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The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:
The leading contender to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in Germany’s upcoming election says he is rooting for Italy to beat England in the European Championship final.
Armin Laschet tells public broadcaster ARD that he is “an Italy fan.”
The 60-year-old Laschet says the Italian team has “played great” at Euro 2020 and “they would deserve it” if they win.
England knocked Germany out of the tournament in the round of 16.
England fans are starting to take their seats at Wembley Stadium ahead of the European Championship final against Italy.
They started coming in with about three hours to go before kickoff. Several dozen Italy fans were allowed in about a half-hour earlier and are sitting behind one of the goals.
Thousands of fans have created a party atmosphere outside Wembley Stadium before the European Championship final between England and Italy.
A large group of fans set off red and yellow flares and some were banging drums. It started getting rowdy about four hours before kickoff with beer cans being thrown into the air.
Fans started hurling cans at one man who had climbed a tall light pole and he was trying to dodge them. He then slid down like a firefighter to the cheers of the crowd and the pole started to wobble.
Several dozen Italy fans were allowed into the stadium about three and half hours before the start. The normal entry time for supporters is three hours.
England is trying to win a major soccer tournament trophy for the first time in 55 years.
One more match will decide if Italy or England will be European champion.
The two teams will meet at Wembley Stadium in the European Championship final.
England is trying to win its first title in the competition. It’s also trying to win its first major title since the 1966 World Cup.
Italy won the European Championship in 1968 but has also won four World Cup titles. The most recent was in 2006.
The Euro 2020 final will the last of 51 games in the competition after being delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Associated Press