4 Questionable Issues at Euro 2012
1) MVP: Andres Iniesta being named the tournament’s best player: The Spanish attacking midfielder has been one of the world’s best players for the last few years; however, he was not even Spain’s best player during Euro 2012. The decision to name him as Euro 2012′s best player seems questionable and an escape from a more complex decision which likely would have seen players such as Andrea Pirlo, Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Ilker Casillas and a couple of other players all picked ahead of Iniesta. Even during the final against Italy, Xavi had a greater direct influence on the result of the match.
2) QF & Semi-Final Schedules: How can the quarter finals be setup in a way certain team had almost two days rest more than the next opponent? Germany played Friday while Italy played on Sunday before the two teams clashed on Thursday. This gave the Germans around 48 hours of additional rest. The same applies to the Portuguese who played on Thursday while the Spaniards played on Saturday before the two teams clashed on Wednesday. This gave the Portuguese a 48-hour advantage. Then, the Spaniards had an additional day of rest over the Italians prior to their Final clash.
Either the semi-finals should have been scheduled on the same day or the Final should have been postponed another day or two. In addition, the quarter-finals should be spread over just two days and not four days. This is not a tennis tournament where players can finish their matches on Thursday and Friday before matching up on Sunday for a tournament’s title.
3) TV Rights: Expanding further on the previous point, there is no doubt that the beautiful game needs the countless and enormous amount of money which is earned through TV coverage and advertising. However, there needs to be more of a rational analysis of the official playing calendar. Money can still be made from live coverage but without compromising the health and performances of the players. The supporters want to watch exciting matches without having to see injured and/or fatigued players at the biggest stage such as the European Cup final.
4) Group Positions: There are still concerns about the integrity of the game when it comes to the Group Stage when three teams are competing for just two spots and one team feels threatened by a conspiracy due to the two other teams playing each and perhaps seeking a result which sees both teams go through. The Italians raised such a concern prior to the Spain-Croatia match yet credit to those two teams as both the Spaniards and Croats could have won before Spain settled the result in their favor.
However, there are some who are unhappy about using the head-to-head matchups between the top teams to decide the standings in a group yet the other alternative, which is goal difference, is not necessarily better since one team could benefit from scoring several goals in one match to cease the higher position.
Euro 2012 crowned Spain as the world’s best team during the last four years and perhaps as one of the best national teams ever, if not the best one; however, there are still issues to be discussed which can improve the game such as goal-line technology, the number of assistants to the referee during a match and deciding the outcome of a match besides penalty-kicks in case a match finishes in a tie after 120 minutes.