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Euro 2020: Why France and Germany's elimination offers hope to 'small' nations - Kenya's Mwendwa

13:29 BST 03/07/2021
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Kenya's FA official claims the surprising results against the traditional big teams show that football is a game for everyone

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa has claimed the elimination of some traditional 'big' teams from the European Championship provides hope to other countries.

Mwendwa stated the surprise that came with the elimination of France, Portugal and Germany mean that even countries that are often viewed as outsiders in major tournaments can draw hope from those results.

"Euro has shown why football is for every nation. You have seen how big teams have been eliminated and that means football is no longer a game for the elite nations. France, Portugal and Germany have all been eliminated and how many thought that was even possible?" Mwendwa told Standard Digital.

"The teams that we thought were big have been eliminated and the football unpredictability is the reason why we love it. It gives everyone hope."

Spain progressed to the semi-finals after needing penalties to beat Switzerland while Italy, who have won all four of their prior matches at Euro 2020, eliminated Belgium in the second quarter-final.

In the third quarter-final on Saturday, the Czech Republic and Denmark will clash in what is their third meeting in the European Championship – the Czechs won both previous games, 2-0 in the Euro 2000 group stage and 3-0 in the 2004 quarter-final.

England, who are only the second side in European Championship history not to concede in any of their first four games of an edition of the tournament after Germany in 2016, will play Ukraine in Rome in Saturday's second game.

Fan attendance has been restricted since the coronavirus pandemic hit the world and Mwendwa has pointed out how central the supporters are to football.

"Football is a game of fans and I was a football fan before I became anything else. I was reading a piece about why Japan have to host the Olympics this summer. They will be whitewashed in terms of viewership if they host the games in the same year as the World Cup," he continued.

"The World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the globe and, at the centre of its attractiveness, are the fans, and that is why the Olympics did not want to clash with the event scheduled for next year in Qatar."

Kenya is among the countries that are yet to allow fan attendance but Mwendwa is hopeful things will return to normalcy in the near future.