Following Cristiano Ronaldo moving a Coke bottle in preference of water, UEFA warned players who did the same. Ronaldo seemingly started a trend as France midfielder Paul Pogba did the same but with a Heineken beer the next day. Pogba is Muslim, and Islam prohibits alcohol consumption.
Italy’s Manuel Locatelli also replaced Coke with water at a tournament press conference.
There is no indication of why players suddenly started moving drinks, but UEFA disapproves of the actions. Tournament organizers put out the following statement addressing the players’ actions.
“UEFA has reminded participating teams that partnerships are integral to the delivery of the tournament and to ensuring the development of football across Europe, including for youth and women.”UEFA
Seemingly, UEFA doesn’t want players moving their sponsors’ drinks.
Director Martin Kallen said that financial punishment was a “possibility” if players continued to follow Ronaldo’s lead. However, it is doubtful, given the minor nature of Ronaldo’s action. Instead, players look to win in the interest of their country and careers.
Kallen also gave his own statement addressing the situation.
“We are never fining players directly from the UEFA side. We will do this always through the participating national association, and then they could look if they will go further to the player, but we are not going directly for the moment to the player.”Martin Kallen
Although player cooperation is expected, UEFA isn’t exactly respected amongst players and fans. Following Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest suffered mid-game, Denmark reported that UEFA threatened to force a forfeit if they stopped playing.
In lieu of the situation, UEFA wasn’t sensitive to Eriksen’s situation at all. Fans and the team’s staff criticized UEFA for putting the game over someone’s life.
The tournament continues this month with games every day until June 23.