After nearly a fortnight, Euro 2016 is, if anything, further away from concluding, Back of the Net reports...
UEFA have confirmed that Euro 2016 is showing no signs of coming to a conclusion despite organisers’ best attempts to eliminate teams from the competition.
The 24-team format came in for criticism from some experts, who pointed out that nobody is reliably able to name 24 European nations, and now UEFA have been forced to admit that the tournament may continue indefinitely.
After 12 days of competition, it has been confirmed that nobody is sure how a team can be knocked out, however badly they perform.
It seemed like a good idea at the time to let people like Iceland, Hungary and Albania in, but they aren’t going out as we expected
“Our original projection was that Euro 2016 would end on July 10, but now we accept that it could be much longer than that. In fact, we’re not certain we’ll tie it all up before the end of the year,” an UEFA spokesman told FFT.
“It seemed like a good idea at the time to let people like Iceland, Hungary and Albania in, but they aren’t going out as we expected.
“The way the tournament is structured it seems that anyone can get through, even if they lose all their games. We’re not even sure Russia are out and I just saw Romania’s players checking into a hotel in Saint-Etienne. It’s a nightmare.”
Mathematicians have been consulted to try to solve the issue of reducing 24 teams to 16, but even the greatest minds in the field have admitted they can’t see a way it can be done.
“I’ve addressed some of the greatest mathematical problems of our time with excellent results, but a 24-team European Championship is my greatest test,” mathematician Jean-Pierre Serre, who has a PhD in permutations, told FFT.
“The only option I can see is two through from each group, then a six-team semi-finals stage with three teams in the final and one-and-a-half winners.
“Any other way of addressing the equation risks an inverse solution, such as 25, 32 or even 215 teams reaching the second round.
“Right now we seem to have a Schrodinger’s cat paradigm here – Slovakia, for example, are both out and not out at the moment, which is a physical impossibility.”
Sources suggest that UEFA will begin asking nations to exercise honesty and to leave when they feel they should be eliminated, while there are provisional reports that England are ready to leave as scheduled in 10 days’ time regardless of results.