Bulgaria have been ordered to partially close their national stadium for Euro 2020 qualifiers against England and Czech Republic following racist behaviour by fans.

UEFA on Friday announced sanctions following incidents of racism in Bulgaria's past two matches in June, at home to Kosovo and away to Czech Republic.

For the incident in the Czech Republic match, Bulgaria have been told to make 5,000 seats in the Vasil Levski stadium unavailable to supporters for the October 14 clash with England.

In the empty space, the Bulgarian Football Union has been told to display an "#EqualGame" UEFA banner.

The same banner will be in place for the November 17 match against Czech Republic, with 3,000 seats closed off to supporters as punishment for behaviour in the Kosovo game.

UEFA closed disciplinary proceedings against Latvia for alleged racist behaviour in their clash with Israel last month, but the Romania Under-21 team will see at least 2,000 seats closed for their next home match.

This comes following racist behaviour by fans at the Romanian youngsters' European Under-21 Championship win over Croatia last month, and the Romanian Football Federation has been fined €2,000 due to fireworks and objects being thrown.

UEFA also fined Greece €63,500 and Ukraine €15,250 for offences including the setting off of fireworks.

The Greece match against Italy on June 8 also included a late kick-off, for which disciplinary proceedings against head coach Angelos Anastasiadis have been closed.

Sergio Ramos told Luis Enrique each Spain victory will still be his after the former Barcelona coach stepped down from his role as national team boss.

Having been absent from the Spain camp since March due to personal reasons, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Wednesday that Luis Enrique has called time on his spell at the helm.

Robert Moreno had overseen the three fixtures Luis Enrique missed, and the former assistant will now remain in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

Spain captain Ramos – who had previously insisted the squad were fully behind Luis Enrique's decision to remain away from the camp – offered his full backing to his former coach.

"Every victory of the national team will also be yours, coach," Ramos wrote on his official Twitter account. "All our support and our encouragement."

Barca – Luis Enrique's most recent employers at club level – also offered their encouragement on Twitter.

"Sending you all of our love and respect, Luis," they wrote.

Robert Moreno has been appointed as Spain's permanent head coach after Luis Enrique stepped down from the role.

The 41-year-old has already overseen three Euro 2020 qualifiers – all of which were wins – while Luis Enrique was absent due to a family emergency and has now been handed the reins on a full-time basis.

During Wednesday's news conference, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales confirmed Moreno will be in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

But who is Moreno and how did someone with such little pedigree as a head coach come to arrive in Spanish football's most senior role?

 

EARLY CAREER

Rather than the traditional route of going from the pitch to the dugout, Moreno, born in Barcelona in 1977, started out as a coach at a young age.

Moreno worked his way up through the coaching ranks at a local level in Catalonia, plying his trade at several teams including Damm, a youth club famed for its development of young players.

Nurturing youth players set him up nicely for a role at Barcelona B, where he met Luis Enrique.

 

LUIS ENRIQUE LINK

Moreno soon struck up an effective working relationship with Luis Enrique, so much so he joined the head coach in moving to Roma in 2011, serving as assistant.

Things did not go to plan for the pair in Serie A, however, leaving after one season having failed to secure European qualification.

But they were back together in Spain at Celta Vigo in 2013, the same year Moreno's book 'My Recipe of 4-4-2' – including a prologue written by Luis Enrique – was published.

Luis Enrique's star as a coach rose in Vigo and he earned a return to Barcelona in 2014, again taking Moreno with him.

A stunning start to life back at Camp Nou saw Barca claim a treble in 2014-15 and, although they did not maintain those lofty standards, Luis Enrique's reputation was enhanced by the time he departed at the end of his contract in 2017.

Moreno returned to Celta Vigo to assist Juan Carlos Unzue – a former Barca colleague – as Luis Enrique sat out the 2017-18 season, yet the Spain call came after the World Cup.

 

SPAIN JOB

Moreno continued to work under Luis Enrique throughout Spain's Nations League campaign, where impressive victories over England and Croatia were followed by defeats to the same two sides.

However, when international football returned earlier this year, a family emergency meant Luis Enrique was absent following the opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Norway.

Moreno was left in charge and guided Spain to a 2-0 win over Malta on what he called the "worst day" of his career, as he got a taste of the big job because of his friend's family emergency.

He reprised the role again earlier this month with Luis Enrique still on leave. Spain defeated Faroe Islands 4-1 and Sweden 3-0.

The long-time assistant insisted he was eager to have Luis Enrique back available for the next fixtures in September, yet the latter has now called time on his career with Spain.

Moreno said on Wednesday: "It's a bittersweet day. I didn't expect to be the head coach this way. We are going to try to continue the high-level work that Luis started."

Robert Moreno has been named as the permanent Spain head coach, with Luis Enrique stepping away due to personal reasons.

Former assistant coach Moreno oversaw Spain's past three matches after Luis Enrique was granted leave following a family emergency in March and will remain in charge until the end of Euro 2020.

Moreno and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) were keen to see the former Barcelona boss return for the next international break in September.

However, it was confirmed on Wednesday that Moreno will take on the job on a full-time basis in the latest coaching change for La Roja.

"Luis Enrique has informed us that he will not continue as coach. I have to thank him, he has behaved with the RFEF in a '10' manner, we do not have the slightest rebuke. Our doors will always be open to him," said RFEF president Luis Rubiales.

"The decision of the RFEF is to trust Robert Moreno as the coach. He will continue on the same duration of the contract that was already signed. He will be in charge of taking us to Euro 2020 and of doing a good job if we qualify."

Moreno said: "I want to thank you [the RFEF] for placing your trust in us. It's a bittersweet day.

"I didn't expect to be the head coach this way. We are going to try to continue the high-level work that Luis started.

"I've been involved in football for many years, and since I was 14 years old I've thought about reaching the highest level. But I did not expect it this way, and Luis has agreed and supported us."

Spain sacked Julen Lopetegui on the eve of last year's World Cup after he agreed a deal with Real Madrid, before Luis Enrique came in for Fernando Hierro following an underwhelming tournament in Russia.

The three-time European champions finished second behind England in their Nations League group but have since won their opening four Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Serbia sacked head coach Mladen Krstajic following their humiliating loss to Ukraine in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Despite boasting Real Madrid recruit Luka Jovic and Ajax star Dusan Tadic, Serbia were routed 5-0 by Ukraine in Lviv on June 7 as pressure increased on Krstajic.

Serbia eased past Lithuania 4-1 on Monday but that was not enough to save Krstajic, with the country third and six points adrift of leaders Ukraine in Euro 2020 Group B qualifying.

"The FSS executive board and coach Mladen Krstajic have terminated cooperation by mutual consent and a decision will be made in the forthcoming period who will take over," the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) said in a statement on Thursday.

"We thank Krstajic for his efforts and especially on his Nations League accomplishments. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours."

Krstajic – who earned 59 international caps for Serbia – oversaw the nation's 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia, where they made a group-stage exit.

After replacing Slavoljub Muslin in 2017, Krstajic guided Serbia to top spot in Group 4 of the Nations League League C with four wins and two draws.

However, criticism over the 45-year-old's tactics and a slow start to Euro 2020 qualifying cost Krstajic his job.

Former Northern Ireland captain Aaron Hughes has retired from professional football.

The 39-year-old defender did not play as Michael O'Neill's side won 1-0 away to Belarus in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

Hughes has made 112 appearances for his country, more than any other outfield player and behind only goalkeeper Pat Jennings.

The former Newcastle United and Fulham centre-back has not publicly announced his decision but told his international team-mates after Paddy McNair's goal secured victory in Borisov.

"Aaron spoke to us after the game and he was a little bit emotional, which is understandable," said Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis.

"He has been a huge player for us over many years, such a consistent performer, and he will be remembered as a proper legend.

"Aaron still looks as if he could play on for a couple more years, but if he has made a decision to retire, we've got to respect that and wish him well."

Hughes left Scottish side Hearts last month having only made one league start in the 2018-19 season.

Northern Ireland have a perfect record after four qualifiers, with O'Neill's men facing Germany and Netherlands in their next two competitive outings, in September and October.

Marco Verratti is a great player for Italy even though he looks "small and tiny", says coach Roberto Mancini.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder came up with a late winner to down Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

Lorenzo Insigne volleyed a stunning equaliser to cancel out Edin Dzeko's opener with the Napoli forward then setting up Verratti to snatch the points.

Italy have won all four of their matches in Group J with Mancini singling out Verratti for praise despite the diminutive midfielder's lack of height.

"Verratti is a great player, even if he looks small and tiny," Mancini told a news conference of the 26-year-old, who scored his third international goal.

"I'm happy but we'll lose one day because you can't always win. Verratti and Jorginho are very similar and they both have quality and class.

"But they are also helped by defenders as [Leonardo] Bonucci and [Giorgio] Chiellini always make good pressure on the opponents. All my players are very good.

"This is a very good Italy. We were in a really bad moment but now we are playing really nice football with great personality. We need to keep going like this to be considered one of the favourites in Euro 2020."

Dzeko's opener was the first goal Italy have conceded since October with Mancini impressed by the Azzurri's battling spirit as they came from behind.

"We are improving. It was not easy to come back against Bosnia because they have great players," he said.

"During the first half we could make more pressure on Bosnia but we did not. We were struggling a bit, but I think it's normal because we played just three days ago [a 3-0 away win over Greece].

"Bosnia played a wonderful game, but we knew it even before the game. They were unlucky against Finland [losing 2-0 on Saturday].

"We knew that this could be the most difficult game of the group. [Miralem] Pjanic and Dzeko played very well, we knew it.

"But we came back at the end and I'm happy for that because we showed great personality. We always try to score and that's positive."

Italy, who failed to qualify for the last World Cup, return to action with an away double-header against Armenia and Finland in September.

Romelu Lukaku said he expects a "busy summer" as he cast doubts over his Manchester United future amid growing links to Inter.

Lukaku has emerged as a reported target for Antonio Conte's side after previously revealing it would be a "dream" to play in Serie A at some point in his career.

New Inter head coach Conte is reportedly keen to sign Lukaku, having missed out on the Belgium striker during his time in charge of Chelsea after he opted to join Premier League rivals United for £75million in 2017.

Lukaku was asked about his future following Belgium's 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Scotland on Tuesday and the 26-year-old did little to dismiss rumours of a potential Old Trafford exit.

"I have a contract with Man United," said Lukaku, who scored twice against Scotland. "I'll speak with my club and my agent Federico Pastorello to make the best decision.

"I am going to enjoy my holidays with my family now. I know what I'll do, but won't say it.

"We'll see. If I expect a busy summer? Yes."

Lukaku – contracted to the Red Devils until 2022 with the option of a further year – scored 12 Premier League goals as United finish sixth in 2018-19, missing out on Champions League qualification.

He scored 15 goals across all competitions for United, who lost to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Kylian Mbappe said "now is not the time to talk about Real Madrid" after leading France past Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Mbappe has been linked with LaLiga giants Madrid – talk of a potential move to the Santiago Bernabeu intensifying after the Paris Saint-Germain star hinted he could be ready for a "new project".

However, Mbappe was not in the mood to discuss Madrid following France's 4-0 rout of Andorra on Tuesday.

"Now is not the time to talk about Real Madrid," Mbappe told reporters post-game.

"You always ask me the same thing, but it's not the time."

Mbappe scored in France's comprehensive victory to take his career tally to 100 goals for club and country.

The 20-year-old broke the deadlock in the 11th minute after racing clear and lifting a delicate finish over the onrushing Josep Gomes.

In his 180 senior games, Mbappe has netted 87 times in all competitions across two seasons each with Monaco and Ligue 1 champions PSG, with Tuesday's goal his 13th on the international stage.

Roberto Martinez paid tribute to Romelu Lukaku following his two-goal display in Belgium's 3-0 win over Scotland.

Belgium continued their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying with Tuesday's victory, keeping themselves top of Group I, three points ahead of Russia.

Lukaku opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, sending a thumping header in from six yards, before doubling his tally after the interval tapping in a rebound after Kevin De Bruyne had an effort saved.

Those goals took Lukaku to 25 goals from his past 21 Belgium matches, though were it not for a couple of bad misses, he might have scored four on the day.

Martinez felt the supporters showed their appreciation for him regardless, but the head coach wants the much-maligned Manchester United forward to take advantage of his hard work even more often.

"I appreciated the love fans have shown towards this national team and Romelu in particular," he told reporters. "He is a boy who has been very successful these last three seasons. He creates opportunities and scores a lot.

"I see him very disciplined, and during this international break he has displayed a lot of desire. Sometimes, I'm sad when I see that Romelu does not take advantage of his play on the pitch."

De Bruyne was the standout performer in the match, though Martinez was keen to share the praise around.

"It's not a single player match, everyone contributed to this victory," he said. "Kevin did indeed have a big influence, he was both active and patient.

"But Eden Hazard was also very important, taking responsibility, while Lukaku made the net shake twice.

"When I see how Thorgan Hazard is progressing - he was not even in the 23 at the beginning of my term - how Thomas Meunier held 90 minutes after Timothy Castagne's match, I think we have plenty of options, and that's fine.

"Do not forget the hard work of the three central defenders, who prevented Scotland from scoring against us."

The match brought a first defeat as Scotland boss for Steve Clarke, but overall, he was left satisfied with what he saw from his side in his debut international get together.

"My impression is that I saw over the 10 days that I've got a really good group of players who are really committed to their country," Clarke said. "They want to get better and they want to improve.

"We were competitive in that game against the best team in the world, ranked number one, so there's a lot of positives, but obviously we're professionals and we don't like to lose the game."

Manchester City star Leroy Sane shut down questions about Bayern Munich's interest in him while on international duty with Germany and offered a cryptic response over where his future lies.

Sane scored Germany's final goal in Tuesday's 8-0 Euro 2020 qualifying demolition of Estonia in Mainz, impressing throughout in attack.

The winger had an indifferent season at club level with Premier League champions City, scoring a respectable 10 goals, but only starting 21 matches, six fewer than the 2017-18 campaign.

Sane subsequently emerged as a primary target for Bayern, whose rebuild job will continue in the close-season after the departures of long-serving duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Bayern have rued City's "insane" valuation of the winger, though Sane failed to commit to Pep Guardiola's side post-match.

When asked about the Bayern speculation, Sane told reporters: "I'm going on holiday now. Everything else will be seen.

"That's it with the questions about Bayern Munich."

Sane, 23, has been at City since 2016, when they reportedly paid Bundesliga outfit Schalke an initial £37million.

France coach Didier Deschamps has hailed his side's response to their defeat to Turkey after they hammered Andorra 4-0 on Tuesday.

Kylian Mbappe scored his 100th career goal as Les Bleus returned to the top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group H, with Turkey – who beat Deschamps' side 2-0 on Saturday – losing 2-1 to Iceland.

Andorra were never likely to present much of a threat, but France showed few signs of complacency, with Wissam Ben Yedder and Florian Thauvin putting the result beyond doubt before half-time after Mbappe's delightful chip had opened the scoring in the 11th minute.

Kurt Zouma helped himself to a simple tap in on the hour, either side of Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe squandering gilt-edged chances to add more to France's tally.

And Deschamps, who criticised all of France's outfield players for their performances in Turkey, had no complaints about his side's display this time around.

"There was a lot of application even if we would have liked a few more goals," Deschamps told French television reporters.

"I saw great attitude and a lot of commitment and seriousness.

"We had to adapt very quickly. The group reacted well after a poor match. It sounds simple today but we did very well, we played with a lot of quality and I think that the players enjoyed playing together.

"The players did well. Now we have nine points, and we are going to go after all the points that are possible to get.

"These three points are just as much worth as in other games. Now the players go on holiday with a good feeling, and they need it, because we continue in September."

France lead the way at the top of Group H, though they are level on points with Turkey and Iceland with three games played.

Les Bleus' next outing is against Albania on September 7, before they host Andorra three days later.

Michael O'Neill hopes Northern Ireland's 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying has cranked up the pressure on Group C rivals Netherlands.

Northern Ireland made it four wins from four games on Tuesday, leaving it late to beat Belarus 1-0 at the Borisov Arena.

O'Neill – whose side overcame Estonia at the weekend thanks to two late goals – had Paddy McNair to thank for another maximum points haul on the road, the Middlesbrough man opening his international account four minutes from time.

The result means Northern Ireland remain three points ahead of second-place Germany, who have a game in hand, and nine above beaten Nations League finalists Netherlands, who have played two fewer games.

They still have to face both of those sides twice and O'Neill says he was determined to build up a sizeable lead over Ronald Koeman's side while they were in Nations League action.

"We have created a points gap between ourselves and Netherlands, who have been in the Nations League," he told Sky Sports. "Hopefully they'll play under more pressure. That was the objective."

Northern Ireland host Germany at Windsor Park on September 9 and O'Neill believes his side are capable to springing an upset against a side who thumped Estonia 8-0 on Tuesday.

"They have to go in and believe they can win the game, it's as simple as that," he said of his players. "With the belief, the energy and the home crowd, we're capable.

"The next indication of progress of this team is to take a big scalp and we have two of the biggest scalps coming to Belfast in the next few months."

Northern Ireland struggled for long periods against Belarus but O'Neill was quick to rein in expectations, stating that his side are unlikely to ever register the kind of dominant wins more illustrious teams are capable of.

"People think games like these are formalities but they're not for teams like us," he said. "We're not going to come here and win 3-0 like Germany or Netherlands might be able to."

Romelu Lukaku continued his fine international form with a double as Belgium eased to a 3-0 win over Scotland in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Belgium have now won four out of four matches in Group I after a victory in Brussels on Tuesday that rarely looked in doubt.

Manchester United forward Lukaku scored once in each half to make it 25 international goals in his last 21 appearances and in truth he should quite conceivably have finished with four or five to his name.

Kevin De Bruyne sealed the win with a 20-yard strike in stoppage time as Steve Clarke suffered his first defeat as Scotland manager and his side now sit three points behind second-placed Russia.

Belgium dominated a first half that saw the visitors squander their only chance through Oliver Burke and lose Stuart Armstrong to injury, with away goalkeeper David Marshall saving well from De Bruyne early on.

Another effort from De Bruyne was wonderfully tipped away from the top corner by Marshall, before the Manchester City star laid on a great close-range chance for Lukaku that the striker somehow managed to block with his own foot.

But Lukaku made up for that one minute into stoppage time, rising above Scott McKenna to thump in a header from six yards after Eden Hazard had linked up with his brother Thorgan and floated in a clever cross.

Lukaku could not convert a superb headed chance early in the second half, while De Bruyne's free-kick was saved by Marshall.

But the powerhouse striker got his second after 57 minutes, tapping in a rebound after Marshall tipped away an effort from De Bruyne, who Scotland claimed was offside in the build-up.

Lukaku twice fired just wide as he sought a hat-trick, while Thibaut Courtois confirmed his clean sheet with a key late save from McKenna before De Bruyne netted after a neat exchange with substitute Dries Mertens to give the scoreline a more realistic look.



What does it mean? Belgium in control

Belgium have won four straight matches in qualifying and are producing fluent, attacking performances with the likes of De Bruyne and Hazard instrumental. Displays like this make it look very unlikely they will be prevented from claiming a smooth passage to the Euros.


Hazard magnificent ahead of Real Madrid arrival

Real Madrid fans would have loved what they saw from in-form Hazard, who created seven chances and was a constant threat to end his season on a high.


Scotland need more from McTominay

Scotland do not have many players playing for major clubs, so they need more from those who do like United's Scott McTominay, who conceded four fouls, did not create a single chance for his team-mates nor see much of the ball.


What's next?

Belgium have an easier assignment on September 6 when they travel to San Marino, which is when Scotland host Russia in a vital contest for the race to finish second.

Marco Reus and Serge Gnabry starred with two goals apiece as Germany hammered Estonia 8-0 in Mainz on Tuesday to maintain their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying.

Coach Joachim Low was absent again – having also missed the win over Belarus – due to an injury sustained in a "sporting accident" last month, but Estonia were so poor his unavailability was barely noticed in an emphatic win led by Reus and Gnabry.

The Borussia Dortmund star opened the scoring early on and also got Germany's spectacular fifth, with Gnabry, Leon Goretzka and Ilkay Gundogan netting in between. 

After scoring five in the first half for the first time since thrashing Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup, they appeared to ease off a little in the second 45, though Gnabry got himself a second, before Timo Werner and Leroy Sane rounded things off.

Germany remain three points behind Group C leaders Northern Ireland, who have played a game more.

Germany began with a swagger and carved Estonia open 10 minutes in, as Thilo Kehrer played a low first-time cross into the box from the right and Reus found the roof of the net.

Gnabry converted soon after with an easy close-range finish from Sane's squared pass, and Goretzka got in on the act with 20 minutes played, meeting Joshua Kimmich's lofted delivery with a glancing header into the bottom-left corner.

Joonas Tamm impeded Goretzka's off-the-ball run in the box a few moments later to concede a penalty, which Gundogan confidently dispatched.

And Reus made it 5-0 close to half-time – his gorgeous 30-yard free-kick finding the top-right corner.

After something of a lull, Germany resumed the battering and increased the deficit just past the hour, with Gnabry tapping in from Marcel Halstenburg's low delivery.

Werner – introduced for Reus in the 66th minute – beat the approaching Sergei Lepmets with a clever chip towards the end, and Sane rounded wrapped things up with a curling finish despite appearing to stray offside.

 

What does it mean? Professional Germany at their brutal best

A lot of questions have been asked of Germany in the last year, with the World Cup post-mortem seeing many players ditched. With fresh faces and lots of youth, Die Mannschaft are looking like themselves again.

Estonia were never likely to pose much of a threat, but it is three wins from three games now in Euro 2020 qualifying and their ruthlessness in Mainz is worthy of praise itself.


Rolls-Reus effortlessly leads the line

The central figure of Germany's attacking trident, Reus swiftly made his mark with a poacher's effort for the first. His hold-up and link play were strong, as he knitted attacks together, while the free-kick for his second goal was glorious.


A nightmare for Tamm

Germany attacked relentlessly and Tamm – one of Estonia's three centre-backs – struggled to cope. He did not help himself for the penalty, however, needlessly inviting Goretzka to go to ground.


What's next?

Germany face Netherlands when they return to Euro 2020 qualifying in September, with Low expected to be back on the touchline. Estonia will be hoping to end their run of defeats when they host Belarus in three months' time.

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