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UEFA reportedly cancel plans to expand EUROs

UEFA apparently cancel plans to expand EURO tournament

September 23, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
UEFA had apparently sought to expand the 2028 EURO competition to include 32 teams instead of 24, but a report now indicates that they have scaled back on those plans.

Although the 2028 EURO competition is still some time away, that has not prevented UEFA from already making big plans.

The European football organizing body had apparently sought to expand the field from 24 to 32 teams to give smaller countries and their players a chance to feature at the quadrennial tournament. Should this come to pass, the tournament set up would have naturally looked vastly different than what fans have become accustomed to.

The 2024 edition, which is to be hosted by Germany, will still stick to 24 teams, and Italy would come into that competition as reigning champions, having won the 2020 edition that was postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the 2028 edition, which will be co-hosted by England and Ireland, did have a possibility of featuring 32 teams. However, several reports have indicated that UEFA have opted to cancel plans to expand, and as of now, the 2028 EUROs will again feature 24 sides.

UEFA certainly are no strangers to expanding the EURO competition. For the 2016 version, the organizing body expanded the competition from an initial 16 to 24, which allowed Wales, Iceland, and Northern Ireland to impress fans and neutrals alike, and it is very much this reason they were hoping to add eight more sides for viewers to get to see more Cinderella stories. 

However, according to another report, there were many who opposed this idea, including broadcasters and even those within the UEFA organization itself. Another issue was the fact that if it expanded to 32 sides, well over half of UEFA's 55 representatives would be able to participate, which could potentially diminish the exclusiveness of the competition.

That being said, UEFA will make its formal announcement regarding this potential expansion in the next few months, but if these reports are to be believed, it is very likely that the 2028 EURO competition will look exactly like the ones that have come immediately before it.

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