to be new to football.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas pointed to the prospect of short-term losses for long-term gains.

Aulas, an early advocate of the women's game, said: "In the early years, there will be losses to reach a certain level and become successful. Over time, the investment will create excellent value for the club through new partners and a differentiated fan base."

That was reflected in the report stating the "majority" of leagues and teams are making a loss, relying on support from club owners or men's team budgets to remain sustainable.

Some 87 per cent of integrated clubs said involvement with women's clubs had brought about a reputational boost.

UEFA said its research showed 70 per cent of women's clubs and 50 per cent of leagues are aiming to be self-sustainable within the next decade.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson hopes the unsavoury off-field scenes that marred last season's Champions League final in Paris will represent a "watershed" moment in the treatment of football fans.

Henderson started as Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid at the Stade de France in May, a loss that ended their hopes of adding to an EFL Cup and FA Cup double.

However, the match was overshadowed by violent scenes as supporters were targeted with pepper spray and tear gas outside the stadium, leading both clubs to call for an investigation.

While authorities originally blamed English fans' use of fake tickets for the disruption, both interior minister Gerald Darmanin and Paris police chief Didier Lallement have since apologised for those claims.

UEFA announced the commissioning of an independent investigation into the causes of the security failings just one day after the match, and Henderson believes steps must be taken to ensure a repeat never occurs.

"I always go into the new season not wanting to dwell too much on whatever happened in the previous one – for better or worse – but there is one element that I do want to look back on and that is the treatment of our fans in Paris," he wrote in his programme notes ahead of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace.

"I know there is an inquiry going on at the minute, so I don't want to say too much at this stage, but there is a basic principle that needs to be agreed on by all involved in football and that is that football supporters should always be taken care of.

"That is absolutely non-negotiable. Safety and security shouldn't be asked for or campaigned for, they should be a given and in Paris this was not the case. 

"All of the players and staff had family and friends who were caught up in the problems outside the stadium, so we are all well aware of what went on and what went wrong. 

"The only conclusion that anyone can come to is that something like that can never happen again.

"I'm not just speaking for our supporters here either. Every single football fan needs to know that when they go to a match, the authorities will look after them.

"For that to happen, Paris needs to be a watershed. It has to be a moment that brings about change for the better. Nothing else is acceptable."

UEFA's review of events at the final remains ongoing, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp declared his hope that findings "are getting closer" in July.

Football might not be the first thing that springs to mind if you were to think of Finland.

Long winter nights, saunas, Lapland, reindeer. A quick google search highlights telecommunications company Nokia as its most famous exporter, and that it is renowned for being "the happiest country in the world" with the best education system and cleanest air… oh, and the hotel where this reporter has been staying boasts "the best tap water in the world", too.

Little mention of football, though. After all, ice hockey is the prominent sport here.

Finland qualified for Euro 2020, but their sole win in the competition was overshadowed by the fact it came in a game in which Denmark's Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch in Copenhagen, having suffered a cardiac arrest. It was the nation's first appearance at a major international tournament.

Not that there haven't been some notable Finnish players down the years. Jari Litmanen played for Ajax, Liverpool and Barcelona throughout a long career. Sami Hyypia spent a decade at Anfield from 1999 to 2009, while Jussi Jaaskelainen played in the Premier League for 18 years over spells with Bolton Wanderers and West Ham. Laura Osterberg-Kalmari was nominated for FIFA Women's Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

More recently, Teemu Pukki has impressed with Norwich and Lukas Hradecky has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the Bundesliga across recent seasons.

Hradecky, now at Bayer Leverkusen, made his name at Eintracht Frankfurt, and it is the German side – Europa League winners last season – who have travelled across the Baltic Sea to take on the might of Champions League holders Real Madrid in the Super Cup.

Litmanen, Osterberg-Kalmari and Jaaskelainen were all guests at UEFA's fan park on Tuesday, a day ahead of the match at the 36,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

The Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup trophies were on show, though outside the fan park it would have been easy to miss that there was a major European match heading to the city. Indeed, on the opposite side of Helsinki’s grand central train station to UEFA's festivities, a music and arts festival was drawing a much larger crowd.

That will surely change on Wednesday.

Madrid are expected to bring approximately 1,800 fans. Meanwhile, 10,000 are anticipated to be arriving in support of Eintracht. 

The signs were there even as Stats Perform arrived in Helsinki on Monday, with pockets of Eintracht supporters travelling into the city. A day later, the fan park was mostly populated by local football fans enjoying the rare occasion of such a major sporting event – involving one of the world's biggest clubs – coming to their city.

Helsinki's centre will likely be a hub for Eintracht's travelling masses, and even as Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti ran the rule over his side in an opening training session on Tuesday, fans of the German team were making their presence heard outside the ground as the team coach departed.

It's nothing new, though. Barcelona coach Xavi was left furious last season after 30,000 visiting Eintracht fans were said to have managed to gain entry to Camp Nou to watch their team sensationally knock out Barcelona in the Europa League quarter-finals. For the final against Rangers, held in Seville, authorities estimated that 50,000 Eintracht supporters made their way to the Andalusian city.

"They played a big role, if I remember the game in Barca, 30,000, something special and it helped us a lot to perform at this level. They're not here to sightsee, they're here to support us because they believe in us," said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp in Eintracht's pre-match news conference.

"Tomorrow will be the same, we know there’s going to be 10,000 again. We try to give our best and be able to celebrate again. It's a huge part of this club, this team, it's helping us every time."

Eintracht might have the more raucous travelling support, but any local neutrals are likely to be in attendance to watch the stars of Madrid. Ancelotti, asked about his brief experience of Finland so far, compared the country to Canada, the home of his wife, and in training his team looked sharp as they put on a show for the assorted media and a small group of fans soaking in the late evening sun.

Karim Benzema and Luka Modric accompanied Ancelotti in Madrid's media conference, just two of the superstars set to line up in all-white on Wednesday. Ancelotti, as amiable and as composed as ever, confirmed both players would start – unless they had any objections. His team are just rounding off their pre-season, and there were some signs of players still shaking off some rustiness in the finishing drills that ended their practice session.

Eintracht opened their Bundesliga campaign with a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich, and head coach Oliver Glasner knows that, even if his side are underdogs, they cannot show such naivety against the 14-time European champions. With key player Filip Kostic absent to complete a move to Juventus, Eintracht must avoid another humiliation, even if it is an outstanding achievement to have reached this showpiece in the first place.

As for Helsinki, it might be a far cry from the football hotbeds of Paris, London, Milan, Munich or Madrid, but those cities have their fair share of big matches already. The welcome has been warm, the weather perfect and the stadium – constructed in the 1930s but recently renovated – an ideal venue.

Interviewed after his appearance at the fan park, Litmanen told Stats Perform: "It's very important for us to have this kind of game because we don't see these things very often. We cannot get the Champions League final we haven't been in the World Cup or the European championships. This is a big game for Finland."

Now it's time to enjoy the show.

UEFA has announced the introduction of semi-automatic offside technology, which will debut in the Super Cup and be used in the Champions League during the 2022-23 season.

SOAT's introduction will "allow VAR teams to determine offside situations quickly and more accurately", UEFA says, and will operate thanks to specialised cameras, which are able to track 29 different body points per player.

Set to be used in the Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki on August 10, UEFA says the technology has been tested 188 times since 2010 – including all matches in last season's Champions League, knock-out fixtures in the Women's Champions League and during the UEFA Women's Euros, as well as other club competition finals.

"UEFA is constantly looking for new technological solutions to improve the game and support the work of the referees," UEFA Chief Refereeing Officer Roberto Rosetti said in a press release.

"The system is ready to be used in official matches and implemented at each Champions League venue."

UEFA also announced that English referee Michael Oliver will officiate the Super Cup final, who will be assisted by compatriots Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett.

Rumsas Donatas (Lithuania) will act as the fourth official, while the VAR role has been assigned to Tomasz Kwiatkowski (Poland), and he will be assisted by his fellow countryman Bartosz Frankowkski, as well as Tiago Bruno Lopes Martins (Portugal).

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld FIFA and UEFA's decision to ban Russian national teams from their competitions.

Both governing bodies imposed the suspensions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

The Football Union of Russia (FUR) lodged an appeal with CAS, with the men's national team having been preventing from trying to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar and the women unable to feature in the European Championship - which started this month.

Zenit, Sochi, CSKA Moscow and Dynamo Moscow also challenged UEFA's decision to leave them unable to play in European competitions.

CAS on Friday revealed all six challenges were dismissed by a panel of arbitrators.

A CAS statement said: "In all of these cases, the panel determined that the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the public and government responses worldwide, created unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances to which FIFA and UEFA had to respond.

"In determining that Russian teams and clubs should not participate in competitions under their aegis while such circumstances persisted, the panel held that both parties acted within the scope of the discretion granted to them under their respective statutes and regulations.

"In so holding, the Panel found it unnecessary to characterise the nature of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but only to focus on the consequences of such conflict for the competitions affected.

"The panel finds it unfortunate that the current military operations in Ukraine, for which Russian football teams, clubs, and players have themselves no responsibility, had, by reason of the decisions of FIFA and UEFA, such an adverse effect on them and Russian football generally, but those effects were, in the panel’s view, offset by the need for the secure and orderly conduct of football events for the rest of the world."

LaLiga has called for Kylian Mbappe's contract at Paris Saint-Germain to be ripped up, demanding French government officials act and league chiefs take a closer look at the capital club's spending.

France striker Mbappe signed a new three-year deal with PSG in May, turning down Real Madrid who had been courting him for the past year.

The terms of the contract have not been officially disclosed, but Mbappe is widely reported to have received a staggering signing-on fee as well as extraordinary wages. Figures of €100million for signing and €50m per season have been suggested.

Lawyer Juan Branco, representing LaLiga, told a news conference in France on Friday that Spanish league chiefs are ready to go to court to challenge PSG's finances.

Ligue 1 champions PSG have strenuously denied being in breach of financial fair play regulations, but the Spanish authorities have expressed doubts about the legitimacy of their vast recent outlay on players. PSG have been owned by the Doha-based Qatar Sports Investments since 2011.

LaLiga wants the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) and the DNCG, the body that oversees football club finances in France, to examine in detail whether the Mbappe deal should have been given the green light.

"We are going to request the repeal of the approval of Mbappe's contract from the minister of sports, because that is the supervisory authority of sports administration," Branco said.

"Subsequently, we will appeal to the LFP so that it acts via its legal commission the DNCG in order to operate a monitoring report on the accounts of PSG. This is a legal step which will allow us to establish whether Mbappe's contract is within the economic parameters which are imposed by the regulations of the DNCG and UEFA financial fair play."

PSG signed Lionel Messi last August after Barcelona ran out of money to hand their captain a new contract, and also acquired former Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos at the end of his Santiago Bernabeu stay.

Real Madrid were optimistic about landing Mbappe, but hopes in Spain that he would move to LaLiga were dashed.

Branco said LaLiga was prepared to take action via the administrative court of Paris to seek the quashing of Mbappe's contract.

The lawyer added: "We are going to proceed in the form of a graduated response. We are going to see little by little what is the capacity of the French professional footballing bodies and also regulatory and administrative authorities to react to our appeals and our requests.

"As time goes by, we will increase the pressure."

LaLiga has also complained to UEFA, European football's governing body, about PSG, as well as Manchester City.

Javier Tebas, the Spanish league's president, this week claimed the agreement between PSG and Mbappe was "an insult to football".

Branco said LaLiga would "go upmarket... harden our game" if necessary, saying it considers the French capital giants to be spending on a "fraudulent" scale.

That accusation has been consistently denied by PSG.

Sepp Blatter has denied approving fraudulent payments to Michel Platini while he was president of FIFA, saying the cash transfer was a "gentleman's agreement" between the pair.

Blatter and Platini were last year charged with fraud and other offences by Swiss authorities relating to a payment of 2million Swiss francs made by world football's governing body to the ex-UEFA chief in 2011.

The trial at the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona was due to start on Wednesday, but Blatter was unable to attend as he was suffering from chest pains.

Blatter provided his testimony on Thursday, stating he asked former France captain Platini to work for FIFA as an advisor when he was elected as president in 1998.

The 86-year-old said the governing body could not afford the CHF 1m per year Platini asked for but agreed to pay him CHF 300,000 a year, with the remaining cash to be settled up at a later date.

Blatter said in court: "I knew when we started with Michel Platini that is not the total, and we would look at it later,"

He stated that they shook hands on a "gentleman's agreement".

Blatter added: "It was an agreement between two sportsmen. I found nothing wrong with that."

Platini said: "I trusted the president and knew he would pay me one day."

The 66-year-old Platini told the court he did not need the money he was owed when he stopped working for FIFA in 2002, a time when Blatter claimed the governing body was "broke".

It was not until January 2011 he asked FIFA to pay up after hearing two former employees had received substantial payments, and Platini revealed he was paid 10 days after sending an invoice, with Blatter approving the transfer.

Blatter was originally banned from footballing activities for eight years, reduced to six, by FIFA in 2015 following an Ethics Committee investigation that described the payment as "disloyal". Platini was also given an eight-year suspension, which was later reduced.

Swiss Blatter has been charged with fraud, misappropriation, criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document. Platini has been charged with fraud, participating in misappropriation, participating in criminal mismanagement and forgery of a document.

Both Blatter and Platini deny any wrongdoing. The case continues.

Gareth Southgate was perplexed as to why Hungarian children booed England players when they took the knee before the Three Lions' shock Nations League defeat on Saturday.

Dominik Szoboszlai's second-half penalty gave Hungary a shock 1-0 victory at the Puskas Arena.

The League A Group 3 game was supposed to be played behind closed doors as punishment for racist behaviour in the same stadium during Euro 2020 last year.

Yet children were allowed to attend the game and a crowd of 35,000 watched England's record 22-game unbeaten run come to an end in Budapest.

There were boos when England players took the knee prior to kick-off in the same stadium where some of Southgate's players were subjected to racist abuse during a World Cup qualifier in September.

England manager Southgate told Channel 4: "The first thing is that is why we do it [take the knee], to try to educate people around the world. I have no idea why people would choose to boo that gesture.

"I think very often, young people especially, they can't know why they are doing it really, so they are being influenced by older adults. The UEFA decision [to allow people into the ground], that is for other people to decide.

"I think we've made our stand as a team, everybody knows what we believe and what we stand for. I think tonight, I've got to focus on the football. When you lose, you can't be talking too much about other areas because I think that would be a lack of responsibility for the result."

Southgate said there could be no excuse for a substandard display from England, although he questioned referee Artur Dias' decision to award Hungary a penalty when Reece James was adjudged to have fouled Zsolt Nagy.

"We have to accept that we did not do enough to win the game, a draw would have been the fair outcome," he said. "We did not create too many clear-cut chances and the actual result hinged on a decision which is harsh but probably won't be overturned.

"Once it has been given as a penalty, he probably will not overturn it. You see challenges like that in the box, Reece James puts his body between the ball and the forward makes a meal of it. Away from home sometimes you will get those calls.

"It has [been a long season], but the heat was a factor and took a lot out of the players, and we tried to refresh the team earlier than normal.

"The balance of finding out about new things and the consistency of the regular team, I have to look at whether I got that right.

"I don't want to be too harsh on them, these are games where we need to learn from. They are bitterly disappointed because we want to keep winning matches. If we want to be a team right at the top tier of football, we need to come here and win."

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