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Europa League could be scrapped in favour of expanding Champions League to 64 teams
Published : 28 Nov 2012 12:45:00
UEFA will consider scrapping the Europa League in favour of expanding the Champions League to a 64-team competition.
Michel Platini, the president of European football's governing body, said:
"We're discussing it. We will make a decision in 2014. Nothing is decided yet." Speaking to French newspaper Ouest-France, Platini added:
"There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018."
The changes could mean up to seven English clubs enter a qualifying round stage for the single, revamped European tournament, rather than four as it is at present. The Europa League has taken criticism for the length of the current format, with the group stage and final 32 structure meaning at least 14 matches must be negotiated just to reach the final. Reports suggest another consideration is to reward the runner-up and winner of the Europa League with a place in the following season's Champions League tournament. Platini also said he is not concerned by talk Europe's richest clubs could splinter and form a competition to rival the Champions League. He said:
"It's a question that is regularly brought up. It doesn't worry me. I can't see how it could work outside the Uefa framework.
"Who will referee them? In what stadiums will they play? A lot of people want them? I don't think so."