Oh Uefa…

Story by Ryan Howden

I sat down today, beer in hand, ready to write a fun article about the top five cocktails at UEFA Euro 2012, with such fun figures as Arjen Robben throwing his toys out the pram because he didn’t want anyone else to play with his ball, and Cristiano Ronaldo who appears to be the star of a tragic auteur film about a man suffering from some terrible disease that means he just cannot pass no matter how hard he tries the list seemed like a fun one. By the way with Ronaldo its either that or he’s just a selfish smug barnacle, with a pony inferiority complex with Lionel Messi and hopes hanging onto the ball(s) as long as possible will make up for this, but I digress.

While researching this subject though I found there was one cocktail so enormous and terrible even I myself stood back in awe. This cocktail my friends is UEFA.

The first mistake made by UEFA is currently ongoing and watched by millions; this is the decision to choose the Poland-Ukraine co-hosting bid. While co-hosting can be successful, see the brilliantly run World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002. It only works though if the two countries are very similar in economic and cultural terms and with no offence meant to my Ukrainian readers (Yes all none of you) Ukraine is not as advanced as Poland both economically and in terms of general infrastructure. Countless tales have come across in this tournament already of long delays in rail (where Ukraine uses a different track to Poland meaning seven hour changes at the border) and air travel.

This has all caused disruption to the people who should be UEFA’s main and first concern, the football fans themselves, with different currency’s, languages and long travel times all causing trouble and disruption, it begs the question why Poland did not host alone?

Lets get one thing straight the Euro’s are not the World Cup, they are a short, sharp and most importantly fun international competition played in just over a fortnight. If the World Cup was a night out it would be like a big formal end of year ball with all the pomp and ceremony, the Euros on the other hand should feel like a fun familiar night down the pub with your mates.

This is why UEFA’s decision to expand the number of teams in the finals from 16 to 24 at France 2016 fills me with both sadness and anger. This will cause the Euros to lose their excitement, with six groups of four teams the top seeds will be more thinly spread and we won’t get the fun spectacle of the ‘groups of death’ like we got in Group B this year. Also with the four best ranked third place teams also progressing the last day of group games will loose their famous excitement as teams await results to come.

With 24 of the 53 UEFA members being in the final, qualification will become even more uninteresting than it already is if nearly half the teams that take part make the finals. To round up before I ramble on too long, the Euros should be a fun and compact distraction from the dreadfulness that is a football free summer, they should not try and compete with the World Cup, and I hope they keep their own unique small scale charm.

Now I turn directly to you UEFA, ‘you know I don’t want to fight baby, I still love your Champions League and organisational skills and I don’t hate you I mean your not Nick Clegg. But if you ruin the Euro’s you can…..go…..fudge…..yourself!’

(Dance with me people).

This is the censored safe for the site version for my own swear filled rambling go to my own site here:http://robalbinio.tumblr.com/post/25386428665/oh-uefa

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