Eamon Dunphy starts John Giles' farewell by making a very important point about the expanded Euros
Eamon Dunphy has slammed the 24-team expansion of the Euros on RTE’s coverage of the final.
Ahead of the showpiece decider between hosts and two-times winners France, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Dunphy said that the length of the tournament was too onerous on the players, the stars of the game.
Dunphy said: “All these players, the great players , we don’t want them tired. And they belong to their clubs, to their nations.
“But ultimately they’re entitled to their own lives and their own rest time and downtime and then they can come back recharged.
“A month-long tournament at this time of year is too much. These guys are playing tonight and are going to be back to their clubs in two to three weeks and we’ll be expecting more entertainment before the end of August.
“That isn’t right and I don’t agree with it although it has beautiful enticing elements.”
His partner in crime, RTE analayst Liam Brady, however, feels that UEFA are likely to keep the expansion or even increase it further in the future.
‘I do think we are seeing tired players, there’s no doubt about that,” said Brady.
“But that’s the way of the football world. Even when there’s no Euros or World Cup they still find competitions for these players to play in.
“I think it might have brought a lot of negative performances from teams. The German manager [Joachim Low] has said that. I think that’s a bit of sour grapes. I don’t think that’s the case at all.
“I think Northern Ireland were very limited in their ambitions in two of the games but they were great against Ukraine and beat them.
“On the whole I wouldn’t blame them [UEFA] for keeping the size or even expanding it.”
As it stands, Euro 2020 will also be 24 teams before the structure is reassessed.