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Too much soccer is too much of a good thing, Adidas boss warns

Too much soccer is too much of a good thing, Adidas boss warns
FILE PHOTO: Kasper Rorsted, CEO of Adidas, the world's second largest sports apparel firm attends the company's annual general meeting in Fuerth, Germany May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo -
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Michaela Rehle(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – Can there be such a thing as too much soccer? Yes, says the boss of Adidas, who has warned sports clubs and associations risk distancing fans by putting on too much of the game and urged broadcasters to air other sports on screens instead of second or third tier soccer.

Kasper Rorsted, chief executive of the German sports apparel maker, told Welt am Sonntag newspaper there was a risk of fans getting bored if exposed to too much soccer, adding that he, a game enthusiast, had skipped the final of the European Nations League.

Played on every continent including Antarctica, soccer is the world’s most popular and lucrative sport, which has led governing bodies like FIFA and UEFA to launch ever newer competitions to attract more sponsorship and broadcast money.

“I’m a soccer fan, but after a very long season you reach a point where you want a break,” he said in an interview published on Sunday. “It would be better for the sport if more handball, biathlon and tennis were broadcast on television.”

While Rorsted’s view echoes that of many soccer fans, it carries rather greater weight coming from the sports brand, known for its iconic three-stripe logo and one of the most important sponsors of football clubs, the game and its players.

Launched in 2018, the Nations League is a biennial tournament of men’s national teams run by European governing body UEFA.

Rorsted also warned the German Bundesliga’s so-called 50 plus one rule requiring clubs to be majority-owned by their own members was starving it of the capital that it needed to keep pace with other countries’ leagues.

“Bayern Munich is suffering from a weaker Bundesliga,” he said, adding German clubs had recently been performing less well against foreign sides. That could be fixed by abolishing the rule and letting outside investors take majority stakes in Germany’s teams, he said.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

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