December 6, 2023

Nobody wants a European Championship final – now coach Inka Grings is frustrating Basel

The women’s national team wants to show its best at the European Home Championship in 2025.Photo: imago/ibner

There are less than two years left until the 2025 European Football Championship in Switzerland. The final pitch is still missing. Nati coach Inka Grings comments on this for the first time. With a clear request, because “anything else would be unacceptable to Switzerland.”

Etienne Willemin/Media

There was great excitement about the European Championship 2025. Finally a football festival in Switzerland again. After the men’s European Championship in 2008, it is now the women’s turn.

But elation soon gave way to disappointment. Almost two years before the big event it becomes public: no one wants the final! The injustice is particularly great in Basel, which has the largest stadium in Switzerland with a capacity of 36,000 spectators. “The European Championship is not a commercial issue for us,” Bayern Munich CEO Chris Kaufmann told the Basler Zeitung newspaper in August.

epa10783908 Inka Greens, head coach of the Swiss national team, speaks during a press conference the day before the FIFA Women's World Cup match against Spain at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, 04 a...

Enka Greens are demanding that the European Championship final be played in Switzerland’s largest stadium. Image: Cornerstone

Now Swiss national coach Inka Greings is joining the discussion. In an interview with CH Media, she said: “I know that in Switzerland sometimes it takes a little longer. So I am relatively comfortable and confident that Switzerland will show its best team during the tournament.” Then I add the wonderful sentence: “However, I believe that the final will ultimately be played in the largest stadium with the largest number of spectators – because in my opinion anything else would not be suitable for Switzerland. Accordingly, I do not assume that all the regions and all the people responsible for them They will reach an agreement.”

This starting point is problematic. FIFA and UEFA raise a conflict of interest regarding this match calendar. The Women’s World Cup and European Championships should receive attention as the men’s league begins. It would be better if the World Championships and European Championships – like the men’s – started at the beginning of June. “I think the era has ended when we simply said in the women’s area: OK, we will take whatever is available,” says national coach Inka Grings. “We have the level and the standard at which we can say: We want to present ourselves at the best times and we have the right to do so. Solutions are needed.” “Quickly – along with men’s football. But you also have to be prepared to make concessions on all sides.”

Contact FC Basel. “Of course we are convinced about women’s football,” CEO Chris Kaufmann explains to CH Media. The European Championships are a great opportunity for Switzerland as a whole, for Basel and also for the clubs. “But” she still continued: “In no case should we Basel spend extra money on this European Championship. The costs must be covered in full.”

what do you mean by that? The stadium, St. Jakob Park, has to be renovated for the European Championships. Specifically: lights, player seats and guest cabins are not suitable for the European Championship. “We’re interested in long-term solutions, not flattering politics,” Kaufman says. In clear language, Bayern Munich calls on the city and cantons of Basel to contribute to the costs. Of the 12.9 million francs previously discussed for the European Championship, none will be allocated to renovate the stadium.

The topic of the European Championship final is widely discussed in Basel. Green politician Joe Vergate submitted an interrogation to the Supreme Council entitled “Is holding the 2025 European Championship in Basel in danger?” The answer is still pending. “It is clear that the city and canton are late for Euro 2025,” Vergiat says. He continued: “We must do everything in our power to ensure that the final is held in Basel.”

At least there is a solution to the schedule conflict. Bayern will receive a special permit from UEFA allowing it to play a European Cup qualifying match between the European Championship quarter-finals and the European Championship final. “We are in good discussions,” says Bayern Munich CEO Kaufmann.

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