Platini sprang his idea of finals stretched across a dozen countries back at the European federation’s executive commitee meeting on the eve of the 2012 final in Kyiv.
Apart from Turkey all the other 52 national associations had professed themselves in favour, hardly surprising since they all have a chance of securing a share of the action.
However Platini followed up the decision of the day before by saying: “Right now we have a blank sheet of paper. I cannot tell you where we go next. We have not studied the details yet.”
UEFA had included fans’ organisations in the consultation process. Platini said: “We have talked to the fans. They were against it originally but we told them we are going to help them and suddenly they had a much more positive attitude.
“Political decisions are one thing and geographical decisions are another. But there is no question about a fan having to watch his team play one day in Cardiff, the next time in Astana (Kazakhstan) then on to Sweden.
“Certainly it will be easier for the English to go to Wales and Scotland to watch a match instead of having to travel the world. But nothing has been decided. I proposed the idea, the associations have decided.”
“We will have an intelligent solution – not having fans chasing the fans all over Europe . . . We have reassured supporters’ associations we will do whatever is possible to make sure fans get the necessary support when they travel.”
Platini conceded that UEFA’s chastening organisational experience across the vast distances of Poland and Ukraine had been a factor in persuading him to seek another solution.
He said: “The economic situation is difficult in Europe so it is difficult to ask a country to invest in building 10 new stadia , as was done in Euro 2012 . . . This way, to mark the 60th anniversary of the European Championship, the Euro will reach out to the fans . Previously, they had to make the effort to go to the Euro, now the Euro is coming to them in their different countries.”
Platini added that he wanted the finals and semi-finals to be in one city, adding: “I am in favour of the final phase being in one city to give it more importance, that’s my idea. The executive committee will decide whether it’s a good or bad idea.
“I think this would create a very special atmosphere among the supporters and it will be a week of national teams and it could be a great party.”
Platini said he had received a message of congratulations from FIFA president Sepp Blatter “who thought this was a great idea.”
Last week FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, asked about whether the concept offered anything to FIFA, said he understood why it could work for Europe but considered it an impossibility for the World Cup.
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