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ARSENAL won the FA Cup in a penalty shoot-out against Manchester United after having been outplayed for most the game. Liverpool won the European Championship in a penalty shoot-out against AC Milan after having been outplayed for the first half but making an extraordinary comeback to tie the match at 3-3. Liverpool fans behaved well in Istanbul where the game was played and hundreds of thousands greeted them on their return to Merseyside. However, Uefa said it could not change its rules to enable Liverpool to defend its championship next season because it had not finished in the first four places in the UK Premiership. Tim Henman was defeated in an early round of the French Open on clay courts, removing, as one newspaper put it, his last excuse for not winning at Wimbledon on grass. Mr Henman claimed one victory when he persuaded the Wimbledon authorities that the boxes containing match balls should be opened only shortly before each game instead of several hours beforehand; he believes that this gives them more bounce and works to the advantage of his style of play. In Germany, Chancellor Gerard Schroder said he would call an early general election this autumn after his Social Democrat party was heavily defeated in state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, which it had governed for 40 years. In France, President Chirac made a last-minute TV plea to the French people to vote “Yes” in the referendum on the European Union constitution; however as campaigning ended on Friday night the polls predicted a “No” victory. In Britain the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, unveiled a 1 billion pound scheme to help first-time buyers purchase shares in a new home. Conservative MPs met to consider the proposals made by the party's retiring leader, Michael Howard, for changing the rules of its increasingly frequent leadership elections; there were criticisms of Mr Howard's failure to consult more widely and calls for the election to be held as soon as possible instead of after the party conference in September.