Platini –one of the games’ staunchest opponents to goal line technology or video referral technology –has suggested that it would benefit the game if a whole continent had shared rights to the event. Up until now the tournament has been hosted by one country or a pair of neighboring states, with France scheduled to host EURO 2016.
However, following the controversial award of World Cup 2022 to Qatar, Platini spoke of taking football to the entire Arab Gulf. Now, despite Turkey being favorites to host either the 2020 Olympics or European Championships, Platini has attributed his hypothetical model to the European continent. More teams will compete in the EUROs in the future and that means fitting in extra matches.
“It’s an idea I feel really passionate about,” the former EURO winning Frenchman stated. “It will be a lot easier from a financial perspective. We are not going to wait until we know whether Turkey are going to get the Olympics.”
“It is easier to go from London to Paris or Berlin than Cardiff to Gdansk. It would be four games per venue. It is a great debate.”
Failing to acknowledge financial pressures on travelling supporters, or indeed a logistical nightmare in a region currently under potentially disastrous financial strain, Platini considered only a continental legacy. Going further, the three time Ballon D’Or winner intimated that “We are just thinking about it. I have said 12 or 13 host cities, it could be 24 or 32.”
In the meantime, France will prepare to host the event in four years time. If Michel Platini’s plans go ahead they could be the last automatic qualifier for the European Championships.