KEIR RADNEDGE in MONTE CARLO: White elephants are becoming extinct within European football because of the pan-continental scheme for the 2020 European Championship.
That boast was delivered by UEFA president Michel Platini in reviewing the changing face of national team football under his leadership of the European federation.
In 2020 the group stage of the finals will be hosted in 13 cities across Europe to be chosen next month by the UEFA executive committee.
Platini described the project, unveiled during the 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine, as “something revolutionary” because “it will not require major investments by states and taxpayers.”
The concept has gained in significance over the past two years as both world football and Olympic movements have come under pressure to review the high-cost demands made on host cities and countries for the so-called ‘mega events.’
Platini, looking ahead to 2020, said: “No more of those white elephants we have seen in the past. This too is a something exciting.”
UEFA’s attempts to reinvigorate national team football will be evident in the introduction of the ‘week of football’ scheduling which takes effect in the Euro 2016 qualifying competition which starts next week.