Guardian, Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:45 PM
You may have spent sleepless nights wondering what 1990s Dutch Euro-pop star Haddaway has to do with soccer. UEFA and the Austrian tourist broad have finally provided the answer, and Barney Ronay
enjoyed the free beer at a strange promotional event at the European Championships featuring the man who once scored a huge hit with the perennial question, What Is Love?
patrons coughing up €50 ($77) had the privilege of watching Haddaway come on stage at an event to promote the Tirol region in the Austrian city of Innsbruck, where he sung the words,
"Uuuuunhh...uuuunhh...one, two ...Haddaway...uuunhh!!" The rest of the time he hung out with English journalists and gave them his views on Ernest Hemingway, Frank Lampard and the question of what
is love (he still doesn't know - "Everybody has to work that out for themselves.")
"The massed wonks, vest-wearers, jobsworths and clipboard-holders of UEFA have formed a highly
visible presence in Austria," writes Ronay. "This really is the most nannying of tournaments, an utterly controlled environment served up by an organization with deep coffers and huge political and
economic clout." That means, no using Visa (MasterCard's the official sponsor) and no Austrian beer - it's Carlsberg only (though at least it's free for hacks). "Could European football's governing
body," he asks, "be distributing its vast annual budget on something more worthy, more meaningful and more directly related to what actually happens on the pitch, professional and amateur?"
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