Wales’ Chris Gunter slams UEFA and calls the Euro 2020 tournament set-up a ‘joke’ after they suffered a bitter defeat to Denmark on Saturday.
The Charlton Athletic player is outraged after the Welsh outfit have been forced to travel over 5,000 air miles for just four matches before falling to defeat against Denmark at the last-16 stage.
Wales enjoyed another decent Euros campaign, advancing from their group only to be knocked out, however they faced Denmark and suffered a 4-0 thrashing in Amsterdam.
After seeing Wales’ Euro 2020 run ended, Gunter hit out at the ‘joke’ tournament before insisting that his side were ‘written off before a bag of air was kicked’.
In an Instagram post, Gunter stated: ‘So the journey of this month has come to an end. We did not deserve that scoreline but who said life was fair. It hurts like mad, but to be hurting with some of my best mates and best muckas I’ve shared a changing room with for years on years makes it a little easier. And to share it with a nation who all feel the same makes it even easier.
‘Written off before a bag of air was kicked, 3,000 miles from home. Every nation had fans wherever they went, apart from the 350 who broke government rules and bank accounts to be there, you and us deserved more from this joke set up of a tournament, but who said life was fair.
‘Have a cry, but then smile that we were dining at the top table yet again. And smile even more that we’ll be back, and we’ll be the ones with the full stadium belting out our anthem that we all deserve.
‘This country is in safe hands with the squad we have believe me, I’d go to the trenches with every member of this team and staff. Be sad, but be proud, there’s only 3million of us, but we are the f****** lucky ones, and don’t you know it.
‘Suck it up, keep your chin up, we’ll be alright, trust me on that. Genuinely thank you for all the support and love. See you soon. Gunts.’
Wales have had a hectic Euros campaign, playing Switzerland and Turkey miles away from home in Baku – then moved onto Rome to face Italy in their final group tie.
Rob Page’s side then finished their Euro journey in Amsterdam against Denmark on Saturday evening.
Overall, Wales were forced to embark on a 5,382-mile trip for just four matches at the tournament.
To make matters worse for Wales, both Azerbaijan and Italy were on the UK’s amber list, meaning fans would have to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return.
Baku is a 3,000 mile trip from Cardiff, and it meant that a small number of Wales fans could attend the opening two matches in Azerbaijan.
Only Switzerland had been made to travel further than Wales so far, coving some 7,245 miles after touching down in Bucharest for Monday’s last-16 game with France.
The Swiss have gone from Zurich to Baku, then to Rome and then back to Baku for a trio of matches before their 1,240 journey to the Romanian capital.
Before Wales’ defeat against Denmark, Page spoke out about the demands of so much travel during the first Euros to be staged right across the continent.
He said: ‘It’s not been easy because we’ve had to go to Baku and then travel to Italy. Now we’re going to have to go to Amsterdam.
‘On paper it sounds like a great idea to have it all round Europe. But logistically, it is an absolute nightmare.’
EURO 2020 AIR MILES COVERED
Switzerland – 7,245 miles
Wales – 5,382
Sweden – 5,362
Belgium – 4,824
Czech Republic – 4,646
Ukraine – 3,757
Portugal – 3,696
Austria – 3,495
Croatia – 1,828
Spain – 1,530
France – 1,173
Holland – 1,111
Italy – 898
Germany – 572
Denmark – 395
England – 0
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale refused to answer whether he would be retiring following Wales’ Euro 2020 round of 16 defeat to Denmark but later told S4C: “I’ll play for Wales until the day that I stop playing football.”
Has Gareth Bale played his last game for Wales?
…That’s the answer to that 😬
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) June 26, 2021
Bale was questioned over his immediate future. Prior to the tournament, he said he had made a decision on his future but that he would wait until after this summer’s Euros before making it public because it would “cause chaos”.
Bale cut short a post-match interview but later told S4C: “I want to continue to play. People ask stupid questions all the time, but obviously I love playing for Wales.
“I’ll play for Wales until the day that I stop playing football.
“We’ve just started the World Cup campaign, and we need to take this experience into that.
“I feel like we have a very good way of playing when we play well and we need to keep that confidence high, keep playing football and I think we can qualify for the next World Cup.”
Gareth Bale succinctly summing up everyone’s attitude towards VAR pic.twitter.com/IzwdPcDt4o
— Richard O’Reilly (@RM_oreilly) June 26, 2021
Fans reacted as Wales’ Chris Gunter slams UEFA and calls tournament set-up a ‘joke’…
@sozmarra: Did they walk the distance between the venues? Maybe the reason they got twatted 4 nowt is because they have Charlton Athletic players in their squad. Just a thought 😄
@neilfletcher72: Fancy having away games in a tournament you weren’t hosting
@SouthCoastRed: Awww… instead of looking at your own poor performances, let’s blame the tournament instead… Don’t worry, if you carry on playing like that you won’t have to deal with tournament football for some time…
@niamhelin2112: Knew full well English fans wouLd be complaining if they had to travel around Europe and Wales where playing in Cardiff So don’t say he’s only complaining because we lost you’re only not complaining as it doesn’t effect you!
@jpenman5: You lost 4-0 take it on the chin
@RobinWriteSmith: Let me explain for the hard of thinking footballer – tournament organised way before Covid and before any teams qualified – Covid meant fans couldn’t travel – four goals went in your net, were you hoping the fans would help blow it over the line?
@Vaccaee: England Germany Holland Spain and others literally haven’t left home whilst others are flying around the whole of Europe .. it’s a joke
@Immy8713: Is a bit ridiculous to have it in so many different counties, I think it’s about 12 and some teams are not travelling at all during group stages whereas others travel every match
@pjjennings59: Denmark players had to witness a team-mate almost losing his life on the pitch , who were then bullied to play out the remaining minutes of the game. Crying over a bit of travel and being pampered in a training camp!!!!
@HammerNorthern: Typical salty Welsh excuses. Denmark have had a problem or two of their own. Outclassed from 1 to 11 yesterday. Not even close.
@hall_mj: He’s got a point. The fact that England could win the tournament by playing only 1 game away from Wembley is a piss take.
@DevanteDrex: Only if we won our group. Which we did. Wales finished 2nd. Had a week off, Played a team that finished 2nd and got beat 4 nil.
@redikki: Seemed happy with it last week but I’ll guess we’ll have to wait till Gunter puts together his own international tournament in the middle of a pandemic after his country’s made a decision to ostracise itself from Europe.
@MrTomLuke: Teams travel across Europe for club competitions all the time with only 3 day gap, they played in Italy 6 days ago (where they rested a couple of players) and had to travel to Amsterdam. Lost to the better team and have a lot to proud of no need to come out with this nonsense.
@mjm201187: Dry them eyes mate 😂😂😂
@jsauve06: It’s no different to players travelling to play a European game mid week then back home to play a couple of days later. It’s not the organisers fault most of the Wales players don’t know what that feels like
@trainfanmatt: Funny how this has become an issue after the spanking they took yesterday. From the petulant tackle by Wilson, to the sarcastic clapping from Bale and now to this – Wales appear to be lacking any kind of dignity in defeat
@andysharratt: When world cups are held in large countries like Brazil, America or Russia there are regular long journeys for some teams and not for others. This sort of thing is nothing new.
They played nearly a week between this game and the last and travelled across Europe not to the feckin moon 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Vb6CLxLyRm
— Willo (@WilloWardus) June 27, 2021