Football Player Diving

Euro 2020: Scotland’s Historic Win

It was a historical moment that Scotland will remember. The painfully long 23-year absence from a major men’s tournament is finally over. Scotland faced Serbia in Belgrade in their play-off final and qualified for the Euro 2020. The whole nation celebrated the historic shootout victory because it was their first qualification since 1998.

Scotland dominated the game and ended their barren streak of 10 missed tournaments. This has been their best run in 44 years. Now they will face England, Croatia and the Czech Republic in Group D next summer.

What You Should Know About the Euro 2020

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was eight months later that the final four places for Euro 2020’s tournament had been decided. Initially, the tournament was to take place from the 12th of June to the 12th of July this summer. However, it will now run from the 11th of June to the 11th of July 2021. 

There will be 24 teams and 51 matches, which will be hosted by 12 cities across Europe. It is still undecided on whether football fans will be allowed at the tournament. There are six groups that will participate:

  • Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, and Wales for Group A.
  • Belgium, Russia, Denmark, and Finland for Group B.
  • Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, and North Macedonia for Group C.
  • England, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Scotland for Group D.
  • Spain, Poland, Sweden, and Slovakia for Group E.
  • Germany, France, Portugal, and Hungary for Group F.

The Schedule for the Euro 2020

1) Scotland

For the first time since 1998, Scotland will play in a major men’s tournament. After defeating Serbia in their play-off final in Belgrade, they will be against the Czech Republic in Glasgow on the 14th of June. After that, they will come face to face with England at Wembley on the 18th of June, and lastly a final group game against Croatia a few days later.

  • Scotland vs the Czech Republic on 14 June 2021 at Hampden Park.
  • England vs Scotland on 18 June 2021 at Wembley.
  • Croatia vs Scotland on 22 June 2021 at Hampden Park.

Should Scotland win their group, they would then be against the runners-up in Dublin in Group F, which are composed of Germany, Portugal, Hungary and France. There might also be a potential quarter-final in Rome. However, if they finish second, they would be against the runners-up in Copenhagen from Group E, which are composed of Spain, Poland, Sweden, and Slovakia.

2) England

During the Euro 2016, England was knocked off the tournament by Iceland. Now, it will benefit from hosting all of their group games at Wembley. They will begin their tournament against Croatia on the 13th of June.

  • England vs Croatia on 13 June 2021 at Wembley.
  • England vs Scotland on 18 June 2021 at Wembley.
  • The Czech Republic vs England on 22 June 2021 at Wembley.

England will also have the same scenarios with Scotland if they win the group. They’ll bring a last-16 tie in Dublin against the runners-up in Group F. If placed second, they will also play against the runners-up from Group E.

3) Wales

Wales, the semi-finalists of Euro 2016, are in Group A alongside Italy who has won all 10 of their qualification matches. You also have Switzerland and Turkey. 

  • Wales vs Switzerland on 12 June 2021 at Baku’s Olympic Stadium, in Azerbaijan.
  • Turkey vs Wales on 16 June 2021 at Baku’s Olympic Stadium, in Azerbaijan.
  • Italy vs Wales on 20 June 2021 at Rome.

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NBA 2019-2020 Season: New Mental Health Guidelines and Requirements

What do Stephon Marbury, Delonte West, Eddie Griffin, and Larry Sanders have in common? They all had a mental disorder. 

On the other hand, what do Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan’s aim for? An improved mental health program for the NBA players–a platform that recognizes their mental health needs.

So, for the upcoming season 2019-20, expect a lot of changes on this front, a league memo issued to the 30 teams has noted.

NBA’s expanded mental health program

Announced on August 7, 2019, the health initiative requires that each team must have a mental health professional or two (on retainer basis). He or she must have extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of clinical mental health conditions. A licensed psychiatrist shall also aid the organization in managing any mental health concerns.

In line with this, all teams are expected to draft their respective action plan as protocols during a mental health emergency. A set of confidentiality policies regarding the matter is an additional requirement.

Likewise, the 30 NBA teams must attend the health and wellness meeting to be conducted in Chicago on September 12. Guidelines will be discussed during the meeting.

The changes sprung from the slate of NBA players’ revelation about their bouts against various mental health issues. They suffered from such before and while playing in the league. 

Addressing the players’ mental health needs

Love and Keyon Dooling wrote personal essays about this issue and their advocacy and published in The Player’s Tribune. DeRozan, on the other hand, discussed his mental health challenge–depression, as he spoke with Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.

In Love’s influential essay, Everyone is Going Through Something, he said,

“So for 29 years, I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem. Sure, I knew on some level that some people benefited from asking for help or opening up. I just never thought it was for me. To me, it was a form of weakness that could derail my success in sports or make me seem weird or different.”

For Love, who had a panic attack in the middle of the game, and other NBA players who are struggling with depression, they were trapped in a playbook. Such playbook requires every man to: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own.

Commission Adam Silver acknowledged the mental health needs of the players, among others, who face gruelling tasks game after game. He talked openly about the issue in February. 

At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston held in the first quarter of 2019, Silver said, “A lot of these young men are generally unhappy.” 

True to Sliver’s words, “We are living in a time of anxiety.” And the NBA needs to step up its game if it really wants to help the players who are also struggling with accepting their conditions and talking about it.

A lot of things must be done, but the memorandum is the Association’s next stage since the creation of the mental health and wellness program in 2018. Dooling currently heads the program.


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