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UEFA to expand Euros for 2016


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The European Championship will be expanded to feature 24 teams from 2016 instead of the current 16, Uefa announced on Friday.

A Uefa executive committee met on Thursday to discuss the issue and subsequently confirmed the decision.

"Yes for sure it's going to be 24 teams," said Franz Beckenbauer, who is vice-chairman of Uefa's development and technical assistance committee.

"The European Championships will not lose any quality by that."

Former German international Beckenbauer is not a Uefa executive committee member but is a European Fifa executive member who sits in on the meetings as a non-voting observer.

The proposal to expand the competition was put forward by the Scottish Football Association and Football Association of Ireland last year.

The new format will mean fewer countries will have the capacity to host the tournament but it is believed the 53 member nations are unanimously in favour of the change.

"I think the expansion will be better for the game - more teams will have the chance of qualifying and the excitement of the groups will go on for longer," said Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith.

"It is disappointing in that it means we will not be able to stage the tournament in the future, and we recognise that will be the case.

"It was a trade-off between trying to stage it or open up the qualification process and we have decided to look at something that helps everybody."

Spain emerged victorious at Euro 2008 earlier this year at a tournament where there was no presence from the home nations.

The expanded version should mean it is easier for Scotland and other home nations to qualify but Smith added: "It will make it easier for other countries such as England who failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

"We didn't do it specifically for that purpose however."

Link - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7636495.stm

What does everybody think about this?

I think it's a good idea personally.

24 teams qualify from the 53 UEFA nations.

So that's 45% of nations that will qualify.

Compared to the 30% of nations that qualify at present (16 from 53 UEFA nations.)

It will increase the chances of qualification for the likes of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Also it generates more games - 51 games compared to 31 now.

More games is a good thing in my book (it'll only be one more game for each team - the last 16 round.)

At Euro 2012, 14 places are up for grabs through qualifcation.

At the 2014 World Cup, 13 places are up for grabs for European nations through qualification.

This is too similar.

It should be easier to qualify for the Euros than it is to qualify for the World Cup.

It will also make the Euros the biggest continental tournament in the world:

UEFA Euros - 24 teams (from 53 member nations - 45% of nations qualify)

Africa Cup of Nations - 16 teams (from 55 member nations - 29% of nations qualify)

AFC Asian Cup - 16 teams (from 46 member nations - 35% of nations qualify)

CONCACAF Gold Cup - 12 teams (from 40 member nations - 30% of nations qualify)

Copa America - 12 teams (from 10 member nations - every member nation qualifies + 2 guest nations)

OFC Nations Cup - 4 teams (from 11 member nations - 36% of nations qualify)

So expanding the Euros to 24 teams makes sense, especially after the breakups of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the USSR into multiple countries.

Thoughts?

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how will it work with teams going through, i.e 6 groups? top 2 and best 2 runner up's?

Top 2 and the 3rd place teams with the prettiest kits?

Top 2 and the 3rd places teams with the biggest bribes?

Top 2 and the 3rd place teams with most TV appeal?

Top 2 and the 3rd place teams then all live together in one big house for a month, with viewers voting players out everyday. The team with the most players left in the house then qualify for the next round?

Top 2 and then the 3rd place teams voted by Sepp Blatter and Henry Kissinger as the most deserving?

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The 90 and 94 world cups had 24 teams and it was 6 groups. Top 2 and 4 best 3rd places qualify for the second round which is a bit turd because you can come 3rd out of 4 teams and still have a 66% chance of getting through.

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The 90 and 94 world cups had 24 teams and it was 6 groups. Top 2 and 4 best 3rd places qualify for the second round which is a bit turd because you can come 3rd out of 4 teams and still have a 66% chance of getting through.

And it was shite. The only chance this has of not being shit is if its the top 1 from each group with the 2 best seconds going into the quarter final. Having a last 16 means that you only lose 8 of 24 teams in the group phase making it virtually pointless.

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£££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££

stupid idea, 16-8-4-2-1 works perfectly

assume 6 groups of 4, so top 2 plus 4 runners up? pointless, and will no doubt **** up the qualifying too

once again uefa look a problem (the qualifying) and rather than give the obvious answer that every one wants - a minnow qualifying round to **** san marino off - they look at the option that makes them more money instead

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how will it work with teams going through, i.e 6 groups? top 2 and best 2 runner up's?

Top 2 and the 3rd place teams with the prettiest kits?

Top 2 and the 3rd places teams with the biggest bribes?

Top 2 and the 3rd place teams with most TV appeal?

Top 2 and the 3rd place teams then all live together in one big house for a month, with viewers voting players out everyday. The team with the most players left in the house then qualify for the next round?

Top 2 and then the 3rd place teams voted by Sepp Blatter and Henry Kissinger as the most deserving?

I think they should let the teams through who are top of the fair play league

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how will it work with teams going through, i.e 6 groups? top 2 and best 2 runner up's?

"The format of the final tournament will consist of six groups of four teams, followed by a round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

The top two from each group would qualify in addition to the four best third-ranked sides, the same system as was applied in the World Cups from 1986 to 1994.

This format would generate a total of 51 games, compared with 31 now, to be played over a period of 29 days."

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but the best 3rd place is bollocks IMO, look at the group stage of 2008 the 4 3rd place teams were

czech republic 3pts

austria 1 pt

romania 2pts

sweden 3pts

none of them setting the world alight, the two teams with 3pts both beat the team that finished bottom, assume that some poorer teams get through now, the best 3rd place teams will be the ones that put the most goals past the poor team, its a really shit system IMO

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I'll not too bothered about this.

I like football.

I miss football in Summer.

More games = more football on TV to watch.

Pretty much this.

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But not when it's Scotland against Slovenia surely.

I think I'd prefer watching better quality games.

I'd love to see Barry Bannan and co against a team that actually made the World Cup.

(TBF - we could have Adam and McGregor)

Also, if truth be told, I'd love to see the Welsh in a real competition.

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Waste of time I think.

Euro 2008 was a really good tournament despite England not making it. If it isn't broke don't fix it. There will be more poorer teams in there which isn't going to make it too attractive.

The only positive for me is that all the home nations have a better chance of qualifying.

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