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SBD Global/December 6, 2012/International Football

Source Says UEFA Has No Plans To Increase Champions League Teams To 64

A source close to UEFA President Michel Platini said that UEFA has "no plans to expand the Champions League from 32 to 64 teams," according to Mihir Bose of the London EVENING STANDARD. The Frenchman "shocked football last week when, in an interview, he suggested there could be a restructuring of Europe’s tournaments." The newspaper, Ouest France, said it asked Platini if there was a plan to scrap the Europa League in favor of a bigger Champions League and quoted his reply as: "There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018. We’re discussing it, and we will make a decision in 2014. Nothing is decided yet." However, a source near to Platini said Wednesday: "The interview was given six weeks ago to a French newspaper, and that is not what the president said. We have no plans to have a 64-team Champions League or scrap the Europa League" (EVENING STANDARD, 12/5).

DECISION UPCOMING: The AFP reported Platini and his exec council "will make a decision" on Thursday "whether to push ahead with the concept of changing tradition and hosting Euro 2020 across a number of European cities." Platini, who captained France to the '84 title when he set a still standing record of nine goals, said: "If there is a majority, a decision could be made very quickly." If the council gives its approval, a final decision "will be made in early '13 at further exec committee meeting" (AFP, 12/5).
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