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FOOTBALL

FC Basel player banned by FIFA over contract

Geoffroy Serey Die, FC Basel's Ivory Coast international midfielder, has been banned for four months by football's governing body FIFA for breach of contract.

FC Basel player banned by FIFA over contract
Geoffroy Serey Die. Photo: Ludovic Péron

Serey Die, 28, left Algerian club king ES Setif for FC Sion in Switzerland in 2008, having already signed a binding agreement with Zamalek of Egypt.
   
After a long investigation, FIFA have ruled he was guilty of "breach of 
contract without a valid reason" and suspended him for four months, FC Basel have announced.
   
Serey Die spent four seasons at Sion and joined Basel in the January 
transfer window, but the Europa League semi-finalists claim to have been totally in the dark over his transfer saga.

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FOOTBALL

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said. 

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