UEFA Denies Report It Could Revamp Euro Championship To Include Larger Nations
UEFA has responded to reports that it could revamp the European Championship to rival the World Cup by inviting the larger nations outside of the continent to compete by "denying any knowledge of such an idea," according to Jack De Menezes of the London INDEPENDENT. It was reported that advisors close to UEFA President Michel Platini are "discussing the idea" of expanding the tournament. A UEFA spokesperson said in a statement, "We can confirm that Uefa is not aware of the plans mentioned in the story in The Independent." However, the governing body has "already demonstrated its desire to revolutionise the sport," with the number of nations competing in the Euro 2018 "being increased from 16 to 24 as well as holding the 2020 tournament across 13 different cities" (INDEPENDENT, 10/7). In London, Alex Richards reported the European Championship is "both growing and changing." The 2020 event is "set to be played across a number of different European countries, something which has divided" Platini and FIFA President Sepp Blatter (DAILY MIRROR, 10/7). The BBC reported UEFA "has rejected a newspaper claim that it wants to revamp the European Championship to rival the World Cup." FIFA could regard a European Championship that recruits nations from outside the continent as "a threat to the World Cup, its biggest source of income" (BBC, 10/6).