Showing posts with label denmark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label denmark. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New balls please - the 2014 Veikkausliiga matchball

On Tuesday, the Veikkausliiga announced that from 2014, all matches will be played using a Select Brillant Super football. HJK will continue to use Adidas balls until their existing contract finishes at the end of 2014.

The Veikkausliiga ball, coming your way soon (photo from VL)

While Select aren't one of the immediately famous names, they have a wide reputation in Europe as providers of balls to the Danish and Belgian national teams, as well as several clubs throughout the continent. Veikkausliiga club Honka also currently use Select balls.

Rasmus Schüller wants the Select ball (photo via HS)

Initial reactions to the news were that the players were happy to consistently use one make of ball... But reactions to the ball itself have been mixed (at best). AC Oulu goalkeeper David Monsalve told me that Select balls don't move as much as those made by Adidas. Meanwhile VPS captain Sebastian Strandvall bemoaned the quality of the balls "B-quality", and TPS player Juho Lähde believes that defenders will suffer concussions in wet weather...

Needless to say, everyone using the same ball will be of benefit, and removes any indications of advantage. Unless HJK do something with it next year... But it seems that the users of the ball are unhappy.

I've never played with a Select football - if someone would like to send me one so I can test it out at a rubbish 5-a-side level, I'll tell you my address...

*I've edited this article to include the end date of HJK's deal with Adidas, the name of the ball, and added some more player reaction.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Could a Nordic hosted Euros work?

It could be said that UEFA are pioneers. Since the turn of the century, we've seen jointly hosted European Championships in 2000 (Holland/Belgium), 2008 (Austria/Switzerland) and now in Poland and Ukraine. There are strong noises towards a triple-hosted bid in 2020 between the Celtic nations of Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The question is, would there be enough infrastructure, stadia or interest in a competition hosted in any of the Nordic countries?

 All roads lead somewhere

Sweden hosted an eight team tournament in 1992, which was won by Denmark (enough has been said about how they got in at the last minute). But that only needed four grounds, which were in Gothenburg, Malmö, Stockholm and Norrköping. With 24 teams involved, at least nine stadiums will be needed, two with a capacity over 50,000 and the other with minimums of 30,000 and 40,000.

What grounds and nations could host? The likely parties would be a mixture of Sweden, Denmark, and Finland or Norway. Finland may jump at the chance to host, purely for the automatic qualification spot... But stadia?


The three larger venues for Euro 92 would certainly fit nicely before any improvements were to be made. Gothenburg's Ullevi stadium has a current capacity of around 43,000; Malmö 27,500 and Stockholm's Råsunda holds just over 35,000. The infrastructure is in place, and a long football legacy is in place. Would be probably the biggest of the group, and likely to host the final.


The Parken Stadium in Copenhagen has held UEFA finals as recently as 2000, and boasts a current capacity of nearly 40,000. Brondby stadium holds around 29,000. Would require at least one new or rebuilt ground to make it worthwhile. With recent Champions League participants as well has a former Euro winner, there would be no shortage of people queuing to get in.


The Olympic stadium in Helsinki would be a good fit for opening game or final, with a current capacity of over 40,000. It was renovated in the 1990s, and then again prior to the athletics World Championship in 2005, with further works to be carried out soon. At least one more new or renovated ground would be needed to host games, possibly in Espoo, Turku or Vantaa.

The region's football and fans could benefit greatly from some increased spending and exposure. New stadia, while perhaps unsuitable for some of the smaller clubs in the domestic leagues, could be aspirational, used for international friendlies, and hopefully not just more white elephants.

The recent world ice hockey championships allowed numerous games played at the same venues, to the point that only Helsinki and Stockholm were required. If anything, just the chances for the European camera operators to pan through to ladies in the crowd will be enough of a draw...

The chap at the back needed all the bodyguards