Tuesday Kickoff: Shevchenko weighs options, new Euro fan racism and more

Tuesday Kickoff: Shevchenko weighs options, new Euro fan racism and more

UEFA Champions League

Tuesday Kickoff: Shevchenko weighs options, new Euro fan racism and more

Shevchenko (Getty Images)

After turning in some of the more memorable moments of Euro 2012, Andriy Shevchenko is a wanted man, and the 35-year-old Ukrainian forward is considering his options.

Contrary to some reports that suggest a move to MLS is imminent, Shevchenko said he is still very much figuring out whether he will even continue playing, let alone packing his bags for the United States.

"At the moment, I have not made a decision about my future – whether to continue playing football or retire, whether to stay in Ukraine or leave the country," Shevchenko told Reuters. "I have offers from clubs abroad and from Dynamo Kiev. Let me take a breather after the Euros and make a decision. I will certainly stay in football … Football is a bit more than a game for me. It is what I live for."

There were European-based reports circulating on Monday that Shevchenko had a signed deal with MLS and D.C. United, but that is not the case, and according to the Washington Post, the club and player have not had any contact. D.C.'s biggest imminent decision to make involves Designated Player Branko Boskovic, whose contract expires next month. If he were to be let go or re-sign at a discounted rate, then D.C. would potentially have the funds to go forward with another big-name signing. Boskovic, Hamdi Salihi and De Rosario are all making DP money, though De Rosario's salary is being bought down with allocation money, meaning he does not count as a DP.

Here are a few more stories to get your Tuesday going:

SPAIN, RUSSIA FANS UNDER UEFA SPOTLIGHT

The incidents of fan racism continue to hang over Euro 2012.

Spain and Russia are the latest to have UEFA investigate reported incidents of supporters' racial abuse, with Spain's fans being looked at for their actions in La Furia Roja's group match against Italy on June 10 and Russia having its fans investigated for alleged racial chants against the Czech Republic on June 8.

Italy's Mario Balotelli and Czech Republic's Theodor Gebre Selassie have previously been the subject of racial abuse from fans and are at the center of this investigation as well.

The latest racism investigations come a day after the German federation was fined €25,000 for supporters displaying Neo-Nazi banners and clothing during the Germans' match against Denmark in the group stage.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PRELIMINARY ROUND DRAW ANNOUNCED

A pair of Americans have learned their UEFA Champions League fate.

Molde's Josh Gatt and Kiryat Shmona's Bryan Gerzicich will participate in the second round of UCL qualifying, and their teams were involved in Monday's draw for the tournament.

Molde will face Latvian side FK Ventspils, while Kiryat Shmona has a date with Slovakian power MSK Zilina. The opening legs of the round take place during the third week of July, and the return legs will happen on the following week.

The entire draw can be seen here

ARSENAL SIGN GIROUD

Olivier Giroud's long-awaited move to Arsenal is complete.

The Montpellier and French national team striker agreed to a long-term contract with the Gunners Tuesday, one that begins on July 1. Giroud has been linked to a move to Arsenal for months, and he joins Lukas Podolski as offseason attacking signings by the London club. 

Giroud, 25, scored 21 league goals for Ligue 1 champion Montpellier this past season, sharing the Golden Boot with Paris-St. Germain's Nene and outscoring new Chelsea signing Eden Hazard by one goal.

PRANDELLI QUESTIONS EURO SCHEDULE

When Italy takes to the field against Germany in the Euro 2012 semifinals on Thursday, the Azzurri will have had two fewer days of rest than the Germans, a fact not lost on Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.  

"UEFA needs to re-examine the schedule for the next tournament," Prandelli said. "Either you extend the tournament or you find (other) solutions. Otherwise you have finals that are not very spectacular."

Germany has been out of action since Friday, after a relatively comfortable 90 minutes against Greece, while Italy was forced to play 120 scoreless minutes and endure a penalty shootout against England in a game that ended in the early hours of Monday morning in Ukraine.

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Do you want to see Shevchenko in MLS? What do you make of the latest alleged acts of fan racism? Think Gatt and Molde can make a run to the group stage? Do you see Giroud and Podolski having success in the Premier League? Agree with Prandelli? Should UEFA alter the schedule so the rest discrepancy is not as large?

Share your thoughts below.

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