UEFA urged soccer players competing in Euro 2020 to stop taking sponsored drinks off the podium during their press conferences Thursday.
The latest memo from European soccer’s governing body came as Cristiano Ronaldo apparently cost Coca-Cola about $4 billion in market value when he took the soda bottles off the podium and told reporters to drink water. Paul Pogba, a devout Muslim, did the same with Heineken the next day.
UEFA has "communicated with the teams regarding this matter," Euro 2020 tournament director Martin Kallen said.
"It is important because the revenues of the sponsors are important for the tournament and for European football," Kallen added.
Kallen said UEFA would not impose fines on individual players, but there was still a "possibility" that national federations will get a financial penalty for increased incidents.
|THE COCA-COLA CO.
All 24 nations in the soccer tournament will get some piece of the sponsorship money that contributes to UEFA’s total tournament revenue of more than $2 billion. Players also indirectly get money from Euro 2020 commercial income via their national federations and clubs.
Coca-Cola, Heineken, Qatar Airways, TikTok, Takeaway and Vivo are some of the top sponsors for the tournament.
The national federations share in UEFA prize money over $442 million. The champions are entitled to $40.6 million from UEFA by winning all three of their group matches.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.