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Wed Apr 23 08:50:42 SAST 2014

Uefa says the Europa League could be dumped

Sapa-AFP | 28 November, 2012 07:190 Comments
UEFA Women's EURO 2013 Final Draw Ceremony
UEFA President Michel Platini listens to Karl-Erik Nilsson, Chairman of The Swedish FA, during the UEFA Women's EURO 2013 Final Draw Ceremony on November 9, 2012 in Gothenburg, Sweden
Image by: Getty Images / Bongarts/Getty Images

EUROPEAN football's governing body is considering scrapping the Europa League in favour of extending European club football's most prestigious competition, the Champions League.

Uefa president Michel Platini revealed the association's thinking last night, in an interview with the French daily newspaper, Ouest-France.

Asked about plans to extend the Champions League at the expense of the less glamourous, second-tier Europa League, Platini said:

"There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions should take between 2015 and 2018. We are discussing it and we will make a decision in 2014.

"Nothing has been decided yet."

One option Uefa is looking at, is extending the final phase of the Champions League from 32 to 64 teams.

The Europa League generates far lower revenue for clubs than the Champions League and has been criticised since it replaced the Uefa Cup, in 2009.

On another issue, the Uefa president insisted he was not too worried about talk of the creation by Europe's rich clubs of their own a competition to rival the Champions League.

"This regularly comes up," said the former French international midfielder. "It doesn't worry me. I can't see how it could work outside the Uefa framework.

"Who will referee those games? What stadiums will they play?

"They say people want them. I don't think so."

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