Cristiano Ronaldo vs Coca-Cola is the gift that keeps on giving.
Ronaldo vs Coca Cola controversy
Nobody could have predicted that one of the biggest narratives surrounding Euro 2020 would be the decision of arguably the greatest player in history to move a couple of Coke bottles to one side.
However, Ronaldo rejecting Coca-Cola in favour of ‘agua’, which is Portuguese for ‘water’, has caused more than its fair share of controversy.
And with reports that the drinks giants suffered a $4 billion decrease in their market value because of the gesture, it’s fair to say that Ronaldo’s actions left a bigger impact than anyone anticipated.
Euro 2020 teams could face fines
Besides, Ronaldo’s behaviour seems to have caught on with Manuel Locatelli also deciding to ditch the Euro 2020 sponsors just a few minutes after dropping a masterclass for Italy.
But it appears as though UEFA are trying to stamp out the Coca-Cola bashing because a statement on Thursday saw them remind participating nations of their obligation to tournament sponsors.
According to the BBC, teams at Euro 2020 could face fines if their players move drinks provided by tournament sponsors during news conferences.
UEFA find teams of their obligations
Tournament organisers reportedly 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.”
Euro 2020 tournament director Martin Kallen added that players were informed “through their federation of the tournament regulations to follow”.
Competing teams have reportedly been reminded of their contractual obligations and Kallen claimed that disciplinary action was “a possibility”.
Players won’t be directly punished
However, the BBC do clarify that UEFA does not intend to directly fine players and that any potential sanctions would be handled at the discretion of the respective national federation.
Kallen explained: “We are never fining players directly from the Uefa side, we will do this always through the participating national association and then they could look if they will go further to the player, but we are not going directly for the moment to the player.
“We have the regulations signed by the participating federations.”
It remains to be seen whether UEFA will take action against incidents that have happened hitherto, but the situation feels more indicative of federations being reminded of their responsibilities.
It’s a unique scenario where the placement of Coca-Cola bottles during Portugal press conferences could almost become intriguing as their games at Euro 2020.
Either way, though, it’s fair to say that Ronaldo’s seemingly innocuous decision to move a few fizzy drinks has done far more than alter the Feng Shui of UEFA press conference rooms.