European soccer’s governing body UEFA has responded to Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo’s removal of a Coca Cola bottle at a Euro 2020 news conference by telling teams they have contractual obligations towards tournament sponsors. Ronaldo moved Coca Cola bottles aside as he sat down to speak to the media on the eve of Tuesday’s Group F opener against Hungary in Budapest. The 36-year-old then held up a bottle of water and said “Agua” in Portuguese, making headlines.
A day later, France midfielder Paul Pogba, who is a Muslim, removed a Heineken beer bottle from in front of him after France’s 1-0 win over Germany.
“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," the tournament organisers said on Thursday.
UEFA’s Euro 2020 tournament director Martin Kallen said the main issue had been with Ronaldo’s action but there was an understanding of players who did such things for religious reasons.
Kallen told reporters the contractual obligations regarding sponsors was part of the tournament regulations signed up to by the national federations.
UEFA has not taken any disciplinary action over the matter and Kallen said any sanctions would be a matter for federations. UEFA did not intend to directly fine players, he added.