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Michel Platini says Euro 2020 could be spread across continent


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Uefa president Michel Platini says the 2020 European Championship could be spread across various cities in Europe, rather than having a single host.

Traditionally one or two countries have hosted the tournament, which is being held in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

The next competition in 2016 will be hosted by France.

"The Euros in 2020 could be held all over Europe," said Platini. "It could be either one country and 12 stadiums, or one stadium in 12 or 13 cities."

Turkey had been favourite to host the event in 2020, but their bid has hit difficulties due to a desire to host the Olympic Games in Istanbul in the same year.

Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland have also formally declared an interest in hosting Euro 2020.

Platini confirmed a final decision would be taken in January or February next year.

"This matter will be discussed very seriously," he added. "We will have a great debate about 2020 and discuss the pros and cons.

"It's an idea I feel really passionate about, it will be a lot easier from a financial perspective.

"We are not going to wait until we know whether Turkey are going to get the Olympics.

"It creates a problem for us. We do have other candidates. Everyone has the possibility to host it.

"It is easier to go from London to Paris or Berlin than Cardiff to Gdansk. It would be four games per venue. It is a great debate."

Platini added: "We are just thinking about it. I have said 12 or 13 host cities, it could be 24 or 32. In these days of cheap air travel anything is possible.

"It is the political decision that needs to be made. We wouldn't have to build stadiums or airports. That could be important in an economic crisis."

In January 2011, Platini called for the 2022 World Cup to be played across the whole of the Gulf after Qatar won the right to host the tournament.

Meanwhile, Platini has repeated his opposition to goal-line technology. Platini has previously stated he believes its introduction would lead to "Playstation football".

"I am against technology," he said at Saturday's press conference in Kiev.

"Where do we stop? There was a mistake in the Ukraine-England game.

"But there was an offside before that."


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I think after what? some 60 new or expanded stadia all over the world in the last decade or so, and building up to Qatar 2022 -- cumulatively costing at least $45 billion perhaps, FIFA's finally gotten the hint that there's a limit to building those ridiculous white elephants just for their glory!


Edited by baron-pierreIV
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First of all, I'm surprised that UEFA allegedly can't wait until the 2020 Olympic host city is chosen. The IOC decision will take place in September 2013 and UEFA's decision on the EURO 2020 host is actually scheduled for late 2013 or early 2014.

And secondly, I don't like the idea of 12 or 13 different host countries for one tournament. It's always special about such a big sports event that the host country shows pride and welcomes guests from all over Europe or all over the world. That creates a special atmosphere -- and that atmosphere would not be created if the EURO is spread all across the continent and the respective countries can only host a small share of the matches.

For the players it would also be a big disadvantage, with probably even longer travel times and matches in very different climatic conditions.

It's true, though, that such a tournament would probably be much cheaper, especially (as Platini himself says) when hosted in well-developed countries with existing top-class stadia. But it's funny that Michel Platini of all persons made such a suggestion. He was elected by the federations from the smaller and less-developed European countries (especially in Eastern Europe), and his suggestion would mean that those smaller countries don't stand a chance to host EURO matches. His "It's easier to go from London to Paris or Berlin than from Cardiff to Gdansk" remark could cost him a lot of sympathies among his Eastern European supporters. And it's also an ungreatful remark, bearing in mind that this EURO in Poland and Ukraine was surprisingly successful and one hasn't heard about big infrastructural flaws.

ungrateful, not ungreatful

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But isn't this new stance also driven by the early demise of the 2 current host countries? (And also oddly enough, GB's 4 x100m women's relay team will NOT run in London). It's just strange that the automatic bye for the host-nation team is NOT consistent.

By spreading out such a fragmented tournament, I think that would increase the chances of the host nations at least getting through to the quarters or semis...therefore guaranteed greater domestic support. When a host nation gets disqualified early in a major tournament, it's almost like hearing the air squeezed out of a balloon.

(Like in the upcoming London indoor volleyball tournaments, the two GB teams are probably the weakest and I would be surprised if they even win 3 matches in the prelims; but still there's something for the home crowds to cheer for in at least the prelim 5 games apiece.)

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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But isn't this new stance also driven by the early demise of the 2 current host countries?

Almost certainly not, and I'll tell you why....

This is the third tournamant in a row where the hosts haven't got out of the groups (South Africa 2010 and Austria/Switzerland 2008). Later in the very same year South Africa were knocked out of their tournament early, Platini decided it was a great idea to give his vote for the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, ranked 113th in the World at the time. To put that in some persepctive, you could have three World Cups filled with 32 different teams each working down the rankings and you still wouldn't reach Qatar. So no, I don't think the quality of the host nations' teams is playing on Platini's mind.

No, this is motivated by:

1. Money: 12 stadiums all the same size as the final stadium would normally be. Ticket saes would be enormous; imagine a tournament which included Wembley, SdF, Nou Camp, Luzhniki, Berlin Olympic Stadium, the San Siro etc. UEFA aren't shy about doing this kind of thing either. Wembley has another Champions League final next year only two years after hosting its last. It was awarded to us to celebrate the FA's 150th anniversary, but it's no coincidence UEFA earnt bucketloads from having their final there in 2011, so came back as quickly as they could.

2. The thin field bidding for 2020. Turkey is the best bet but the IOC could scupper that if they pick Istanbul, Even if they don't, does UEFA really want to award its Premier international tournament to a nation still in the midst of match fixing scandals?

3. The Official lnie: to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament. In that case, it would be very much a one-off. If UEFA pushes it through for 2020 and it's a success, I wonder though...

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By spreading out such a fragmented tournament, I think that would increase the chances of the host nations at least getting through to the quarters or semis...therefore guaranteed greater domestic support.

Not really. I mean, what are the chances with 12 or 13 different host countries that a certain team will play the quarters or semis or even only the round of 16 matches (remember, the EURO will have 24 teams from 2016 onwards) in front of a home audience? Team Germany could have its round of 16 match in Madrid, Team England could play in Moscow, Team Italy could play in Stockholm and Team Spain could play in London, for example.

From 2016 on, the home teams will stand a better chance of advancing to the knock-out round anyway -- with 24 teams participating, thereby creating easier groups.

The only guarantee for the teams for playing in front of their own audiences would be abolishing the whole tournament concept for the EURO and replacing it by the home and away match concept used in the Champions League and Europa League, only with the final played in a predetermined stadium.

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It won't happen like this as it would turn the Euro's into a joke.

How about London 2020 though .... there is enough stadia

Wembley 90,000 seats

Twickenham 80,000 seats (if approval can be given by the local council)

Olympic Stadium 60-80,000 seats (depending on how much alteration has been agreed to)

Emirates 60,234 seats

New White Hart Lane 56-60,000 seats

Stamford Bridge 41,837 seats

and 4 teams who could expand their stadia

The Valley (Charlton) 27,111 seats

Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace) 26,309 seats

Craven Cottage (Fulham) being increased to 30,000 seats

new QPR stadium - 30,000 seats +

and just outside of London is the Madjeski (Reading) which may be expanded to 36,900 seats.

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Dumb, and ain't gonna happen. Platini is just trying to put pressure on Turkey to pick the Euro over the Olympics. What's the rush? I don't get FIFA's and UEFA's sudden need to choose their hosts 12 years before the World Cup (2022) and 7-8 years before the Euro (2020) when they've always been ok choosing the host 5-6 earlier in the past.

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I mean one, who ya gonna get.

Is it Madrid, London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Moscow, Warsaw, Bucharest and Vienna

Or Barcelona, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Brussels, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Budapest and Basel?

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