Euro 2020 will lack heart and soul… we may as well not call it the Euros! Blatter blasts Platini over plan to host finals in 13 different countries
11:41 GMT, 14 March 2013
13:52 GMT, 14 March 2013
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has denounced Michel Platini’s plans to stage the 2020 European Championship across the entire continent and called on UEFA to change the name of the tournament.
Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across the continent with the semi-finals and final being played in the same stadium, UEFA announced in January.
But Blatter isn’t impressed with the plans and believes one host country is the best way to deliver
Wrong: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has criticised Michel Platini's plans to use more than one country for the 2020 European Championship
Euro 2020 details so far
12 cities will host three group stage matches and one knockout round
One stadium will host the semi-finals and final
There will only be one venue per country
In the frame to host the final are Wembley, the Olympic Stadium in Istanbul and the Allianz Arena
He told Kicker magazine: ‘A tournament should be played in one country. That is how you create identity and euphoria.
‘They have fragmented the 2020 tournament. So it is not a European Championship any more. It has to have a different name.’
‘I do not know what name. Such a Euro lacks heart and soul.’
UEFA said that 12 cities would be
awarded a package of three group games plus one knockout-stage game,
either from the round-of-16 or quarter-finals.
special 13th package would be awarded, consisting of the two
semi-finals and final with UEFA eager to split the costs for the bigger
tournament and celebrate its 60th anniversary across Europe.
The Swiss sports administrator also said
he planned to end his stint at the top of the world soccer’s governing
body in 2015 if FIFA was strong and stable.
Coming home: Wembley is one of the favourites to host the final after the FA said they would bid
First class: The Allianz Arena in Munich hosted the Champions League final last season
Close contest: The Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul is also thought to be in with a chance
Blatter, who took over the FIFA presidency in 1998, added: ‘I want to push through the FIFA reforms at our congress in Mauritius in May, then we go to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014 and after that everything is open.
‘When it is secured that FIFA will
continue to be led like that, that it will remain global and the pyramid
will not collapse then I will gladly hand over the sceptre to a new
UEFA chief Michel Platini is seen as a possible successor to Blatter.
‘I do not know if he wants to,’ said Blatter. ‘He has an idea about the future of FIFA which he has to explain to the continents at some point. But he has not decided yet.’
On the rocks: Blatter and Michel Platini have usually had an amicable relationship