These Euro games have been great, huh? Like all of them. High quality. Entertaining. Attack-minded. Spectacular goals. Awesome in general.
Well, don’t get used to it. UEFA, in their infinite wisdom, is ruining it all by expanding the tournament to 24 teams starting in 2016. I understand it’s all about money — there will be at least 20 more games, meaning more ticket sales, more TV rights, more concessions sold, etc. — but it’s still awful.
How is this bad? Let’s count the ways.
1) Quality: One of the major calling cards of the European Championship is the quality. At 16 teams, it’s a better tournament than the World Cup. At 24? Heck. and No.
2) Length: It’s such a nice size right now. Twelve days of games, a break, the quarters, break, semis, break, final, and we’re done. Two dozen teams means there’s a round of 16 and almost a full extra week of play. Too much, too much.
3) Confusing format: You thought figuring out the scenarios was difficult this time around? Try 24 teams for 16 spots. UEFA’s general secretary Gianni Infantino said that the new format was “not ideal.” The general secretary!
4) Who the heck is going to host?: Maybe no one.
5) More for sure: What did I miss?
So congrats, Platini. You ruin everything. I don’t need video replay to make that call.