Today marks the commencement of the UEFA Euro 2016 football championship in France, with 24 teams competing to take home the glorious trophy.
The Stade Pierre-Mauroy where a number of matches will take place, including the quarter-finals.
In the UK, the “Man of the match” is an award given to the most outstanding player of a match, and plastic is definitely the “Material of the Match” – of the whole Championships, in fact!
Nowadays, plastics are an essential component of sports in general and football in particular; the footballs, referees’ whistles, goal nets, corner flags, red and yellow cards, shin pads, football boots, jerseys – all are made of plastics.
The official match ball, “Beau Jeu”, French for “beautiful game”, is made by Adidas from high quality plastics, including polyurethane layers from Covestro’s Impranil line, creating improved grip, touch, and stability to maximise its performance.
The six identical propeller-shaped polymer panels of the “Beau Jeu” are thermally bonded together, an enhancement of the design of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball, the “Brazuca”.
Breathable and sustainable
Fabricated by Nike, the new eco-friendly lightweight jerseys for the games are made out of Dri-FIT 100 percent-recycled polyester, creating a highly breathable fabric, which provides improved ventilation.
They are said to be 10 percent lighter and have 50 percent more stretch than previous kits.
Plastics to play in
Ten football arenas in France will host the matches, some, as for example the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, demonstrates how architectural design meets innovation and – thanks to plastics – is transformed into something remarkable.
The exterior of the Stade Pierre-Mauroy is made from over 30,000m of plastic, allowing it to withstand all weather conditions and permitting matches to go on uninterrupted. It will also allow daylight to pass through and offer visibility for fans in poor weather conditions while creating sufficient light on the turf.
Without plastics, the Championships just wouldn’t be the same. Plastics play such an important role - even the devices spectators will watch the matches on are most likely made of plastic.