Euro 2020 teams asked to stop removing sponsor bottles

Cristiano Ronaldo moves two bottles of Coca Cola away from him at a Euro 2020 press conference. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Reacting to a bottle-snatching trend at the European Championship started by Cristiano Ronaldo, players on the 24 teams have been asked to stop removing strategically placed sponsor drinks from the news conference platforms, UEFA said.

Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Manuel Locatelli all removed sponsor bottles away from the view of cameras when taking their seats at official media sessions this week.

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.

Pogba, who is Muslim and does not drink alcohol, objected to the distinctive green bottle of official Euro 2020 beer sponsor Heineken. The beer is marketed as 0.0% alcohol.

Kallen said tournament rules require compliance with UEFA’s promises to sponsors, though players with religious objections “don’t need to have a bottle there.” Media managers at each of the 11 stadiums across Europe should also help with removing beer bottles ahead of the arrival of a player of Muslim faith.

Pogba had to take questions in the interview room after being named best player in France’s 1-0 win over Germany on Wednesday. The player awards are sponsored by the brewer.

Ronaldo started the trend on Tuesday at a mandatory pre-game news conference by hiding two Coca-Cola bottles and replacing them with a water bottle, which was also one of the drink maker’s brands.

A drop in Coca-Cola’s share price this week was attributed by some to Ronaldo’s snub, but without any evidence that the two things were connected.

 

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