Euro 2012 Countdown: Balotelli, Czech Bacteria, Sorensen Out, Foley Betrayed

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterMay 30, 2012

Euro 2012 Countdown: Balotelli, Czech Bacteria, Sorensen Out, Foley Betrayed

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    With Euro 2012 just over a week away, all 16 teams are entering the final stages of their preparations.

    For Italy's Mario Balotelli, those preparations include his plans to personally deal with any potential racist abuse sent his way.

    What will he do?

    Read on to find out, along with news on the Czech Republic's hotel, England's historical sight-seeing and an Irish betrayal.

Balotelli's Solution to Racism

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    Racism is a hot topic heading into Euro 2012, and Italian striker Mario Balotelli apparently has a solution.

    Basically, if he's racially abused, Balotelli says he will kill somebody. "If [racism] does happen, I would leave the pitch and go home," said Balotelli. 

    "Racism is unacceptable to me, I cannot bear it. We are in 2012, it can't happen. "If someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to prison because I will kill him."

    Balotelli will be wearing No. 9 for Italy this summer.

Czech for Bacteria

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    The members of the Czech Republic's squad probably won't have to deal with racist abuse this summer. But they could have another concern heading into the tournament:

    Bacteria.

    According to the Associated Press, a dangerous bacterium was found in the team's hotel in April. That's a five-star hotel, mind you.

    According to the report, Vladimir Smicer said the Czechs could stay in Prague and fly to their three matches.

    All to avoid bacteria.

Sorensen Out

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    Danish keeper Thomas Sorensen has been ruled out of Euro 2012 after suffering an injury during Denmark's 3-1 friendly loss to Brazil over the weekend.

    Sorensen, 36, left the match at halftime and was replaced by Kasper Schmeichel.

Barry Out, Jagielka In

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    England also have injury concerns heading into the tournament, with Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry (pictured) ruled out due to an abdomen muscle tear.

    Barry has been replaced by Everton defender Phil Jagielka, who is backing new manager Roy Hodgson to give England "the missing ingredient" at Euro 2012.

Historical Sight-Seeing

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    In other England news, the Three Lions will visit Auschwitz this summer to see the infamous World War II-era Nazi death camp there.

    FA chairman David Bernstein explained the reasoning behind the decision like this: "There are so many lessons to be learnt and understood, and we believe football can play its part in encouraging society to speak out against intolerance in all its forms."

Ultimate Stats Resource

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    UEFA has unveiled its "Euro player statistics" feature, which it calls the "ultimate resource" for Euro 2012.

    Click here for the stats and you'll agree with UEFA.

    Everything you want to know about every player is there.

Friendly Called Off

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    Italy and Luxembourg were set to play an international friendly Tuesday in Parma, Italy.

    The match was called off, however, after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the region Tuesday morning.

    Italy's next match is scheduled for Russia on Friday in Zurich.

Foley Feels Betrayed

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    Wolverhampton Wanderers full-back Kevin Foley earned a spot in the Republic of Ireland's 23-man final squad, which was released three weeks ago.

    This week, however, Foley was dropped by manager Gionvanni Trapattoni and replaced by Paul McShane.

    Foley, as you might expect, is not happy.

    "It is hard to take," he said. "I don't want to go into too much detail. I just feel betrayed."