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Platini preoccupied as grand plan comes to fruition

LONDON - With an almost unbelievably cruel and ironic sense of timing, Michel Platini's grand plan to open up the European championship finals to more countries than ever before is reaching its climax just as he faces a possible suspension from football.

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Germany have one eye on the finals, Ireland one on Scotland

DUBLIN - While world champions Germany will be eager to seal their automatic qualification for Euro 2016 with a win on Thursday, Ireland will have one eye nervously cast on the progress of playoff rivals Scotland.

7:21pm BST

Van Persie predicts Turkey slip up as Dutch chase playoffs

AMSTERDAM - Netherlands striker Robin van Persie believes Turkey, where he plays his club football, will drop points in their last two Euro 2106 qualifiers giving the Dutch the chance of a playoff spot.

7:15pm BST

Spanish prosecutor wants jail, fines for Messi's father

MADRID - Spain's public prosecutor has recommended a jail sentence totalling 18 months and fines of more than 2 million euros (£1.5 million) for Lionel Messi's father Jorge in a tax fraud case.

5:55pm BST

FIFA Presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon 'facing suspension'

SEOUL - South Korea's Chung Mong-joon has said he is facing a 15-year suspension by FIFA's Ethics Committee that has "sabotaged" his campaign for the FIFA Presidency, but he denied any wrongdoing and vowed to continue his bid to lead soccer's world governing body. | Video

7:05am BST

Roles reversed as North Ireland face winless Greece

LONDON - No two countries coming face to face in this week's European qualifiers better emphasise the rise and fall of football's fluctuating fortunes than Northern Ireland and Greece, who meet in Belfast on Thursday.

4:49pm BST

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