By Andrew WarshawDecember 3 - FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke has poured scorn on Michel Platini's revolutionary plan to stage the UEFA European Championship finals in 2020 across 12 different countries.
Category: Euro Championships
Published on Monday, 03 December 2012 12:04
Platini's project is due to be formally discussed by the UEFA Executive Committee this week but Valcke (pictured top, right with Platini) says the UEFA President is making a big mistake since a multi-venue tournament would "destroy the spirit of the competition".
"If I can express myself as Jérôme Valcke, only, not FIFA's secretary general, I would say that I don't understand it," said Valcke.
"If it transpires that a tournament with 24 teams is more difficult to organise in just one or two countries...that destroys the spirit of the competition."
With no clear single-country contender for the tournament – apart from Turkey, which is unlikely to get the green light with Istanbul bidding for the Olympics and Paralympics the same summer – Platini says it makes both economic and sporting sense to try out his idea as a one-off.
Leading European members have privately given the proposal their backing, with Wembley a possible venue for the final itself.
But Valcke says it doesn't ring true in terms of legacy.
"I don't want to be critical, I understand that it meets a need for UEFA given that Europe is in a crisis, but this is not what's best for the tournament," he said in Brazil.
"It's a choice imposed by the economic situation.
"For the World Cup, the interest is to come to South Africa , then Brazil .
"It's good to spend time in a country, to discover."
Platini is being widely touted as a successor to FIFA President Sepp Blatter in 2015 but this is not the first time, as UEFA chief, that he has locked horns with FIFA, not least when it comes to goal-line technology which is about to be used at the Club World Cup in Japan but which Platini strongly opposes.
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