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UEFA running big risk with Euro expansion


Franz Beckenbauer’s announcement that the European Championship finals will feature 24 teams instead of 16 from 2016 must have been welcomed by fans of countries that have found it difficult to qualify for recent major tournaments.

But as my colleague Mike Collett argued during Euro 2008, UEFA is running a big risk by trying to fix something that is not broken.

Mike wrote:

As we all know, the competition format (as it stands) is simple and logical and because just the top two advance (from each group) teams have to come and attack.

Add another four or eight teams and we get into the complicated nonsense we had to endure in the 24-team World Cups from 1982 to 1994 because it’s not easy to reduce 24 teams to a 16-team knockout stage.