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EURO 2016

FOOTBALL

Swede to coach failing Finnish national side

Swedish football coach Hans Backe, who has previously worked with top English Premier League, US and Danish clubs has been picked to coach Sweden's struggling eastern neighbour.

Swede to coach failing Finnish national side
Hans Backe at a press conference in London in 2011. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/TT
Hans (also known as Hasse) Backe, who is also a former New York Red Bulls coach, was appointed as coach of Finland on Wednesday, the country's national football federation confirmed.
 
“We are glad to announce that our new head coach for the men's national team is Hasse [Hans] Backe,” the chairman of the Finnish Football Association, Pertti Alaja, told reporters.
 
Alaja described the 63-year-old Swede as a “very experienced, international, successful coach.”
 
Backe's most recent assignment was as coach of the New York Red Bulls in the US Major League Soccer, from 2010-2012.
 
Prior to that he won the Danish league four times with FC Copenhagen and Aalborg BK.
 
He was also Sven-Göran Eriksson's assistant coach at Manchester City and coached Austrian team SV Salzburg as well as Greek giants Panathinaikos.
 
Backe was additionally assistant coach for the Mexican national team from 2008-2009 as well as several Swedish club sides, following a brief playing career in the 1970s.
 
Finland's former head coach Mixu Paatelainen was sacked in June after four consecutive defeats in Euro-2016 qualifying matches.
 
Finland are currently second last in Group F in the Euro 2016 competition.

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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