Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Euro expansion will dilute quality
by Ian Plenderleith, September 26th, 2008 10AM

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
Hernandez's first Monterrey goal in Copa MX winner    
[AMERICANS ABOARD] Monterrey striker Alonso Hernandez, a late addition to the 2013 U.S. U-20 World Cup ...
Donovan shines as Galaxy romps    
[MLS: Week 25] Outplayed from the opening kickoff, D.C. United crumbled under a constant onslaught and ...
Landon's 141st: from the penalty spot    
[VIDEO PICK: Donovan Scoring Record] Landon Donovan added to his all-time MLS scoring record with a ...
Concacaf Champions League scoreboard    
[WEEK 3: Wednesday] Leon, the 2014 Mexican Clausura champion, needed a goal from Mauro Boselli in ...
Moti's exploits propel Ludogorets into group stage    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Romanian defender Cosmin Moti got his 15 minutes of fame -- and a ...
NWSL's Year 2 attendance drops 3 percent    
[CROWD COUNT] NWSL attendance dropped from 4,270 fans a game in 2013 to 4,139 fans in ...
The 2015 season lengthened, games reduced    
[NWSL] The NWSL will reduce its 2015 regular-season schedule by four games to 20 games and ...
What They're Saying: AJ DeLaGarza    
"It's important for me to help other families who are in need more than I am. ...
Landmark concussion suit filed against soccer organizations    
[JURISPPRUDENCE] FIFA, U.S. Soccer and four youth associations have been sued in the U.S. District Court ...
Hugo Perez is out as U-15 national team coach     
[U.S. SOCCER] Hugo Perez has been informed by U.S. Soccer that he will no longer be ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives