Why Euro 2016 Expansion is only the beginning of the end

euro20161. Michel Platini has himself admitted that by enlarging Euro 2016 in France from 16 to 24 teams the quality of the tournament will be reduced. A competition that once prided itself on “Groups of Death” will now give way to one sided contests between the usual giants and the new pretenders that sneak in through the generous qualifying berths. Au Revoir to Germany V Portugal on match day one.

2. Extra teams means extra matches means extra revenue for UEFA. Bonus for them, yet not such a brilliant addition for the domestic leagues that must accommodate a wider international calendar into an already hectic schedule. Already exhausted players will suffer further injuries.

 

3. Expectation levels for national coaches such as newly appointed Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill will be stratospheric as fans expect their once disappointing teams to now regularly qualify for tournaments. The result when failure undoubtedly occurs? Widespread sackings.

 

4. The usual suspects are now virtually certain of qualification, and while we understandably want them to compete at the Euros, they should at least need to work for it. With 3 berths, they wont need to. As for the lesser teams, four of them will finish third in their groups and make while the supposedly “worse” runners up will miss out. This is not only unfair, it will openly encourage collusion between sides to ensure success.

 

5.It won’t end here. Upon realising the financial benefits a larger format heralds, Platini and UEFA may well consider further enlargements, as Platini’s vision for the World Cup proves. The bigger this monster gets, the more fans, players and the game will suffer.

 

— Charlie Ginger

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