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UEFA has rejected a request for Frank Skinner and David Baddiel to perform Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) on the pitch before the Euro 2020 final.

Skinner claimed the tournament’s organisers said performing the song at Wembley before England play Italy on Sunday would be “too partisan and not fair to the Italians”.

The comedian pointed out that Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun Dorma at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico before Italy took on Turkey in the opening game of Euro 2020.

Ian Broudie from the Lightening Seeds (left to right), comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel at a photocall announcing their new recorded version of the Three Lions to coincide with the 1998 World Cup.
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Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) has become an anthem for England supporters since it was released in 1996

Skinner told Channel 4 show The Last Leg: “There was a suggestion that we sang (Three Lions) on the pitch before the final on Sunday and UEFA said it was too partisan and not fair to the Italians to have that.

“In the opening game, which was Italy versus Turkey, Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun Dorma before the game.”

In a statement to Sky News, UEFA confirmed a request for Baddiel and Skinner to perform Three Lions on the Wembley pitch was received on Friday but the closing ceremony had “already been finalised”.

“No additional elements can be integrated at this stage due to the very tight countdown schedule and operational complexities ahead of the kick-off,” a UEFA spokesperson said.

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UEFA said Three Lions had been chosen as “the fan song” by the FA and it will be played during the players’ warm-up with karaoke graphics on giant screens, “as has been the case for England’s previous matches”.

Baddiel and Skinner will now perform the song with the Lightning Seeds at London’s 229 music venue in front of 200 England fans ahead of the Euros final on Sunday.

David Baddiel and Frank Skinner have attended several England games during Euro 2020
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David Baddiel and Frank Skinner have attended several England games during Euro 2020

Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home) has become an anthem for England supporters since it was first released in 1996.

It is one of the UK’s best-selling singles of all time, according to the Official Charts Company, and has had four spells at number one.

It has zoomed up the charts again this week to number four as the England team seek to win their first major trophy since the famous 1966 World Cup victory.

Explaining the intended meaning of the song, Baddiel said: “It’s about how we mainly lose but still irrationally believe that this time, hope might triumph over experience.

“It’s about yearning and magical thinking. It’s about the condition of being a football fan. Admittedly people have taken (Football’s Coming Home) to mean all sorts of b******s.”

Ahead of the final, government ministers are reportedly being urged not to declare “it’s coming home” while supporting the England football team because it aggravates foreign nations.

A briefing note from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, seen by PoliticsHome, said the phrase “does not go down well overseas” and might damage a potential UK and Ireland bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

Government sources acknowledged the e-mail and said the song would not be put front and centre of a bid to host the 2030 tournament.

But they added “the song is about us for us, it’s been a long old wait for a final”.

England manager Gareth Southgate has made an appeal to the country’s wartime spirit ahead of their Euro 2020 final, urging supporters to be proud of its achievements both on and off the pitch.

Southgate celebrates England's win over Denmark on Wednesday. Pic: AP
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Southgate celebrates England’s win over Denmark on Wednesday. Pic: AP

Southgate said the nation has “so much to be proud of” and urged fans to stop “looking at the negatives of our own country”.

“People have tried to invade us and we’ve had the courage to hold that back,” Southgate told The Daily Telegraph.

“You can’t hide that energy in the stadium against Germany was because of that. I never mentioned that to the players, but I know that’s part of what the story was.”

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Taylor Swift’s dad accused of punching photographer in face after Sydney show

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Taylor Swift's dad accused of punching photographer in face after Sydney show

An Australian photographer claims he was punched by Taylor Swift’s dad in Sydney following the singer’s concert.

Ben McDonald said he told police the incident happened at Neutral Bay Wharf, where Swift and her dad had just come ashore from a yacht hours after the singer’s final show in the city.

While officers did not release names, police said they are investigating an alleged assault by a 71-year-old man on a 51-year-old man at 2.30am local time.

Swift’s representatives have not responded to a request for comment, but a spokesperson told Rolling Stone magazine two people were “aggressively pushing” to get to Swift.

They added that the people grabbed security and threatened a member of the singer’s staff.

Mr McDonald said media had been waiting to picture the star as she walked towards two cars.

“There were about four or five security there and at one point, one of the American security started shoving his umbrella into me and my camera and then Taylor got in her car,” he said.

“Someone else came running at me and punched me in the left side of my face.

“Initially, I thought it was an Australian security that was trying to be the hero of the moment in the front of the Americans, but as it turned out it was her father.”

Mr McDonald said he recognised Swift’s father, Scott Swift, from a picture online – adding that he doesn’t have any bruising and didn’t need any treatment.

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“In 23 years, I haven’t been assaulted and punched in the chops, particularly by the talent’s dad,” he said.

“We didn’t go rushing down the jetty. We didn’t go rushing to the back of the boat. We waited for her to come up. Kept it very civil.

“But no, they… put the umbrellas up and umbrellas over her and then shove the umbrellas into our faces and then make out that we’re the ones making contact with them.”

Swift left the country on Tuesday after more than 600,000 fans saw her Eras Tour performance across seven concerts.

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Matthew Perry’s X account ‘hacked by fraudsters’ urging donation to fake foundation

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Matthew Perry's X account 'hacked by fraudsters' urging donation to fake foundation

The X account of Matthew Perry has been targeted by hackers, according to reports.

A foundation set up in honour of the Friends star, who died last October, appeared to be the target of a link in a pinned post at the top of his profile urging people to donate.

However, the post actually linked to duplicate site.

An Instagram post from the Matthew Perry Foundation said: “We have received reports that Matthew’s official X page has been hacked and is directing users to a fraudulent site soliciting donations via cryptocurrency.

“Please do not donate to this site or share the fraudulent posts on social media.

“MatthewPerryFoundation.org is the only website associated with the Foundation, and we are only accepting donations through this site.”

A caption added: “This is the only official Matthew Perry Foundation Instagram account, and we will only ever post official Foundation communications.

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“Please report imposter accounts, and do not submit donations through any channel other than MatthewPerryFoundation.org. #MatthewPerry.”

The post was also flagged by X’s community notes feature saying that the account had been hacked and the link was fake.

Read more:
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Perry wanted Zac Efron to play him in biopic

Perry’s death was ruled an accident from the “acute effects of ketamine”. The actor, was found “unresponsive in the pool at his residence” on 28 October last year.

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Remembering Matthew Perry

Most famous for playing Chandler Bing in hit US sitcom, Perry was open about his battle with addiction, setting up a sober living facility for men who were also struggling.

Following his death, the foundation was created in his name to help those struggling with addiction.

Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green in Friends, was among those who urged support of the foundation.

The actor was recently honoured during the in memoriam segment at the SAG Awards, after there was controversy at the BAFTAs following his omission from their remembrance roll call.

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Producer accuses Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of forcing him to have sex with prostitutes

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Producer accuses Sean 'Diddy' Combs of forcing him to have sex with prostitutes

A music producer has accused Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of sexually assaulting him and forcing him to have sex with prostitutes.

The suit, filed in New York, accuses the music mogul of repeated instances of unwanted groping and sexual touching.

It also says the music producer was forced to work in a bathroom while Combs showered and wandered around in the nude.

Combs’ lawyer, Shawn Holley, labelled the events described in the lawsuit “pure fiction”.

“We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies,” he said.

“We will address these outlandish allegations in court and take all appropriate action against those who make them.”

In the lawsuit, the producer claims Combs made him solicit sex workers and pressured him to sleep with them.

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It also described a time when the producer suspected he had been drugged after waking up in a bed with a pair of prostitutes.

New sexual assault claim against Gerard Depardieu

The claim is one of several sexual assault lawsuits filed against Combs in recent months, including a lawsuit from the R&B singer Cassie that was settled last year.

Another of Combs’ accusers is a woman who claims he raped her two decades ago when she was 17-years-old.

Combs has denied all the allegations.

In a statement in December, he described the claims as “sickening” and his accusers of “looking for a quick payday”.

“Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth,” he said.

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