Football: Uefa president Michel Platini admitted today that European football’s governing body is considering abolishing the Europa League in order to double the size of the Champions League.
One of several changes being discussed by the organisation, the proposal would see the number of teams competing in the Champions League rise to 64, with the potential for seven English and five Scottish clubs to enter the competition at various stages in the qualifying rounds. Uefa say they will make a decision by 2014.
In an interview with French newspaper Ouest-France, Platini said: “There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will take between 2015 and 2018. We talk, and we will make a decision in 2014. There is nothing decided yet.”
Another idea on the table is for the winners and runners-up of the Europa League — a competition maligned by many — to be given qualification into the Champions League.
The Europa League replaced the Uefa Cup in 2009, but has often been viewed negatively in England with managers of clubs in the competition often choosing to field weakened line-ups.
The concept of a European breakaway league, led by the continent’s biggest clubs, has been mooted, but Platini does not view the idea as a threat to his organisation.
Earlier this month Barcelona president Sandro Rosell said he would like to see more clubs competing in the Champions League at the expense of cutting the number of clubs that take part in domestic leagues.
But Platini said: “It’s a question that is regularly brought up. I can’t see how it could work outside the Uefa framework. Who will referee them? In what stadiums will they play?”