Europe’s football governing body UEFA is considering scrapping the Europa League and instead expanding the Champions League, its president said in an interview published on Wednesday.
“We are thinking at the moment about what form European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018,” Michel Platini told Ouest-France. “We will make a decision in 2014.” One of the possibilities under consideration is scrapping the Europa League and enlarging the Champions League from 32 teams to 64 teams, the former France international and national team coach said.
Platini dismissed concerns that the continent’s richest clubs might desert UEFA and form their own league to rival the Champions League.
“It’s a question that comes up regularly,” he said. “It doesn’t worry me. I don’t see how it could work without UEFA. Who would referee them? In what stadiums would they play? Do many people want it? I don’t think so.”
The 57-year-old also reasserted his rejection of goal line technology, due to be tested for the first time at an official tournament at the 2012 Club World Cup in Japan in December.
“(FIFA president) Mr (Joseph) Blatter says five referees are expensive,” Platini said. “At our UEFA competitions we have 78 stadiums. If you want to introduce goal line technology, that would cost us 32 million euros in the first year and 54 million euros in the first five years. The referees cost us 2.3 million euros. It’s simple maths.”
He also rejected claims of organised doping in football, though he admitted there could be “isolated cases.”