FIFA: No Disruption in Euro 2021 Plans but Threat Remains
FIFA has confirmed that the Euro 2021 will go ahead as planned in Italy, great news for those looking to Euro 2021 betting. There have been a lot of concerns about travel to Italy, which has been hit very badly by the spread of coronavirus. Italy is now one of the big hotbeds for the viral infection outside China. It has forced the country to go into a shutdown on a major scale.
The spread of coronavirus is a huge concern for Italy, which will be one of the places where the group stage and quarterfinal games are set to take place. Unlike in previous editions, the European Championship will be held across different destinations in Europe. This significantly reduces the headache for FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who has been actively quizzed about the tournament being rescheduled to a different destination or cancelled altogether.
The spread of coronavirus has forced several games – across the globe – to either be suspended or played behind closed doors. For example, the high-profile game between Inter Milan and Juventus had to be postponed, as the authorities were keen on preventing further spread of the virus. Italian football has been affected a lot, while many leagues have been suspended in Asia.
A professional footballer, who plays in the third division of Italian football, has already tested positive for the coronavirus. Meanwhile, a couple of Italian cyclists are reported to have tested positive for the virus in the middle of a cycling tour in the United Arab Emirates. The race has been cancelled and the hotel occupied by the cyclists has been put under a lockdown.
The main focus for FIFA and UEFA would be to ensure the safety of players and fans ahead of the upcoming qualifiers and friendly games in the next few weeks.
The actual Euro 2020 tournament is yet to begin, but it has already become a huge money-spinner. After starting out as a competition that only had eight countries in 1980, the European Championship has witnessed a frequent increase in the participating countries. Now, 55 member countries are taking part in the qualifiers to get a place in the finals. Hence, revenue has grown from just €28 million in 1992 to €371 million for the upcoming edition.
FIFA stands to make a huge profit on the tournament going by the figures of the previous edition. The 2012 tournament provided a profit of €669 million, which increased to €847 million for the 2016 edition. The revenue figures for the 2020 edition have been set at €2.5 billion and it is expected to net a profit of €1 billion – making it one of the most successful tournaments in the world.
A last-minute cancellation will disrupt the plans of many fans. While it is extremely difficult for FIFA to predict the situation in a few months, fans will appreciate more clarity going forward. One of the few things that help FIFA in this regard is the multiple hosts involved in taking Euro 2020 forward. Rather than shift the entire tournament to a new country, only a select number of matches need to be shifted to a safer location.