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UEFA to expand Euros to 24 teams from 2016

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The European championship is set to be expanded to feature 24 teams from 2016 instead of the current 16. A UEFA executive committee meeting on Thursday discussed the issue and will rubber-stamp the decision on Friday.

The proposal to expand the competition was put forward by the Scottish Football Association and Football Association of Ireland last year.

The new format will mean fewer countries will have the capacity to host the tournament.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith:

“I think the expansion will be better for the game – more teams will have the chance of qualifying and the excitement of the groups will go on for longer.

It is disappointing in that it means we will not be able to stage the tournament in the future, and we recognise that will be the case.

It was a trade-off between trying to stage it or open up the qualification process and we have decided to look at something that helps everybody.”

More countries = more money for everyone = more money going to national FAs. Now if they could just use that money to invest in improving grassroots football instead of, you know, pissing it away like they always do.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.