• Survey reveals pan-European idea does not appeal to fans
• Uefa says fans will not be expected to travel vast distances
The Guardian, Friday 7 December 2012 18.00 GMT
Eighty-two per cent of fans have rejected Uefa's plan to host the 2020 European Championship in a variety of countries, according to Football Supporters Europe, despite Michel Platini's claim that the unprecedented continent-wide tournament would see "the Euros coming to the fans".
Uefa confirmed the pan-European competition, across 13 different cities, after its executive committee backed the decision in Lausanne on Thursday, with Platini insisting that a low-cost event would benefit a continent struggling amid an economic crisis.
Wembley has already been put forward as a potential venue for the final by the Football Association, while Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland could host group stage games.
Platini insists his "zany" idea will not make life difficult for dedicated fans who intend to follow their team to every match, saying that Uefa has already met with supporters' groups to discuss logistical concerns.
However, a survey conducted by the FSE, an organisation that represents more than three million supporters, has revealed that an overwhelming majority are steadfastly against the Uefa president's idea. A statement read: "The committee members of FSE, Europeans' leading supporters organisation, were disappointed when they heard about Uefa's decision to hold Euro 2020 in up to 13 different countries all across the continent under the motto 'Euro for Europe'."
On the results of the survey, which had 1,200 responses, it continued: "This reluctance came from individual fans who follow their national team as well as from big national fan organisations, who support their teams at qualifiers and big tournaments and represent several hundreds of thousands of football supporters."
Platini first announced his blueprint in June after Turkey were ruled out of the running to host the 24-team event because of their bid for the summer Olympics in the same year. The only other formal approaches for Euro 2020 came from Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Any decision on venues will not be made until the spring of 2014 while the bidding process will begin next March, with Uefa planning to award the semi-finals to the same city that hosts the final.
It is understood that the individual groups in 2020 will be staged close together and Platini insisted that supporters would not be forced to travel vast distances across Europe. "We have talked to the fans. They were against it originally but we told them we are going to help them and suddenly they had a much more positive attitude," he said on Friday.
"Certainly it will be easier for the English to go to Wales and Scotland to watch a match instead of having to travel the world.
"We have some decisions to make now – some political, some geographical – for example we cannot have an English fan going to Lisbon, Kazakhstan and Sweden. We will have an intelligent solution – not chasing the fans all over Europe.
"It is perhaps a bit of a zany idea but it is a good idea. I just bring forward ideas and then national associations have their own meetings and workshops and 52 out of 53 said 'yes', I don't decide, the national associations have decided."
Potential sponsors for Euro 2020 have reacted favourably as it could result in increased commercial exposure. The German sports manufacturer Adidas and the Danish brewery Carlsberg have been long-running partners of Uefa.
A spokesman for Adidas said: "We see a lot of potential in Uefa's plans. Being in many different locations means being able to showcase our brand across the continent." A Carlsberg spokesman said: "We haven't yet thought about 2020 but it certainly looks an interesting idea."http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/dec/07/fans-reject-michel-platini-euro-2020?CMP=twt_gu
Unsurprisingly, this idea hasn't gone down well with supporters.