Uefa respond to plans to revamp European Championships to rival Fifa and the World Cup
The Independent on Sunday revealed the plans which has added to talk of a rift between Fifa president Sepp Blatter and his Uefa counterpart Michel Platini
Uefa has responded to reports that they could revamp the European Championship to rival the World Cup by inviting the larger nations outside of the continent to compete by denying any knowledge of such an idea.
The Independent on Sunday revealed the revelations in an exclusive report by Mihir Bose, with advisors close to Uefa president Michel Platini discussing the idea should Fifa reduce their impact on the current showcase tournament.
One advisor 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?
“Many in Fifa are talking of cutting back Europe’s power, reducing the number of European teams in the World Cup [currently 13 out of 32 in 2014] and also our representation on the Fifa executive [eight out of 24].”
Today, a Uefa spokesman issued the following statement: "We can confirm that Uefa is not aware of the plans mentioned in the story in The Independent."
However, the governing body has already demonstrated its desire to revolutionise the sport, with the number of nations competing in the 2018 European Championship being increased from 16 to 24 as well as holding the 2020 tournament across 13 different cities.
The news also demonstrates the increasingly strained relationship between Platini and Fifa president Sepp Blatter – two of the most powerful and influential figures in the sport. The Frenchman was believed to have been moulded by Blatter to replace him once he chose to step down from Fifa, but the uncertainty over whether the Swiss will stand for re-election once more in 2015 has seen Platini break away so-to-speak, while Fifa attempt to dilute Europe’s influence on decisions.
With Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Japan likely to be invited to join the new tournament, it would not be the first time that sides outside of a continent travel to join another competition, as Platini’s advisor mentioned.
The United States of America, Mexico and Costa Rica have all competed regularly in the South American tournament, the Copa America, since 1993, and the attraction of having the world’s best sides would be a serious draw for Uefa – with the World Cup and Fifa taking a serious blow if they lost their star attractions.
Latest in Sport
Danny Ings: Liverpool target wanted by Borussia Monchengladbach... who could get Burnley striker for just £260,000
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Marco Reus vs Theo Walcott: Which is the better option for Arsenal?
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'