Sepp Blatter says Euro 2020 plans will ' lack heart and soul'
Tournament will be staged across the continent rather than one country
Thursday 14 March 2013
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has criticised UEFA's decision to stage Euro 2020 across the continent, saying the “heart and soul” would be ripped out of the tournament.
European football's governing body announced in December that it had taken the unprecedented step of hosting the event in several cities throughout Europe.
In an interview with German sports publication Kicker, Blatter revealed a similar idea had been proposed to him for the 2010 World Cup by former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, but he discarded it as "unthinkable", with South Africa granted sole hosting rights.
Blatter is surprised that UEFA president Michel Platini has presided over the adoption of such a format for 2020, and has accused the governing body of "wasting" the tournament.
"A tournament belongs in one country," Blatter said. "That way, you create identity and euphoria. Like, for example, the 'summer fairytale' in Germany [the 2006 World Cup].
"The 2020 tournament has been wasted; it's no longer a European Championships. It has got to be referred to as something else, only I don't know what.
"A European Championships like this lacks a heart and soul.
"I told Michel Platini that the former Libyan head of state Colonel Gaddafi had spoken to me when the 2010 World Cup was awarded about the event taking place in 53 countries of Africa, with the final taking place in South Africa.
"He believed in that idea, and I told him it was unthinkable. So I told Platini, his idea is not novel."
Platini is one of the candidates to replace Blatter as FIFA president, and the Swiss admitted that could well happen in 2015.
"When it is certain that FIFA will continue to be run the way it is now, remaining global, and that the pyramid will not collapse, then I would be happy to pass the baton onto a new president in 2015," he said.
"He (Platini) has his ideas for the future of FIFA which he wants to explain to the other continents, but he has not yet made up his mind."
Uncertainty therefore continues over Blatter's own future, and he has not ruled out standing for re-election once again.
"What can you rule out if you don't even know what the future will bring?" he said.
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
Latest in Sport
Phil Hughes head injury: Cricket world reels as Australian opener fights for his life
Sam Wallace: Players of Suarez’s standing just don’t sign for clubs like Liverpool
Phil Hughes head injury: Batsman had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him
Manchester City vs Bayern Munich comment: Frank Lampard's part in City win shows folly of letting him leave
Schalke vs Chelsea: Roberto Di Matteo admits thrashing by former side was most painful defeat of his career
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'