January 20 – UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who has been wrestling with how to successfully and safely put on Euro 2020 ever since it was delayed by a year because of Covid-19, is now considering staging it in a single country, according to Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
UEFA have made no public comment in recent weeks, its last pronouncement on the issue coming at the back end of November/beginning of December when it confirmed that a final decision will be taken on March 5 in terms of whether fans will be allowed to attend games, and what percentage of stadium capacity.
But with its showpiece tournament due to start on June 11 and infection rates rising because of the new Covid-19 variant that is sweeping across Europe, fears are growing that a radical change of plan might be needed to allow UEFA’s showpiece tournament to go ahead at all.
It is no secret that Ceferin has long expressed caution about a pan-European tournament, the brainchild of his predecessor Michel Platini as a one-off to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition.
Rummenigge, one of the most influential figures in European football and former boss of the European Clubs Association, says Ceferin is weighing up whether to ditch staging the event in 12 cities across the continent as originally planned.
“I know that UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin – who is incredibly careful with Covid-19 – is thinking about whether it wouldn’t make more sense… to play the tournament in just one country,” Rummenigge told Munich-based newspapers Muenchner Merkur/TZ.
“One must not forget that the idea of this special tournament was born when the coronavirus did not yet exist.”
Rummenigge also admitted he has reservations about the idea of creating a European Super League which he says would cause serious damage to domestic leagues.
Real Madrid boss Florentino Perez has persistently led calls for a breakaway league saying the coronavirus pandemic meant football had to change “and look for formulas to ensure football remains attractive.”
Rummenigge acknowledged there was considerable interest in the project, above all from southern European countries, but argued it would be counter-productive,
“If the system changed, it could make it more difficult for many people to identify with football,” he said in separate interviews with TZ and Merkur. ” If I had to decide today for Bayern, I would decline.”
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