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Thursday, July 29, 2021

UEFA president Ceferin says he won’t support pan-continental Euros again

UEFA Euro 2020 has been held across 11 cities, with London hosting the two semi-finals and Sunday's final between England and Italy.

By: Reuters |
Updated: July 9, 2021 8:31:21 pm
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin in attendance during a UEFA Euro 2020 match. (Reuters)

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says he will not support the idea of a pan-continental European Championship again as it is unfair to the teams as well as travelling fans to fly thousands of kilometres between matches.

Euro 2020 has been held across 11 cities, with London hosting the two semi-finals and Sunday’s final between England and Italy.

Yet some teams and their fans were forced to fly to the far reaches of the continent, such as Baku in Azerbaijan, which represented a logistical nightmare.

“If you ask me, I would not support it anymore. I think it’s too challenging, it’s in a way not correct that some teams have to travel more than 10,000 kilometres and the others 1,000 for example,” Ceferin told BBC Sport.

“It’s not fair to the fans. Some fans had to be in Rome and in a couple of days they had to be in Baku — a 4-1/2 hour flight.

“So it’s a difficult one, it’s an interesting idea but hard to implement. I don’t think we will do it again.”

Wales played twice in Baku before flying to Rome for their final group game and Amsterdam for the last-16, and defender Chris Gunter criticised UEFA for the format after their exit, describing the tournament as a “joke set-up” on Instagram.

“Every nation had fans wherever they went, (Wales did not) apart from the 350 who broke government rules and bank accounts to be there, you and us deserved more from this joke set up of a tournament,” he said after their last-16 exit to Denmark.

Germany were chosen to host Euro 2024 after beating Turkey in the bidding process, with matches to be held in 10 cities. The last time the country hosted a major tournament was the 2006 World Cup.

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