Welsh Government urged to write to UEFA asking them to ditch ‘unfair’ Euros system
A Senedd Member has asked the Welsh Government to write to UEFA asking them to keep future European Football Championships in a particular country.
It comes after criticism of the format of the current tournament, in which some countries such as Wales had to travel thousands of miles across the continent while others could play at home.
Wales also played their last game, and were defeated by Denmark, without home support after Welsh fans were refused entry to Amsterdam. Thousands of Danish fans were however allowed to travel.
After paying tribute to the Welsh football team, Llyr Gruffudd said in the Senedd that “it has created some unfairness on this occasion”.
“The fact that some nations have had to travel many thousands of miles to play their matches whilst other nations haven’t travelled at all because they’ve played all their group games at home,” the North Wales region Plaid Cymru MS said.
“That’s given an unfair advantage to some nations and has put other nations at a disadvantage, and that is contrary to the spirit of the competition in my view.
“A letter from Government to UEFA expressing that point on behalf of this Senedd, and certainly on behalf of Welsh football supporters and the Welsh football squad, would be something we would appreciate.”
The Leader of the House Lesley Griffiths MS agreed that the format had been unfair but did not add whether the government would be writing to UEFA on the matter.
“Certainly, when you have a tournament that goes around 11 countries, I don’t see why any country, personally, should play in their home country,” she said.
“And, as you said, it was very unfair that some countries—and ones playing tonight—went no miles, and our country went, I think, 5,500 miles.
“So, certainly, if UEFA are going to take it out of more than one country, I think there needs to be some equality that we certainly didn’t see this time.”
The next Euros tournament in 2024 will be played entirely within Germany.
Their comments come after Wales defender Chris Gunter blasted Euro 2020’s “joke set up” which meant that Wales’ football fans couldn’t travel to watch the team.
Writing on Instagram, the defender criticised the tournament’s organisation which had seen a number of favourites play almost every game in their home stadia while Wales had to travel thousands of miles.
“Written off before a bag of air was kicked, 3,000 miles from home,” he wrote.
“Every nation had fans wherever they went, apart from the 350 who broke government rules and bank accounts to be there, you and us deserved more from this joke set up of a tournament, but who said life was fair.
“We did not deserve that scoreline but who said life was fair. It hurts like mad, but to be hurting with some of my best mates and best muckas I’ve shared a changing room with for years on years makes it a little easier.
“And to share it with a nation who all feel the same makes it even easier.”