On Thursday, UEFA responded to a bottle-snatching trend started by Cristiano Ronaldo at the European Championship.
UEFA asked all the players to stop removing deliberately placed sponsor drinks from the news conference platforms.
Recently during a news conference Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Manuel Locatelli removed sponsor bottles away from the view of cameras while taking their seats.
Euro 2020 tournament director Martin Kallen said UEFA has “communicated with the teams regarding this matter.”
“It is important because the revenues of the sponsors are important for the tournament and for European football,” Kallen said in a briefing.
Paul Pogba is a Muslim player and does not consume alcohol. He opposed the distinctive green bottle of official Euro 2020 beer sponsor Heineken. The beer is marketed as 0.0% alcohol.
Kallen said that the tournament rules should be followed along with UEFA’s promises to sponsors.
Although players with religious objections like Pogba “don’t need to have a bottle there.”
Pogba had to take questions in the interview room after being named the best player in France’s 1-0 win over Germany on Tuesday. The player awards are sponsored by the brewer.
This trend was started by Ronaldo on Monday at a mandatory pre-game news conference by hiding two Coca-Cola bottles.
Moreover, he replaced those bottles with a water bottle, which was also one of the drink maker’s brands.
This move made by the football legend led to a drop in Coca-Cola’s share prices.
The unexpected fall in Coca-Cola’s shares was attributed by some to Ronaldo’s rejection, but without any evidence that the two things were connected.
Later, Locatelli did the same move made by Ronaldo on Wednesday after helping Italy beat Switzerland.
It incited UEFA to remind officials with the teams that players should respect the sponsors and the contributions made by them to European soccer.
Also, the media managers at each of the 11 stadiums across Europe should help with removing beer bottles before the arrival of a player of Muslim faith.
Coca-Cola and Heineken are among the 12 top-tier sponsors for Euro 2020. They contribute to UEFA’s total tournament revenue of almost 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).
Although the values of every sponsor deal are not published still, the UEFA got 483 million euros ($576 million) in sponsor deals from 10 partners at Euro 2016 in France.
Players also indirectly get money from Euro 2020 commercial income via their national federations and clubs.