Euro 2012: Expansion will boost Euros, says director

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INCREASING the European Championship to 24 teams won’t spoil the tournament or dilute its quality but it will allow more major football nations – including Scotland – to take part, Euro 2012 director Martin Kallen said yesterday.

After a group stage that went down to the wire in Poland and Ukraine, with joint favourites Spain and Germany only squeezing through in the closing stages, the worry is the expanded version in France in four years’ time will not be as closely contested.

Uefa president Michel Platini defended the decision to expand earlier this week and reporters pressed 2012 tournament director Kallen on the issue at a news conference yesterday. “At the moment we have the best teams here, but there are great teams who are not,” he said, listing Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovenia and Norway as examples. “The Scots are also not here – they bring a lot of emotions, a lot of atmosphere with them. We need to see how 2016 will be. For sure, this tournament will be more and more looked at because more nations can participate.”