Albania out of Euro, return home as heroes
TIRANA • Albania's football team were knocked out of the European Championship in the group stages but they were feted as if they had won the tournament on their return home on Thursday.
Despite their early exit, the debutants were hailed as heroes after scoring their first goal and winning their first game at a major tournament against Romania.
Sitting atop a double-decker bus painted in Albania's red and black colours, the players were greeted by cheering fans who braved the sweltering heat as they drove through streets which had been cleared to help them travel quickly.
England hooligan gets five-year ban
LONDON • England football hooligan Joe Pizarro was banned from attending any football matches for five years after being involved in violence prior to England's Euro 2016 game with Russia, a court ruled on Thursday.
The 34-year-old was caught by British police when they viewed footage from June 10 on the eve of the 1-1 draw in Marseille.
"By acting quickly, we have prevented this man from travelling back to France to cause more trouble. What's more, he will not be able to cause trouble at games in the UK either," said detective superintendent Andy Barnes.
Russian fans were victims, says fan chief
MOSCOW • The head of Russia's football supporters' association on Thursday said Russian fans were the victims of "politicised" treatment at Euro 2016 and blamed French authorities for violence.
Alexander Shprygin said the All-Russian Supporters Association was looking at how to bring home three supporters who were jailed in France for taking part in violence in Marseille on June 11 as England played Russia.
"The main thing for us at the moment is the fate of these guys and we will be putting in all our efforts in order to sort this out," Shprygin told a news conference at the Tass news agency.