Seville and Spain must not fall out

A friend of mine got into a taxi to head off from La Cartuja (the stadium in Seville where Spain played their opening match against Sweden at Euro 2020), just as Luis Enrique complained in his post match conference about the state of the pitch. The taxi driver was not happy: “Can you believe it? They get kicked out of Bilbao, we take them in here and they go and complain.” The issue has gone on all week, with statements from various parties involved, including the Andalusian regional government, with reports being slipped out too. It turns out both UEFA and Spanish FA praised the pitch after the training sessions and that it was none other than Luis Enrique who on Sunday demanded the pitch be trimmed against the advice of the groundstaff, who were worried that it would dry out faster.

The Spanish FA chose Seville after Bilbao

It’s possible that, as the bullfighter El Guerra said, the truth is widely shared. The main issue is that, after Bilbao withdrew, the Spanish FA chose Seville, because it has wide ranging agreement in place that started with the finals of the Copa del Rey and now covers the Spanish women’s football team. I thought it was a good idea, even with the problem of playing games in the heat there. But there’s another issue: they don’t play football there all the time and the pitch isn’t, you could say, state of the art. The other pitches we’re seeing at Euro 2020 all look in better condition. Which makes sense, they are all more modern and were designed for football, not athletics.

Spain and Seville must not fall out

But we should put a stop to this right here. It’s important to avoid, with the issue of the pitch and the whistling of Morata (which the squad are angry about), the city (always an ideal host for Spain) and the team falling out. Things got off to a bad start with no Navas or Canales in the squad. Having players who play locally is always good. Luis Enrique decided not to, and that’s his decision, but the fans are equally within their rights to lose some devotion to the cause. And if it turns out that Morata misses chances, he’ll be whistled. And if Luis Enrique complains about the pitch, then the taxi drivers will be up in arms, as happened with my pal. It would be best to stop this spiralling out of control.