Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Euro expansion will dilute quality
by Ian Plenderleith, September 26th, 2008 10AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[EUROPE] More games, more revenue and less quality. That will be the effective consequence of UEFA's decision, expected Friday, to expand the European Championships from 16 to 24 countries, starting with the 2016 tournament.

UEFA's executive committee discussed the matter on the first day of its two-day meeting in Bordeaux Thursday, and Franz Beckenbauer, vice chairman of UEFA's development and technical assistance committee, confirmed that the proposal would be rubber-stamped. "Yes, for sure it's going to be 24 teams," Beckenbauer said, according to the BBC. "The European Championships will not lose any quality by that."

Quite how he can make that judgment that eight years in advance is anybody's guess. Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria was generally regarded as the best tournament in soccer terms since the 1984 edition in France, when the tournament consisted of just eight teams. It seems like an ill-thought decision to water it down just a few months later, but all 53 European nations are reportedly in favor.

Unsurprisingly, the countries that didn't qualify for Euro 2008 are hungry for a slice of the revenue. A country like England will see the expansion as insurance against the debacle of its last qualifying campaign. The original proposal came from Scotland and Ireland, neither of whom qualified for Euro 2008, but that represent exactly the kind of soccer nation that would benefit from expansion. Provided, of course, that countries like Belarus, Estonia and Montenegro haven't caught up with them by 2016.

Scotland and Ireland's joint bid to stage Euro 2008 failed, and once the tournament takes in 24 teams they will have no realistic chance of hosting the championship. In fact, only Spain, England, Italy, France, Germany and Russia will likely be able to manage that now, while other countries would have to team up with at least one other nation, possibly two, to launch a joint bid. And even then, as Switzerland and Austria showed, there would be a scarcity of stadiums with a large enough capacity to accommodate the expected demand.

The committee is also due to rule Friday on Ukraine's suitability to co-host the next tournament with Poland, in 2012. The eastern European country is beset with infrastructure problems and political upheaval.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Chuba Akpom    
"I was playing against players I played with on FIFA when I was younger  -- [Didier] ...
MLS All-Star Game: Red rules the day    
The team that calls Avaya Stadium usually wears blue, but red turned out to be the ...
MLS Expansion: Atlanta's Villalba and Jones off on loan    
MLS expansion team Atlanta United FC has sent its two big signings on loan until it ...
Crowd Count: ICC match draws 86,641 fans in Columbus    
The International Champions Cup match between Paris St. Germain and Real Madrid at Ohio Stadium in ...
MLS Expansion: All signs point to Minnesota in 2017    
Atlanta United FC is the only MLS expansion team confirmed for 2017, but MLS commissioner Don ...
MLS Countdown: ASG absentee Ridgewell out Sunday    
A new MLS rule intended to keep players from skipping out on the All-Star Game means ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klopp    
"If you bring one player in for 100 pounds ($130 million) and he gets injured, then ...
U.S. Abroad: Brooks returns to action in Hertha win    
John Brooks became the first of the Americans who played at the 2016 Copa Centenario to ...
MLS Moves: 'Flaco' returns to Sounders    
Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez is back at Seattle for his second stint, signing on Thursday, a day ...
Video Pick: Pulisic scores against Man City    
Borussia Dortmund's 17-year-old American Christian Pulisic scored the stoppage-time equalizer in a 1-1 friendly tie with ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives