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Slow Newsletter: Copa América, Southend, England, Scotland, Copa Libertadores, Wittmann

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THE COPA AMÉRICA kicks off on June 20. This year’s competition is jointly staged with CONCACAF, but will be played in its entirety in the USA. The 16-team tournament includes CONMEBOL members plus six CONCACAF nations: USA, Canada, Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico. The opening game in Atlanta, Georgia, is between Argentina, the holders, and Colombia, who finished third in 2021. The final is on July 14 in Florida.

NATIONAL LEAGUE side Southend United’s future looks very grim. The club could go out of business later this month at a High Court hearing over a winding-up petition. The petition has been adjourned on a number of occasions, but in May it was kicked down the road for the final time. The club has a prospective buyer in the form of a consortium led by Australian businessman Justin Rees. Contracts have been exchanged with owner Ron Martin, but the local council has, apparently, missed deadlines over due diligence processes around the construction of houses at Fossetts Farm. This site was originally earmarked for a new stadium for the club, but the consortium wants to keep Southend at Roots Hall and develop the ground instead. Southend finished ninth in the National League and averaged 6,500 at their home games.

ENGLAND and Scotland finished their pre-EURO 2024 programmes with disappointing results. England were stunned by Iceland’s 1-0 win at Wembley, a game settled by a first half goal from Dagur Thorsteinsson. Gareth Southgate fielded a team that included seven or eight of his likely starters for the first group game in Germany. The team was jeered at the final whistle after a dull, boring 90 minutes and, as they went on a “lap of appreciation”, the crowd had already dispersed. Meanwhile, Scotland were held 2-2 at Hampden Park by Finland, despite going into a 2-0 lead midway through the second half. Finland made it 2-2 with five minutes to go from the penalty spot. EURO 2024 hosts Germany won 2-1 against Greece, with Arsenal’s Kai Havertz on the scoresheet. 

COPA Libertadores holders Fluminense are waiting on their last 16 opponents as South America’s top club competition reaches the knockout stage. Flu, who have signed Thiago Silva from Chelsea, will play either Grêmio or The Strongest. Current Brazilian league leaders Flamengo will play Bolívar and River Plate face fellow Argentinians Talleres. Two Brazilian teams have been drawn to meet each other, Botafogo and Palmeiras.

SABRINA Wittmann has been appointed coach of 3.Liga side Ingolstadt to become the first woman hired to manage a club in Germany’s top three divisions. The 32 year-old was in charge of Ingolstadt on an interim basis for the last four games of the season and finished with two wins and two draws. Ingolstadt also won the Bavarian Cup to gain entry to the DFB Pokal in 2024-25.

Published by Neil Fredrik Jensen

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