The vote is in:

Immediate condemnation was evident in all the “It’s all about the money, man” Tweets (and jokes about non-European cities hosting Euro matches) which followed and continue to do so. Which I get. It’s pretty expensive to travel, so having to follow your national team through several European nations to watch the football, even in the age of Ryan Air and irresponsibly cheap air flights, is a major hit to recession-affected fans.

Yet it seems to me to be not that drastically different than upping sticks to fly from Ukraine to Poland, or even from Warsaw to Gdańsk.

There are also several ways UEFA would obviously mitigate this. First, by limiting group stage play to single nations, allowing fans to watch the opening matches without having to leave the country.

Second, by ensuring some relatively geographic uniformity among the host nations. A semifinal in Paris followed by a final in Kiev would be really stupid. Perhaps even stupid enough for UEFA, but come on.

Far, far worse and more damaging was UEFA’s decision to expand the tournament to 24 teams in 2016. If the competition sucks from here on out (which it will), that will be the reason, not having to go from Holland to Germany to watch England lose.

Comments (10)

  1. Thank god i’m at the perfect age to travel to Brazil for 2014. It will truly be the last real, authentic-feeling, high-calibre celebration of football for quite some time.

  2. So, basically the tournament has reverted to something closer to its original version, when it was pretty poor as a tournament spectacle, and definitely not . something that captured the attention like it does now.

    UEFA with forward thinking that takes you all the way to 1960.

    SB

  3. Is this really worse than forcing countries to build/renovate HOW many stadiums to be able host this now? And other than a handful of countries which already have good stadia they end up with a bunch of white elephants that do not hold a lot of value anymore.

    This way each country can have one stadium ready to go with a higher capacity than a whole bunch of stadiums would be to host the games now. More people can actually attend the games this way.

    • Meant to add I totally agree the change to 24 teams is nothing more than a cash grab by UEFA. All it is going to do is water down the early stages ala the World Cup.

  4. If they were really serious about respecting the economic climate, they would have a standard bidding process but change the criteria to be something like ‘show that you can stage a successful Euro for a minimal amount of financial investment’. This would mean that the tournament would naturally go to a country with the stadiums and infrastructure already in place (and there are several countries that fit that description), or the one that could show that it could do the upgrades necessary for a sufficiently modest amount of cash. At the very, very least, Germany and England, with the recent World Cup and Olympics, can prove that they could just put the thing on without having to expand stadiums or build new rapid transit lines, hotels and airports. What’s more, if England hosted, it would generate a couple of event bookings for that big empty Olympic stadium.

  5. It seems like a good idea. Hopefully those cities that have a problem with coloured players won’t be picked aka like Warsaw and Kiev..

  6. It’s Pit-Pat!!!

  7. I think this is a great opportunity for smaller nations. UEFA is trying to stimulate countries to have one well built stadium that can host European matches. Hosting a tournament is rarely economically viable because stadiums are built and renovated with no realistic future purpose. This way countries can invest in their national stadiums so that they are up to par and hopefully allow people to see games they may never have the chance to see if they had to bid for hosting the tournament themselves.

  8. Not too many European flags in that pic…oh well…At least Norh Korea will be happy their flag is there…

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