Sudden death

Sex or football !

PARIS: Half of European football fans would seemingly prefer to watch important matches than have sex according to a straw poll sponsored by one of the backers of the Euro championships. However, the results from individual countries vary. The largest majority preferring to watch football to making love being 72 per cent of Spanish supporters to 25 per cent of Italy fans duly holding up their reputation as Latin lovers. The poll also saw 60 per cent of the 2,000 supporters polled declare that football was like a religion to them. — AFP

Loew cut German trio

BERLIN: Germany head coach Joachim Loew has dropped striker Patrick Helmes plus midfielders Jermaine Jones and teenager Marko Marin from his Euro 2008 squad. Loew named an extended squad on May 16 for a training camp in Mallorca, but had to drop three players before submitting his final 23-man squad for the tournament. “The decision made by our coaching team was a very difficult one,” said Loew. All three played in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Belarus. — AFP

Injured Muller named

GENEVA: Swiss coach Jakob “Kobi” Kuhn revealed that key players Patrick Muller and Tranquillo Barnetta will play in the Euro 2008 championships despite lingering injury worries. Defender Steve von Bergen was dropped however from the final list of 23 players after fracturing a bone in his hand last week. Defender Mario Eggimann will also miss the finals along with striker Blaise Nkufo. — AFP

France drop Cisse

TIGNES: Djibril Cisse was one of seven members of France’s squad to be dropped by manager Raymond Domenech. Domenech also left out Paris Saint Germain’s Mickael Landreau, Julien Escude, Philippe Mexes, Alou Diarra, Mathieu Flamini and Hatem Ben Arfa. Former Liverpool striker Cisse did himself no favours in warm-up friendly against Ecuador on Tuesday, the Marseille forward being the target of boos from the crowd after missing a header. — AFP