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Euro 2024 teams take 75% less flights than in 2016

Thanks to careful planning of the tournament schedule, the group stage of EURO 2024 in Germany saw a 75% reduction in the number of flights taken by competing nations when compared with the 2016 event in France.

The month long tournament sees teams representing 24 countries playing a total of 51 games in ten stadia, from Hamburg in the north to Munich, 800km south.

Marcello Alleca, UEFA’s head of men’s national team competitions. said: ‘Ensuring fairness for all teams is always the number one driving principle behind the schedule but this year, for the first time, sustainability was right at the top as well.’

In order to enable more teams to travel by buses and trains, venues and matches have been organised into three regional clusters, greatly reducing the amount of travel for both the teams and their fans.

At EURO 2016 in France, no team played more than once in any single venue during the group stage, resulting in more than 75% of team transfers being made by plane. In Germany that figure has fallen to 25%,  thanks in no small part to the fact that seven teams played more than once in the same stadium.

Germany themselves were based in the south of the country, even though it meant not always playing in the biggest stadia.

Alleca said: ‘Developing the schedule is still a very manual process. There is no computer automation involved. Initially we start with a team of around ten people who all represent different interests that go into organising the schedule. Once we’re happy with it, it goes out to host cities and a wider group for consultation.

‘We write the schedule before we even know who the teams are; they’re just Group A Team 1, Team 2. We look at where they’re going to play, and then what will happen to the group winners and runners-up – we look at all of their paths through the tournament and how we can be as fair as possible to all of them.’

Fans have also been able to travelled sustainably around the country, thanks to a partnership with Deutsche Bahn, which has sold over 200,000 EURO 2024 tickets at reduced prices. More than 500,000 Fan Pass Users have activated their public transport tickets to get around the host cities and their surroundings.

In March, UEFA launched their Carbon Footprint Calculator to help anyone involved in football calculate, understand and act on their emissions related to the game.

The tool was been designed to highlight emissions in all football-specific areas, including mobility, facilities, purchased goods, services, and logistics.

Laura McAllister, UEFA vice-president said at the launch: ‘The UEFA Carbon Footprint Calculator embodies our ambition to showcase that football can be part of the solution in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions. By providing stakeholders with the tools and guidance, we are facilitating collective action towards a more sustainable future for our sport and the planet. Together, we can demonstrate to governments, investors, fans, and commercial partners that football is committed to addressing climate change in a unified and strategic manner.’

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.

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