June 28, 2016

PARIS (AP) The Latest from soccer's European Championship (all times local):

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5:45 p.m.

Roy Hodgson says he understands that there will be ''fierce criticism'' of England after its surprising 2-1 loss to Iceland in the round of 16.

Hodgson, who quit as coach after Monday's defeat, said one ''particularly bad game has caused a lot of damage'' and that it could weigh on the team going forward.

''They've got a major bridge to repair,'' said Hodgson at a news conference called by England's Football Association.

He said he appeared before the press only because he didn't want to give the impression he was ''frightened'' to face the music.

''I have never run away from anybody,'' he said.

The FA's CEO, Martin Glenn, didn't rule out a non-English manager to replace Hodgson, saying the organization would look to appoint ''the best person for the job.''

He also said England must fathom out why it has repeatedly underperformed in major tournaments since it won the World Cup in 1966.

''England seem brittle and we need to understand why that is,'' he said.

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5:20 p.m.

Roy Hodgson says he's having trouble digesting England's exit to Iceland.

''I'm very fragile today,'' Hodgson told a news conference, a day after the 2-1 defeat that prompted his resignation as coach of the national team. ''It wasn't a good night for anyone.''

He said he thought his post-match statement was sufficient, and that he wasn't sure why he had to appear again before the press on Tuesday.

''I don't really know what I'm doing here,'' he said.

''I suppose someone has to stand and take the slings and arrows,'' he added in an apparent reference to one of William Shakespeare's most famous lines.

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3:50 p.m.

Germany and a combined Nordic nations bid are possible candidates to host the 2024 European Championship.

UEFA interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis says the contenders have expressed only unofficial interest for a contest that should be decided in 2018.

Theodoridis says he has ''no indication'' yet over whether Turkey will bid. Turkey was edged by France for the hosting rights to Euro 2016 and declined an invitation to host Euro 2020 alone.

Germany has focused on a 2024 bid, leaving England clear to host the semifinals and final of the multi-nation Euro 2020.

The Nordic group of soccer federations from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden said in April they wanted to host the tournament either in 2024 or 2028. That bid would seek to stage events in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, too.

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3:45 p.m.

Belgium captain Eden Hazard was missing from Tuesday's training session as the squad prepared for its quarterfinal match against Wales at the European Championship.

Coach Marc Wilmots did not appear overly concerned about the fitness of the playmaker, who was so impressive in Belgium's 4-0 victory over Hungary on Sunday.

''Eden felt a slight spasm in the quadriceps at halftime against Hungary,'' Wilmots said. ''He is now following an individual program ... and will be back again the day after tomorrow. He will be 100 percent, no problem.''

Defender Thomas Vermaelen was also absent from the session but he is suspended for Friday's match.

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3:40 p.m.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has paid tribute to Iceland for causing the biggest upset at Euro 2016 by eliminating England.

Loew said Iceland's 2-1 win over England on Monday was ''a big surprise for me.''

Loew heaped praise on Iceland's co-coach Lars Lagerback, crediting the Swede with creating a ''very good defensive structure.

''I know that the team has been producing good performances for a long time in qualifying,'' Loew said at Germany's tournament base at Evian-les-Bains. ''How they played yesterday, going forward with confidence and courage, that was really class.''

Iceland, the smallest nation ever to play at the European Championship, will meet host France at the Stade de France on Sunday.

Loew, meanwhile, is preparing his side to play old rival Italy in Saturday's quarterfinal in Bordeaux.

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3:30 p.m.

A prominent Russian politician has called for the country's football team to be disbanded because of its European Championship failure - even though Russia is hosting the World Cup in 2018.

Dmitry Svishchev, who chairs the sports committee in the Russian parliament, says the entire squad ''needs to be disbanded'' because of laziness and should never be selected again, in comments reported by Russian state news agency Tass.

Russia finished last in its group at Euro 2016, losing to Wales and Slovakia and drawing with England.

Svishchev says Russia should start from scratch with a team of young players ''who are just starting their careers.''

Then, he says, ''we need to prepare for the 2018 World Cup ideologically and educate them in patriotism.''

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3:20 p.m.

For England, the 2016 European Championship will be a tournament few will ever forget - for all the wrong reasons.

The tournament started with hooligans running amok in Marseille and ended with one of the national team's most humiliating defeats.

The 2-1 loss to tiny Iceland in the round of 16 on Monday in Nice has prompted the usual questions back home.

Are England's footballers overly pampered-millionaires who lack patriotism? Are they crushed by unrealistic expectations that prompt them to play with fear? Or are they not good enough, ''not fit to wear the shirt'' as the fans howled at them after another crushing loss?

Goalkeeper Joe Hart said he was ''lost for words'' after the defeat, but pre-emptively defended the team against any suggestion they hadn't tried hard enough.

''I just want people to know how much we put onto this tournament and it's not down to desire or anything like that,'' he said.

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