Uefa proposal for Europe-wide event rejected by over 80% of supporters despite Platini claims

Sat, Dec 8, 2012, 00:00

Eighty-two per cent of fans have rejected Uefa’s plan to host the championships in a variety of countries, according to Football Supporters Europe (FSE), despite Uefa president Michel Platini’s claim that the continent-wide tournament would mean “the Euros coming to the fans”.

Uefa confirmed the pan-European competition, across 13 cities, after its executive committee backed the decision in Lausanne on Thursday. Platini insisted a low-cost event would benefit a continent struggling amid an economic crisis.

Wembley has already been advanced as a potential venue for the final by the Football Association, while Scotland, Wales and the Republic could host group stage games.

Platini insists his idea will not make life difficult for dedicated fans who intend to follow their team to every match, saying that Uefa has already met with supporters’ groups to discuss logistical concerns.

However, a survey conducted by the FSE, which represents more than three million supporters, has revealed an overwhelming majority are against Platini’s idea.

“The committee members of FSE, Europeans’ leading supporters organisation, were disappointed when they heard about Uefa’s decision to hold Euro 2020 in up to 13 different countries all across the continent under the motto ‘Euro for Europe’,” noted a statement from the supporters’ group.

Platini first announced his blueprint in June after Turkey was ruled out of the running to host the event because of their bid for the summer Olympics in the same year. The only other formal approaches for Euro 2020 came from Georgia and Azerbaijan. Any decision on venues will not be made until the spring of 2014.

While the bidding process will begin next March, with Uefa planning to award the semi-finals to the same city that hosts the final. It is understood the individual groups in 2020 will be staged close together and Platini insisted supporters would not be forced to travel vast distances across Europe. “We have some decisions to make – some political, some geographical – for example we cannot have an English fan going to Lisbon, Kazakhstan and Sweden.

“It is perhaps a bit of a zany idea but it is a good idea. I just bring forward ideas and then national associations have their own meetings and workshops and 52 out of 53 said ‘yes’, I don’t decide, the national associations have decided.”

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