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FOOTBALL

Johansson hits back at Fifa boss

Lennart Johansson, the Swedish head of European football organisation UEFA, hit back Monday at comments made by FIFA counterpart Joseph Blatter expressing his sympathy for the Swede's rival for the presidency of European football's governing body.

French football legend Michel Platini, 51, will be up against sitting president Johansson, 77, at the January 26 vote in Dusseldorf, Germany.

But Johansson has been infuriated by comments made by Blatter, whose FIFA organisation is football’s governing body, stating that his “sympathy” lay with Platini.

“Let’s say I feel more of a footballer than a manager,” said Blatter.

And in a statement issued by the Swedish Football Federation, Johansson said: “I was a bit surprised by comments made by Mr Blatter.

“The FIFA president pushed me to go for another term in office and offered me his support at the time. I respect the FIFA president and I’m sure that his (earlier) words still hold.”

Johansson said he did not want to be drawn into “character assassination”.

“I was saddened by certain comments made by Mr Platini when he was questioned on the reasons behind my candidature, my physical condition for this post and the fact that I don’t live in Nyon (UEFA headquarters).

“I’m fit, in good health, I have a positive outlook and have been boosted by the support I’ve received,” the Swede added.

FOOTBALL

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match

Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, a day ahead of the country's Nations League match with Sweden, the Croatian football federation (HNS) said.

Croatian player tests positive ahead of Sweden match
Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic (left) tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photo: Miguel Medina / AFP
“Brozovic's Inter Milan and Swedish epidemiologists were informed about the positive test,” an HNS statement said.
   
The player's positive result came two days after defender Domagoj Vida was informed of a positive Covid-19 test after playing the first half of a friendly with Turkey in Istanbul.
   
Apart from Brozovic, 27, one staff member also tested positive.
   
They were both isolated from other members of the national team.
   
After Sweden, Croatia play another Nations League game against Portugal on Tuesday.
   
Croatia, runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, are third in their Nations League group which also includes France, the team that beat them to the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Sweden.
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