There are clear winners and losers emerging as Swiss cities and traders seek to profit from the business of co-hosting the European Championship.
Officials in the capital city of Bern will set up a third giant TV screen to cope with an expected invasion of Dutch football fans later this week.
Around 25,000 people turned the federal parliament square into a joyous sea of orange Monday evening to watch a free public screening of the Netherlands beating Italy 3-0 at the nearby Stade de Suisse. A second broadcast in the city's Waisenhausplatz was also packed.
Bern mayor Alexander Tschaeppaet said Wednesday that various options were looked at to welcome the arrival of even more Dutch supporters for Friday's game against France. Tens of thousands of people with almost no chance of getting into the stadium are expected to descend on Bern hoping to be part of the tournament fervor.
This is exactly what Swiss authorities were hoping for after seeing the success of public viewings in fan zones at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
City officials said they will decide Thursday where in the city center to place the third 581 square-foot screen.
While Bern copes with Euro 2008 demand that is bigger than expected, businesses at the official camp site in Geneva say they are struggling.
Food stall operators were meeting Wednesday to decide whether to strike because the promised crowds have not shown up to see matches broadcast on a big screen, or to see free nightly concerts.
They say they paid $35,000 to take a restaurant spot for three weeks at the official Fan Village, and were told by organizers to expect 20,000 visitors each day. Persistent rain at the camp site known locally as Bout-du-Monde, or end of the world has turned parts of the grounds next to the river Arve into a muddy mess.
The mood was not helped when two Polish visitors short-circuited the camp site electric supply while trying to recharge a camera.
The Geneva production company responsible for soccer-related shows has promised more publicity for the fan village, which is serviced by free shuttle buses from the 60,000-capacity fan zone closer to the city center, and to install children's entertainment to attract families.In the picturesque city of Locarno near the Swiss-Italian border, traders say their usual customers are staying away during the tournament. Spokesman Bruno Arienti said soccer fans were not interested in shopping and the business situation was "almost catastrophic."
DOMENECH POKES FUN AT OFFSIDE RULE: France coach Raymond Domenech poked fun at the offside rule that allowed Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy's goal to stand against Italy in Monday's match.
Van Nistelrooy was at least a closer to goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon than any Italy defender on the field when he scored, but was considered covered because Italy defender Christian Panucci had collided with Buffon and lay outside the field.
"The offside rule has changed recently; a player off the field continues to covers his defense," Domenech said Wednesday. "We didn't know that and now we're happy to know that. I hope the fans don't have the same instructions. If a fan behind the goal covers the defense as well, then that's a bit worrying."
Like Domenech, Germany coach Joachim Loew wasn't aware of the offside interpretation, calling it a "rule change."The rule is necessary, UEFA Said, because otherwise players could intentionally leave the field to force opposing attackers offside.
MUSICAL DEFENSE: Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has defended a choice of ultra-nationalist music to boost his player's morale at the European Championship, adding it was not his decision.
Bilic, himself a self-styled rock guitarist and singer, said that the "How Beautiful You Are" song by popular Croatian group Thompson played in the locker room after Croatia's 1-0 win over co-host Austria on Sunday "was not mine, it was goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa's."
"It's a nice song telling how beautiful our country is ... but it's not my choice of music," a visibly irritated Bilic said.
Bilic came under public criticism abroad after he said he played the song by Thompson, whose front man is Marko Perkovic. Perkovic's folk-inspired, heavy metal music has come under scrutiny because it incorporates slogans used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime during World War II in Croatia.
Critics say some of his Croatian fans have used the Nazi salute during his concerts and worn black T-shirts and caps styled after the uniforms of the Nazi-linked government.Several of his concerts abroad have been banned after protests by Jewish groups.
TEMPER, TEMPER: Tempers flared between striker Markus Rosenberg and midfielder Kim Kallstrom during Sweden's practice Wednesday.
Rosenberg reacted angrily to a tough challenge from Kallstrom as the substitutes played four on four. Backup goalkeeper Rami Shaaban had to hold Rosenberg to calm him down, according to Swedish news agency TT.
Rosenberg downplayed the incident at Sweden's training camp in Lugano.
"It was nothing serious," the striker said. "It was a normal collision and some talk afterward. It's forgotten now."
Kallstrom was surprisingly left out of Sweden's lineup in the 2-0 win over Greece on Tuesday, while Rosenberg replaced injured Christian Wilhemsson in the 77th minute.
Only the substitutes took part in Wednesday's practice as coach Lars Lagerback rested his starters.