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SBD Global/March 15, 2013/International Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Says Proposed Euro 2020 Will Lack 'Heart And Soul'

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter has denounced UEFA President Michel Platini’s plan "to stage the 2020 European Championship across the entire continent and called on UEFA to change the name of the tournament," according to Graeme Yorke of the London DAILY MAIL. UEFA revealed in January that Euro 2020 "will be held in 13 cities across the continent" with the semifinals and final being played in the same stadium. But Blatter is not "impressed with the plans." He said, "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" (DAILY MAIL, 3/14).

TAKING A SHOT: The AP reported Blatter's comments "are seen as a dig" at Platini, who could be Blatter's rival for the FIFA presidency in '15. Blatter did not rule out running again in '15, although he said that "he is also ready to turn over the reins to someone else" (AP, 3/14). REUTERS' Karolos Grohmann reported 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 quarterfinals. A special 13th package "would be awarded, consisting of the two semifinals and final with UEFA eager to split the costs for the bigger tournament and celebrate its 60th anniversary across Europe" (REUTERS, 3/14).
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