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Platini Breathes Life into Domestic Cup Competitions
The Guardian, August 24th, 2007 7:45PM

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Thanks to UEFA President Michel Platini, winning the F.A. Cup might mean something once again. The Frenchman has proposed to make the domestic cup winner from Europe's biggest leagues an automatic qualifier for the UEFA Champions League; UEFA will consider the matter next week.

Platini's original intention was to reduce the number of entrants from bigger countries from four to three, but since that proposal was met with such staunch opposition from the big clubs and leagues in question, the UEFA president offered this as a concession. He hopes the move will help reduce the power of the "big four" clubs who dominate Europe's leagues, a promise he made to the smaller nations when he was elected President last year.

The Guardian says the move would "provide a huge boost to the FA Cup and revolutionize the status of domestic knockout competitions across Europe." Indeed, the F.A. Cup and its European cousins have certainly lost some of their luster in recent years, especially since the rise to prominence of UEFA's Champions League.

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