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Uefa consider merging Europa League with Champions League

The UEFA Champions League Trophy on the pitch. Picture: Mike Egerton/EMPICS The UEFA Champions League Trophy on the pitch. Picture: Mike Egerton/EMPICS

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
2:13 PM

A proposal to abolish the Europa League and double the size of the Champions League to 64 clubs is among a number of changes to European competitions being considered by Uefa.

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The European governing body is pondering changes to both their club competitions and will make a decision in 2014.

Another proposal being looked at is to award Champions League qualification to the winners of the Europa League, and possibly even the runners-up too, in a bid to boost interest in the second-tier competition.

Uefa president Michel Platini confirmed the proposal for a 64-club Champions League is being looked at.

In an interview with French newspaper Ouest-France, he 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.”

A 64-club competition would see as many as seven English clubs and five Scottish teams entering at various stages of the qualifying rounds.

Platini also blasted Fifa president Sepp Blatter for dismissing his idea of extra officials behind the goal-line as being too expensive. Uefa are continuing with the five officials, and Platini said that the cost was minimal compared to goal-line technology.

He added: “I’ll give you some numbers. Mr Blatter said that five officials is expensive. In our UEFA competitions, if you want to put in goal-line technology it costs us 32million Euros in the first year and 54million dollars over five years. Referees, it costs us 2.3 million.

“If you put in the goal-line, it is the gateway to video in football in general. I’m against it all.”

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