May 18 – Winning team captains will no longer lead their players up to the VIP area of stadiums to receive European club trophies.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has done away with the practise favoured by his predecessor Michel Platini and has decided instead that “trophy presentations on the pitch will now be standard practice across all UEFA club and national team competitions.”
Ceferin says dignatories should no longer sit where they are when trophies are handed over and should “come down from the stands to the players – to their arena – and pay tribute to them in presenting the trophy and medals on the playing surface.”
The new format using a mobile stage will start next week in Stockholm when Ceferin presents the Europa League trophy to either Ajax or Manchester United.
When Platini was in charge, he wanted to copy the kind of finale that has been used for years at the English FA Cup final with teams climbing Wembley’s steps, shaking hands with the VIPs and then holding the trophy aloft.
But UEFA says on-field presentations give fans a better view inside the stadium and clearer pictures to TV audiences.
“The pitch is the players’ stage and it is only fitting that their achievements are celebrated there,” said Ceferin. “Players will also be able to celebrate with their team-mates on the pitch in full view of the fans without the interruption of having to climb up to the stands.
“Furthermore, all supporters will get a perfect view of the trophy lift wherever they are seated in the stadium.”
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