So much for the French not caring about Europe; The cost of Euro 2020 for the planet

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The Racing team celebrate their win over Munster in Paris. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Racing team celebrate their win over Munster in Paris. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

So much for the theory then that the Irish are the only ones who really care about Europe. In his column this week Gerry Thornley explains how: “as feared all along, not only are the French heavyweight trio prioritising the tournament this year, but ditto the English big two of Exeter and Saracens.” Ahead of this weekend’s final round of Champions Cup pool matches, Patrick Madden has compiled an explainer - telling us what teams can still qualify for the quarter-finals and how the seeding system works. A Racing 92 win over Saracens will give Munster a tiny ray of hope in their quest for the last eight, and the Paris club’s current backs and attack coach Mike Prendergast - a former Munster scrumhalf - says the Parisians’ hunger for Champions Cup success will drive them on.

With 51 games set for 12 cities, Euro 2020 will leave a huge carbon footprint as fans criss-cross the continent. In this week’s Pay for Play pages, Ruaidhrí Croke asks what is the cost of Euro 2020 for the planet? “The idea of hundreds of thousands of fans as well as officials and teams flying around Europe between June 12th and July 12th probably isn’t the greatest image for Uefa in a time when the extent of the worldwide climate crisis is seemingly only getting worse and we wake up each morning to new images of Australia burning.” He also has gathered some advice for travelling fans hoping to reduce their carbon footprint, and five carbon-friendly trips (rail trips) between Euro 2020 matches.

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