Recall that on June 14, 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo started the trend of removing sponsor drinks from tables during press conferences in the ongoing Euro 2020.
Immediately the 36-year-old Portuguese football icon got to where was prepared for him to sit during a press conference on June 14, he removed two bottles of Coke placed in front of him and replaced them with water.
The 5 time Ballon d’Or winner did it with so much disdain that he urged people to drink water instead of Coke which means that Coke is not healthy for the body.
Hours after the video of the incident went viral, Coke Cola bottling company lost a whopping 4 billion dollars in stock market value.
In less than 24 hours, France and Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba decided to do the same. This time around, the midfielder removed a bottle of Heineken beer in front of him.
It is believed that the attacking midfielder decided to remove the sponsored drink because of his religious belief. Pogba is a Muslim, hence, he ought not to associate himself with anything alcohol.
First Ronaldo with the Coca-Cola…— Goal (@goal) June 16, 2021
Now Paul Pogba wasn’t happy with the Heineken in front of him at his press conference 🍺❌ pic.twitter.com/SU1ifQPGOP
As if the Euro 2020 sponsors have not had enough, Manuel Locatelli, an Italian midfielder decided to remove bottles of Coke Cola placed in front of him during a press conference.
Just like Ronaldo, the 23-year-midfielder decided to remove the bottles in front of him due to the unhealthy nature of the drink. But UEFA wants such a trend to stop.
In a statement the European football governing body issued on Thursday, UEFA said all the teams participating in Euro 2020 have been informed to warn their players against removing sponsors’ drinks during press conferences.
UEFA argued that the revenues it generates from the sponsors are used to run the European Championship and the body has to respect the agreement it has with the sponsors.
The organizers of the tournament however noted that drinks that are against the religious belief of players would no longer be placed in front of the player which means that UEFA would have a problem with any player who decides to do what Ronaldo did against Coke.
However, UEFA said the body does not punish players directly, they are punished through their national football associations.
UEFA’s Euro 2020 tournament director Martin Kallen said: “UEFA has reminded participating teams that partnerships are integral to the delivery of the tournament and to ensuring the development of football across Europe, including for youth and women…
“If it is for religious reasons, they don’t need to have a bottle there…
“We are never fining a player directly from the UEFA side, we do this always through the participating national association and they can look if they go further.
“We have regulations signed by the participating federations. We have reminded them of their obligations but of course, this (fining) is always a possibility.”