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Madness after the final whistle – France causes a stir

France will fly back to their quarters after the European Championship round of 16 match against Belgium. A flight would not have been necessary for the return journey.

It is around 180 kilometers from the stadium in Düsseldorf to Bad Lippspringe in East Westphalia. Depending on the traffic situation, drivers should allow two to two and a half hours.

After the European Championship round of 16 match against Belgium on Monday, the French national team opted for a flight from Düsseldorf to Paderborn followed by a bus ride. The time saved? Minimal. The advantage in terms of regeneration? Barely any.

The “Équipe Tricolore”, as France's national team is also called, is not the only negative example of this European Championship. The Turkish national team flew from Hanover to Hamburg, and the English players' wives flew from Cologne to Erfurt in six private jets.

The climate plays a minor role for some of those involved in this European Championship. Football is once again revealing how indifferent it is to the environment.

The German government had set itself the goal of making this European Championship the most sustainable to date. However, the examples mentioned are not particularly sustainable.

The problem: The European Championship is exemplary for football as a whole. In everyday life, short flights are the order of the day. When Kylian Mbappé and his then coach Christophe Galtier, who were playing for Paris Saint-Germain in the autumn of 2022, did not travel by train from Paris to Nantes (duration: two and a half hours) and were asked about it, Mbappé just laughed at the question.

A year later, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was angry that his team had to travel back from Newcastle by bus and was not allowed to fly. The almost three-hour journey annoyed the coach.

For longer journeys, a flight is understandable; the recovery time for the players is immensely important in times of an ever-increasing number of games per season. But the climate and the consequences of such short flights are not unimportant. Football must finally become aware of its responsibility and its role as an example. This also applies after the final whistle.

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