Teams could be fined if they move drinks at news conferences, UEFA warns
Post created on 11:46 am
Teams at Euro 2020 could face fines if their players move drinks provided by sponsors at news conferences.
European soccer’s governing body, UEFA asked players not to move drink sponsors’ bottles out of the way during news conferences, after Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to move Coca-Cola bottles started a trend that worried officials.
The director for the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, Martin Kallen, said at a briefing on Thursday he had informed the 24 participating teams to respect the sponsors, saying they “are important for the tournament and for European football.”
On Monday, Ronaldo moved two bottles of Coca-Cola away from his seat at a news conference before Portugal’s game against Hungary, with the health-conscious Portuguese superstar instead holding up an unlabeled bottle of water.
Ronaldo’s public snub of Coca-Cola was widely considered a contributing factor to a 1.6% plunge in the company’s stock price Monday, with the company’s market value dropping by $4 billion from when markets closed Friday.
French star Paul Pogba pulled a similar move at a news conference on Tuesday, moving a bottle of Heineken away from his seat following France’s 1-0 win over Germany.
Pogba is a practicing Muslim who abstains from alcohol, but the Heineken bottle was its “0.0” nonalcoholic version that the company has heavily promoted.
Apparently the last straw for UEFA came on Wednesday, when Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli also moved bottles of Coca-Cola away before speaking at a news conference.
Speaking on the importance of the bottles during news conferences, Kallen said “It is important because the revenues of the sponsors are important for the tournament and for European football,”
UEFA does not intend to directly fine players and any sanctions are at the discretion of the national federations.
“We are never fining players directly from the UEFA side, we will do this always through the participating national association and then they could look if they will go further to the player, but we are not going directly for the moment to the player,” Kallen said.
“We have the regulations signed by the participating federations.”