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Blatter comes out against plans to expand European Championship to 24 teams

Blatter comes out against plans to expand European Championship to 24 teams

FIFA president Sepp Blatter came out against proposals to expand the current 16-nation European Championship to 24 teams.
"Why not 48," Blatter scoffed on the eve of a UEFA decision on whether to pursue the idea. "Twenty-four is not a good number."
The UEFA Congress will hear a proposal from the Scottish federation to expand it to 24 nations on Friday, arguing it would be better for television rights and give the smaller nations a better shot to get into the final tournament.
"Participation of more national teams in the final round could also be expected to increase its attractiveness to sponsors and TV companies," and spread the revenue from the competition more equitably, Scottish federation president John McBeth said.
The 2008 tournament will take place in Switzerland and Austria with 16 teams, but the 2012 edition could possibly be expanded. The congress could decide on a feasibility study.
A bigger European Championship, held every four years, would possibly be a bigger competitor for the World Cup.
On sporting grounds, though, Blatter said a 24-nation competition is unwieldy.
"We have seen it in the World Cup _ the good number is 32," Blatter said, indicating that would not work for the 52-federation UEFA.
The World Cup last played with 24 teams in 1994, but it was criticized as unworkable. To get to the round of 16, the first round was overly dominated by mathematical speculation on who would advance from the six groups of four nations.


Updated : 2021-05-07 19:20 GMT+08:00