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UEFA may change Championship format
Published : 06 Oct 2013 21:01:54Rss feed
UEFA could be about to throw down the gauntlet to FIFA and revamp the European Championship so that it rivals the World Cup.
According to a story in Sunday's The Independent newspaper, European football's governing body wants to have an event that would include Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan.
There is precedent for continental championships inviting outsiders, with the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica having regularly competed in the Copa America for the past two decades.
FIFA are certain to regard a revised format of the European Championship that brings in big-name teams from outside as a threat to the World Cup, which is their biggest source of income.
"As is known, UEFA and its member associations are looking at reforming national team competitions, and this process is ongoing," a UEFA spokesman told Press Association Sport.
"We would not be in a position to comment on any specific ideas that are being considered."
The Independent writes that a senior advisor to UEFA president Michel Platini has said: "The ideas are at an early stage but they are very feasible. The South Americans have been doing it for decades, inviting teams from outside their continent to take part in the Copa America. So why cannot Europe?"
To invite outsiders would lead to more commercial opportunities in other continents for UEFA.
Borrowing on the idea of the Copa America would be another major change for UEFA with respect to the European Championship.
The European football body has already decided to expand the tournament field at Euro 2016 from 16 to 24 teams.
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