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24 Teams for Euro Championship

UEFA is about to approve a plan to increase the number of finalists in the European Championship to 24 from 16 starting in 2016. Is the tournament getting too big, and making it more difficult for small countries to serve as host, or is expansion necessary to include more quality teams? Is 24 of 53 countries (that's how many in current World Cup qualifying) in the finals too large of a percentage?


By Steve Goff  |  September 25, 2008; 5:56 PM ET
Categories:  European Championship  
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Comments

First!
I said yes because it'll be more like the World Cup, and there'll be more matches to look forward to. Plus it gives more minnows chances to play in the Euros. I think it's a great idea.

Posted by: bob | September 25, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

2nd or 3rd. hee-haw

Posted by: donkeyrichard | September 25, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

So nearly half of all of Europe will qualify - so it starts looking like the NHL and NBA playoffs.

Posted by: Oliver | September 25, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

2nd or 3rd. Hee-haw. I say go to 24.

Posted by: donkeyrichard | September 25, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

So nearly half of all of Europe will qualify - so it starts looking like the NHL and NBA playoffs.

Posted by: Oliver | September 25, 2008 6:07 PM
----------------------------------------
Or MLS playoffs

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Slightly OT (ok, more than slightly), but looks like the FA wants to keep its women:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/print?id=575875&type=story&cc=5901

Posted by: Juan-John | September 25, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Why water down a great tournament? I'll assume more money!

Posted by: Johnny | September 25, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

So nearly half of all of Europe will qualify - so it starts looking like the NHL and NBA playoffs.

Posted by: Oliver | September 25, 2008 6:07 PM
----------------------------------------
Or MLS playoffs


We should take a poll of Europeans and see how they feel about the NHL, NBA and MLS playoffs.

Posted by: Americans for Change...in Europe | September 25, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Slightly OT (ok, more than slightly), but looks like the FA wants to keep its women:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/print?id=575875&type=story&cc=5901


Posted by: Juan-John | September 25, 2008 6:12 PM
..........................................

There's already a discussion of this item in progress in the previous thread.

Posted by: The Jeff | September 25, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Whoops -- my bad. Thx, Jeff!

Posted by: Juan-John | September 25, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

They may have the same problem with the Euros that they have with selecting the teams that will go to the World Cup; namely, that the seeding seems a bit quirky, resulting in "groups of death" that eliminate a number of good teams at the qualifying stage. To that extent, going to 24 teams may be the best way to ensure that the best 16 teams are represented.

Posted by: The Jeff | September 25, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

drop eufa cup and champions league and bring back the European Cup!

Posted by: garret | September 25, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

So nearly half of all of Europe will qualify - so it starts looking like the NHL and NBA playoffs.

Posted by: Oliver | September 25, 2008 6:07 PM
----------------------------------------
Or MLS playoffs

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 6:08 PM

It will look like MLS playoffs when UEFA increases the tournament to 32 teams.

Posted by: Oliver | September 25, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

the NCAA basketball tournament expanded to 64 teams and only became more fun. What's the Euro tourney mean? right. nothing more than entertainment -- so the more the merrier.

Posted by: wahleyed | September 25, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

England still won't qualify.

:)

Posted by: B.A. | September 25, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

ah, but the ncaas only work as single elimination. all this will do is dumb down group play and make a group of death less likely.

Posted by: northzax | September 25, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

6 groups of 4 and the top 2 in each group moves on plus the 4 best 3rd place teams? I hate when some of the 3rd place teams make it in...too confusing. I like the semmetry as it is!

Posted by: Harpo | September 25, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

16 is already as big as it should get. One of the appeals of the Euro tournament is that it's the highest median level of skill; water it down any more, and a full-strength Copa America would be clearly better.

It's interesting that this comes out just after Michel Platini attacks Arsene Wenger for being too business-focused. What is expanding this tournament, other than a blatant cash grab? I guess UEFA wants to try to compete with FIFA in terms of hypocrisy.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 25, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

March Madness > 24 team euros

Is this backlash for the limeys not making it?

Posted by: Thora | September 25, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

seems to me it's all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Posted by: downtown | September 25, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is totally a ploy to make sure England qualifies. Lame. If England sucks, or any other big football country that time around (can anyone say France in 2010 World Cup?) why do we have to watch them struggle through a match or three against Andorra or whatever lucky tiny country makes it. Lame. Just tune in for the semis and don't worry about it.

Posted by: T. Henry | September 25, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse


So now it extands the tournament and increases the fatigue and injury? Or will there be fewer qualifying matches, thereby decreasing fatigue and injury? At any rate, Roy Keane still won't release his players.

Until I see a plan, I'll agree with downtown and say $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ instead of $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 25, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

This is totally a ploy to make sure England qualifies.
.........................................

Is there some particular reason why the members of UEFA, 98 percent of whom are not England, care whether England qualifies?

Posted by: The Jeff | September 25, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they really want Wales to qualify.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 25, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess UEFA wants to try to compete with FIFA in terms of hypocrisy.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | September 25, 2008 8:10 PM
===============

They're both just competing for second place.

Posted by: The NCAA | September 25, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Until I see a plan, I'll agree with downtown and say $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ instead of $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 25, 2008 8:44 PM
=======================

"... instead of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" would really make more sense.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | September 25, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

We should take a poll of Europeans and see how they feel about the NHL, NBA and MLS playoffs.

Posted by: Americans for Change...in Europe | September 25, 2008 6:24 PM

i think many europeans follow the nba playoffs

Posted by: michael | September 25, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

This is totally a scam so that the faroe islands will definitely qualify. Or maybe its a plor by the andorran futbol mafia.

Posted by: pigman sweet | September 25, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Off topic but Toyota Park looks great in HD. Big crowd and loud fans. Good representation of MLS.

Posted by: Rafael | September 25, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The last Euros were (rightly) hailed as one of the best tournaments in ages. Why mess with success? There's a very real risk of engineering a tournament that's every bit as boring (in its initial phases) as the current Champions League.

(And to prove that I'm not against change for change's sake, I think UEFA should go to a March Madness style knockout)

Posted by: dj milk | September 25, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

shoulda allowed for a *who cares?* and a *who cares, gimme some more hot WPS news* vote.=>
What are the chances Ireland qualify?

Posted by: dadryan | September 25, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

More news from the European continent.

Tryo Perkins started in goal for Valerenga as his team beat Odd Grenland 2-1 to advance to the Norwegian Cup final:

http://www.vif-fotball.no/article2249124.ece

Posted by: garbaggio | September 25, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Is there some particular reason why the members of UEFA, 98 percent of whom are not England, care whether England qualifies?

Posted by: The Jeff | September 25, 2008 8:51 PM

===============

England qualifies = hordes of traveling English fans = massive amounts of cash being spent, especially with the strength of the pound.

You heard it this year when England screwed the pooch, the organizers were pissed that English money and the "spectacle" of England fans were not going to be at the tournament.

Posted by: Max J. | September 25, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't see what any of this has to do with my getting -- I mean DC United getting a new stadium. Anything new on that?

Posted by: Vic McF | September 26, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

I think the expansion stinks. I understand that it's all a question of euros (the money, not the people), but it cheapens the finals. Every European country is already in the European Championships; that's what all those qualifiers are. The teams that make the finals ARE the best 16 in Europe. They are the wons that won their qualifying matches. Everyone always yammers on about the quality of European football, when it is really the quality of the top half of European football. Faroe Islands, San Marino, Andorra, and a whole bunch of the newly independent states to the east stink. A 24 team finals means some of those teams will slip in and cheapen the field. I don't think there will be any more discussions of whether the European finals are actually a better tournament than the World Cup finals when they let in 24 (for the record, I never felt the Euros were a better tournament, but now the gap will be even larger). I'm belaboring my point, but I'd rather see an "entitled" team like England left out than see sub-standard matches in what should be the most exciting football of that particular year.

Posted by: troy | September 26, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

"the wons that won"???? man, I need some coffee this morning.

on another topic, I get to see my first DCU match in four years on Wednesday! I hope I'm not the only one there...

Posted by: troy | September 26, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

So, looking at how the qualifying tables ended up for Euro 08, the additional teams would be:

Serbia
Scotland
Norway
Ireland
England
Northern Ireland
Bulgaria

And one of:
Finland
Ukraine
Bosnia
Slovakia
Israel
Denmark
Belarus

Somehow I'm less than excited...

Posted by: Nic | September 26, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Just another chance for the rising European power -- Cyprus.

It does seem like a large percentage, but just think of the round-robin as another qualifying round. I'll watch the round-robin, official Euro games, but I wouldn't bother with all of the simultaneously-played qualifiers.

It would be great if the Euro qualifiers could just double as the WC ones, but that won't happen.

Posted by: RK | September 26, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

So, any knews on DC United in Dallas. Any word on Gallardo?


Posted by: Anonymous | September 26, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Sure its all about the money; get England fans and Scottish fans travling, drinking, causing a ruckus.

Why don't they just scrap qualifying and have every Euro country play in the final tournament.

Posted by: Hacksaw | September 26, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Nothing wrong with a plan that allows the minnows more of a chance to improve their national teams and in exchange their domestic leagues. All around a good move, not to mention more money going around. UEFA is the only federation that is well run for its members and runs like a good business. Now if CONCACAF could run 1/5 as good - then that'd be good for North America. They need to fire Jack Warner!

Posted by: Izzy | September 26, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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