An Associated Press report that UEFA is considering increasing the EM squad to 32 teams from 2028 has not led to any protest events. Angry fans didn’t hold the number 24 finale at Wembley (there are several teams currently), and Twitter didn’t go crazy. This may be because UEFA has not officially confirmed the Intellectual Games. Or the fact that no one expected anything else anyway.
In France five years ago, the tournament was expanded from 16 to 24 participants, the Qatar 2022 finals will be the last with 32 teams, and 48 teams will meet in the USA, Canada and Mexico in 2024. And how did football visionary Sepp Blatter once announce? At some point, there will not be “just a world championship, but interplanetary competitions.” Just!
What speaks for or against an increase in EM
Arguments for or for the increase have been exchanged thousands of times. On the one hand, there is concern from the major federations (and clubs as employers of players) about more and more matches and more and more tension. And if in the future it is no longer possible for Germany, France and Portugal to play in the same emerging group because Moldova, Liechtenstein and Andorra also get a place, then the sporting value of the preliminary round is zero.
On the other hand, the European Championship qualifiers will be upgraded if several of UEFA’s 55 member associations hope to participate in the tournament, not just the same elite. The most important argument: more matches means more football on TV means more money for UEFA. Will it happen anyway?
At least these arguments are only the obvious part of doing business. UEFA’s defensive struggle against attacks by FIFA must also be considered, with President Gianni Infantino trying to get the most valuable pieces of European football out of UEFA and monetizing them himself.
The creation of the European Super League by top Spanish, Italian and English clubs was just another escalation – one of the FIFA men was on the table during the negotiations! After all: UEFA has turned this divided project away. Another access to the heart of European football has to be the bloated Club World Cup. Infantino had originally planned to sell this new format and other FIFA rights to the AFC, in which he himself would play a major role. This plan has not yet succeeded.
The World Cup could be held every two years soon – Arsene Wenger is being paid for this project by FIFA
And now, in the middle of the current World Cup, the following project is confirmed: FIFA is considering holding the World Cup every two years! Of course only in order to “improve the quality of games around the world”, as just claimed by responsible project manager Arsene Wenger, who is paid for these kits by Infantino. There will be no space left for EM in this FIFA scenario.
What is the point of countering the megalomaniac of the World Cup with plans to find early tournaments? Should tournaments take place at the same time soon? And in the end really on the moon? Above all, it should be about keeping the European Unions together. Infantino needs European votes for his projects, and even if he can’t promise everyone a starting place in the 48th World Championships, he promises a lot of money! Until now, Europeans, including small associations, stood firmly. The prospect of participating in a European Championship would certainly be beneficial for the loyalty of UEFA.