Having perennially been at the mercy of the calendar, the UEFA Super Cup received a new lease of life in 1998 when the Stade Louis II in Monaco became the fixed venue for the showcase match. A number of events were gradually pegged to the fixture to make these few days at the end of August a rendezvous not to be missed. The club competition draws, a gala evening, an awards ceremony and a charity cheque presentation make it an event that everyone looks forward to.
In truth, the events organised alongside the UEFA Super Cup have grown to such an extent that the match is no longer needed to justify the gathering in Monaco. It was this realisation that prompted the UEFA Executive Committee to rethink the UEFA Super Cup at its meeting in June 2011, in keeping with the changing face of Europe.
Indeed, the outstanding success of UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine confirmed that European football has new settings to choose from for international matches – and that it can no longer confine itself to the west of the continent and to its large associations. New stadiums have been built in most UEFA countries, while member associations have strengthened and modernised their internal structures, making them both able and keen to host major events.
The final rounds of our youth competitions have given such associations a first opportunity to show that they have the know-how to organise large international events, with UEFA EURO 2012 the stunning confirmation that they have made the grade.
It therefore seems logical and healthy for European football to continue in this direction. By taking the UEFA Super Cup to a different place each year, we are giving these associations an opportunity to put their organisational skills into practice in the area of elite club football and in so doing, to give even more fans a taste of the action.
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