June 18, (THEWILL)- In the aftermath of what is fast becoming a “drinks issue” at Press Conferences of the ongoing Euros 2020, the European football governing body, UEFA, has officially requested that players stop removing sponsor drinks at these conferences.
THEWILL recalls that it all began with Portuguese record-setting star Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of their game against Hungary on Monday. As THEWILL reported, the Portuguese record-setting striker removed two Coca-Cola bottles displayed in front of him in preference for water.
Since then, Paul Pogba and Manuel Locatelli have both followed suit to removed sponsor bottles away from the view of cameras when taking their seats at news conferences this week at the competition.
THEWILL recalls that Scotland’s John McGinn at his Euro 2020 Press Conferences did not let the noticeable absence of Coca-Cola bottles at his Press Conference table go unnoticed. He made a joke out of it and got everyone in the Press corps laughing.
Understanding the essence of sponsorship, it was only a matter of time before the organisers stepped in to act and the Euro 2020 tournament Director Martin Kallen said UEFA has “communicated with the teams regarding this matter.”
At a briefing on the issue, Kallen said: “It is important because the revenues of the sponsors are important for the tournament and for European football.”
In the case of Pogba, who does not indulge in alcohol, the Frenchman objected to the distinctive green bottle of official Euro 2020 beer sponsor Heineken, although the beer is marketed as 0.0 per cent alcohol in the region.
It was an objection that Kallen could make exception for as he said tournament rules require compliance with UEFA’s promises to sponsors, though players with religious objections “don’t need to have a bottle there.”
But, Russian football Manager Stanislav Cherchesov was not moved by the actions of the footballers and their aversion to the drinks.
Facing the media following his side’s 1-0 win over Finland in Saint Petersburg, the former goalkeeper casually enjoyed a bottle of the hugely-popular drink in front of the cameras.
Cherchesov picked up one that had been placed next to his microphone, opened it and took several sips as he toasted midfielder Aleksei Miranchuk’s match-winning goal for his team.