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“This turned my life upside down,” he said. “I should have just taken my football shoes and hung them on the wall and said `Thank you, guys’ and gone on to do something else.”

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John Leicester in Paris, Graham Dunbar in Geneva, Gerard Imray in Johannesburg, Mike Corder in Amsterdam and Menelaos Hadjicostis in Nicosia, Cyprus, contributed to this report.

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Norman-Culp is AP’s Assistant Europe Editor in London. Prior to that, she covered FIFA for AP in Zurich. Follow her at snormanculp(at)twitter.com