a tournament like no other

Michel Platini is resigned. His successor, Aleksander Ceferin, may argue that the guest list remains to be refined, the former president of UEFA (2007-2015), the body that reigns over European football, is preparing to follow the European championship des nations from the living room of his villa in Cassis (Bouches-du-Rhône). Starting with the opening match between Italy and Turkey, Friday, June 11, at the Olympic stadium in Rome.

At 65, Michel Platini draws a certain bitterness from it. This Euro broken up in eleven cities, as remote and different as Baku and Glasgow, is his baby, his Erasmus program. “My idea was, for the competition’s 60th anniversary, to be able to give countries the opportunity to host it at least once in their history. That was the meaning of this idea: a fully European Euro », Argues the ex-leader.

The Covid-19 epidemic turned into a puzzle a project unlike any other, which was already not easy to implement. “The system of this Euro in ten cities is complicated. But in times of pandemic, this complication is doubled ”, Aleksander Ceferin also pointed out on May 28, in an interview with The team. In March 2020, the UEFA boss decided to postpone the tournament for a year.

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Since then, it has been necessary to ensure that, given the sanitary situation, all the host cities are able to host the competition. The obligation placed on them, by Aleksander Ceferin, to be able to accommodate a minimum of supporters in the stadiums has added constraints. Dublin and Bilbao refused to make such a commitment. UEFA has taken away the hosting of matches. “The obsession with attracting the public at all costs, without taking into account the evolution of the pandemic, is not serious”, the mayor of Bilbao, Amaia Arregi, was indignant on April 24.

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An exploded format

Validated by the UEFA executive committee on 6 December 2012, this “Euro Platini” had “Seduces everyone at the start”, recalls the ex-director of communication of the authority, William Gaillard. The president of the Hungarian federation, Sandor Csanyi, still considers it a good thing: “With the passage of the Euro to twenty-four countries, small countries like ours are no longer able to assume such an organization on their own.. This exploded format allows us to receive several matches. ” Including those of the France team against Hungary and Portugal (June 19 and 23 in Budapest).

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