The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges of hosting Euro 2020 at 11 venues in 11 European countries.
Euro 2020 will be held at 11 venues in 11 countries. AP
Euro 2020, which has lost a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starts on June 11 with Turkey versus Italy. The final will be held on July 11th. The first game will take place in Rome, the final in London. In between these two games there are many other cities and countries that will host the remaining European Championship games.
The 2021 edition of the tournament, which is still known as Euro 2020, will be the first major sports tournament to be held in 11 countries is carried out. The 11 cities from 11 different countries that host the tournament are London (England), Seville (Spain), Glasgow (Scotland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Budapest (Hungary), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bucharest (Romania), Rome (Italy). , Munich (Germany), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Saint Petersburg (Russia).
Hosting such a large tournament in several countries brings with it a number of logistical problems that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
We take a look at the reasons for the idea of hosting the tournament in several countries, the possibility of pursuing the idea in the future, and the logistical problems.
Tournaments that are hosted by two or three countries together , is not a new thing, but under the leadership of then-President Michel Platini, UEFA made the ambitious decision in 2012 to host the four-year tournament across Europe. The plan was a « EURO for Europe », where the administrators envision bringing the championship to the fans.
The main reason, however, was to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament on a grand scale. Another reason for the decision, according to then UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and current FIFA President, was to take the financial burden from one host country and distribute it among many.
“This summer we have a fantastic EURO in Poland and Ukraine, but the governments and the two countries had quite a bit to do in terms of infrastructure, airports and stadiums. An opportunity like this to give many cities and many countries the opportunity to host even part of a EURO is certainly an excellent thing, especially at a time when, in an economic situation, one cannot expect countries to invest in facilities like this as such an event requires, « Infantino had said.
The general belief is that hosting a mega-sporting event brings sponsorship money and match ticket revenue, and boosts tourism and the host country’s economy. But that’s not true always.
For countries like France or England, which are blessed with excellent infrastructure, hosting a tournament means less spending and more income. But we have also had examples where host nations have suffered massive losses after the tournament. Brazil has built twelve stadiums for the 2014 World Cup, some of which are currently nic ht be used. The state incurs high costs just to maintain these empty stadiums. According to a report by The Business Insider, the Brazilian arena da Amazonia in Manaus is almost unused these days. It was built at a cost of $ 300 million. In the first four months of 2016, it earned $ 180,000 while spending $ 560,000 in operating expenses.
Europe is made up of several small countries that lack the financial resources and high-capacity stadiums to to organize the European Championship alone. It can still be an economic burden even if two or three of them come together. Spreading the tournament across multiple countries can be a solution to the problem, as smaller nations can take part in a mega-tournament. It ensures that no host country gets into undue financial difficulties. In addition, the tourism incentive can be shared with smaller countries in this way, which helps their economy.
Euros or a World Cup are often part of the vacation plan for fans. The multi-country format works against them as they have to travel far, but grouping one country’s games into limited nearby venues could help fans out. Even neutral fans, who often do not have the chance to take part in such tournaments, can now travel to neighboring countries and experience it.
One of the biggest disadvantages of a distributed tournament is the impact it would have on the players. They come to tournaments after playing a full football season, and extended travel can never be a good idea. However, if devices are carefully designed, movement restricted as much as possible, and distance limited, the effects of travel can be contained.
Hosting a mega-tournament like Euro 2020 is always a Herculean task, but back then, in In 2012, when the multi-country format was announced, UEFA had no idea that the COVID-19 pandemic would double the challenges. Traveling during a pandemic means a higher risk of infection for everyone, from players, fans, administrators, organizers to broadcasters.
Another challenge for the organizers is to create bio-safe bubbles in all 11 cities and to be sufficient for emergencies take reasonable precautions. The COVID-19 protocols also vary from country to country and that means logistics has become a nightmare.
It will also have a serious impact on stadium audience figures. All venues are operated with reduced capacities. For example, Wembley Stadium in London with 90,000 seats will only open its 25 percent capacity to fans. 22 percent of the 70,000 seats in the Allianz Arena are available to fans. Only the Puskas Arena in Budapest wants to occupy 100% of the seats, while the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, and the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, have 50% of the seats.
UEFA has allowed the coaches to hold a 26- to name a squad instead of the usual 23 in order to be prepared for COVID-19 infections. The teams will continue to hold press conferences via online media, players will not be available for media in mixed zones.
If a team has positive cases, the infected player or staff must self-isolate. However, the team can still play games, considering they have at least 13 players including a goalkeeper. However, the 13 players must be tested negative and must have complied with UEFA protocols.
If the team does not have 13 eligible players, UEFA can postpone the match. If this is not possible, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will decide on the outcome of the match. The team that does not end the game will either abandon the game (0-3 loss) or the outcome of the game will be decided by drawing lots (i.e. win 1-0, lose 0-1 or draw 0). -0).
If a match official tests positive for COVID-19, UEFA may appoint a replacement who may be of the same nationality as one of the participating teams.
For fans, entry to the stadium means valid Ticket, a negative COVID-19 report, or proof of vaccination. Countries like Azerbaijan and Russia have also granted quarantine exemptions to ticket holders, but fans from the UK may not be able to enjoy this benefit. For fear of the Delta variant of COVID-19, British fans in Russia and Germany have to quarantine.
The European Championship had two common hosts three times. The soccer World Cup had two common hosts in 2002 when Japan and South Korea hosted the event. But if the EM was an event with 16 teams until 2012, it is now an event with 24 teams. The World Cup will be expanded from 32 in the 2026 edition to 48 teams.
With more teams, more games will be played and consequently more stadiums will be needed. Not just stadiums, but also high capacity arenas. Such an expansion will force the organizers to constantly look for common hosts. For example, the 2026 World Cup will be hosted by three countries for the first time – the US, Mexico and Canada. Or it could be a case of common suspects hosting the tournament more often than not. For example, Germany should host Euro 2024. The hosting rights can still circulate between countries like Germany, England or France, which clearly does not encourage inclusion.
The idea of having 11 countries as hosts is far from perfect. But the idea of hosting multiple countries has a lot of potential. Tournaments can be hosted by two, three, or four countries. In contrast to this time when the tournament is held worldwide, the common hosts can be neighboring countries, which helps everyone involved in terms of logistics. It could also prove to be a sustainable financial model for hosting sporting events.
June 11, 2021 5:35:29 PM IST
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Euro 2020 Explainer: Challenges of the 11 Country Event, COVID-19 Logs and a Look at the Co-hosting Sports News, Firstpost