PRAGUE (AP) — Retired goalkeeping great Petr Cech isn't a big fan of this year's European Championship format.

Cech said the decision to play Euro 2020 in 11 cities scattered across Europe means the continental tournament will lose its charm and will be a nightmare for fans.

“The charm of the Euros was in the fact it took place in one, or two neighboring countries,” Cech said in an online news conference with Czech reporters.

“It was easier to travel, especially for the fans for whom we play the game,” he said. “The atmosphere was completely different because the fans of the teams could gather at one place. This year’s format is a nightmare for the fans.”

He added that the teams who play their group games at home in front of their fans also have a big advantage compared to those who have to fly extra long distances for their games.

The former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper, who played in four Euros for the Czech Republic, said the pandemic is only making everything worse.

Cech is planning to attend the Czech Republic’s games against England in London and against Croatia in Glasgow but said he has no chance to meet the players.

“The bubbles will be completely closed and no visits are allowed,” he said.

Cech said he considers England, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal the favorites.


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