Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fix the Champions fix the Euros!

Sigh, the latest "brilliant" idea from UEFA is to have the Euro games spread across a number of cities and nations...why? UEFA will have 13 cities host the tournament in 2020. Again why? Not sure I agree with this. I realize that as the tournament has expanded, it has become more difficult for a single nation to host all the games. Look at all the problems that were cropping up for Ukraine/Poland. Hmmm, well maybe the tournament should not have been expanded! Granted, I am old school and really enjoyed the tournament when it was only 8 teams. Made qualifiers real nail biters. The 16 team tourney is good, I will admit. But the expansion for the next version to 24 is ridiculous. Why not invite Brazil and Argentina and just call it the World Cup???

Now we will not have a true host nation. I think that the tournament will lose some of its appeal. Having all the games in one nation, or co-host nations, means the fans and the fanfare are concentrated in one region. Fans of nations that progress can easily find their way to where the team is playing. Now if your nation starts in Berlin, and then ends up in Madrid...uh that is not an easy trip. What about the teams? They already complain if they have to travel from Warsaw to Kiev! Finally, this takes away the opportunity for matches to be played in smaller venues. How cool is it when a big international match gets hosted in a venue that does not get a game of such a stature? Towns such as Gdansk or Lviv will probably never see such a match moving forward. Now we will only see matches in places like Wembley, the Bernabeu or Stade de France.

I guess UEFA would like to see the games and money spread out across a host of nations and cities. I just feel as if the expansion of teams and now putting games all over Europe is diluting what was a wonderful tournament. Of course we will all still watch, but it has lost the luster it once had.

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