Soccer

UEFA President on Pan-Continental Euro format will never happen again

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin poses on June 11, 2021 within an interview with AFP in Rome, hours before the kick off of the UEFA Euro 2020 2021 European Football Championship. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin proclaimed there would never be a pan-continental Euro Cup again. However, despite widespread opposition to the idea, UEFA went ahead anyway. Speaking to Dan Roan of BBC News, Ceferin stated the following...

“I would not support it anymore. I think it is too challenging and in a way not correct that some teams have to travel more than 10,000km and others 1,000km.”UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin speaking to BBC

Certain teams, such as England, played a majority of their games in their home nation. For example, England has played all but one of their games at Wembley Stadium in London. Other nations, such as France and Portugal, didn't play a single game in their home country. German officials recently called UEFA irresponsible for giving both the semi-finals and finals to the UK.

Originally, in 2012 then-UEFA president Michel Platini wanted the tournament to span the continent. However, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the plans of Euro 2020. Thus, delaying the Euros by one year to 2021. Despite the current dangers of COVID, UEFA declined to name one host country. Instead, they chose to continue with the continental format. Stating they would "take all precautions necessary."

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, UEFA announced capacity limits at various venues (subject to host country regulations). This meant certain host cities withdrew, such as Dublin and Bilbao. Previous tournaments took place in either one nation. Such as Euro 2016 in France or Euro 2004 in Portugal. Alternatively, two nations could co-host the tournament, such as Poland & Ukraine for Euro 2012 and Austria & Switzerland hosting Euro 2008.

Future of the Euros

Euro 2020 attracted further controversy due to UEFA's mixed messaging. For example, Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wore a rainbow-colored captain's armband to support the LGBTQ community during a match. Initially, UEFA was investigating Neuer for making a political statement. And later, they declined the German FA's request to light the Allianz Arena with a rainbow color scheme.

Germany will host Euro 2024, thankfully returning to the much-loved single country format. With the hardships placed on supporters, governments, and teams. Hopefully, the Euro 2020 hosting format never repeats itself.

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