New Blood

Following hosts Germany’s exit from the European U21 Championships at the hands of Portugal, national coach Rudi Voller has filled the last two remaining places in his squad for Euro 2004 with the youngsters Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Podolski, 18, is the shooting star of this season’s Bundesliga, scoring 10 goals despite his side, Cologne’s, relegation. Schweinsteiger, 19, has settled seamlessly into Bayern Munich’s midfield after shining in the youth side, displacing seasoned internationals. Voller will do well to use both players to compensate for the predictable nature of the remainder of his unadventurous selection.

Code of conduct

The Ministry of the Interior will issue half a million pamphlets to fans today detailing rules of behaviour at Euro 2004 matches. The recently introduced Law 16/2004 provides for harsh measures to deal with any form of football-related violence.

Neo-nazi invasion

Authorities in Portugal have been alerted to the fact that skinheads from Germany, Holland and England are planning to meet up in this country on June 19, the day that Portugal take on Spain. Police, GNR and customs officers are working closely with their foreign counterparts to monitor the movements of suspect groups and say they have the situation in hand.