Europe news

UEFA denies Euro expansion report

October 7, 2013
By ESPN staff

European football's governing body has denied a report that it is considering expanding the European Championship.

Champions League
PA PhotosUEFA president Michel Platini has already announced changes to the European Championship.

The report, in the Independent on Sunday, said UEFA wanted to upgrade the tournament and introduce competitors from outside the continent, making it a rival to the World Cup.

It claimed other teams that could play in the revamped event would include Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan.

But a spokesman for the governing body dismissed the claims and said: "UEFA is not aware of the plans mentioned in the story."

The prospect of such a move -- which would effectively create a second World Cup -- seems improbable, with FIFA unlikely to countenance anything that would undermine its showcase event.

Changes to the European Championship have already been introduced, with the 2016 tournament to be expanded from 16 to 24 teams and the 2020 event being played in a number of different European countries.

Earlier this year, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said holding the tournament across the continent would mean it "lacks heart and soul".

But UFA president Michel Platini said: "Everyone has the right to an opinion on UEFA projects.

"I have no problem with that, and I respect everyone's opinion, including, of course, that of Mr Blatter, with whom - contrary to what I have read in some places -- I get on perfectly well. Our relationship is intact, even though we obviously cannot always agree on everything."

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