Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Memo to Platini: don't change Euro 2012's winning format
This piece of mine appears over at The Week/The First Post.
Neil Clark: The next European Championships will expand from 16 to 24 teams. It will make for a more boring tournament
DEAR M. PLATINI - Like other football fans across Europe, and indeed the world, I've been enthralled by Euro 2012.
We've had some great games, lots of goals and some tremendous excitement. There have been shocks and surprises aplenty - with Russia, who started the tournament with a 4-1 demolition of the Czech Republic, being eliminated after a defeat by Greece, and Holland, one of the tournament favourites, failing to register even a single point.
The 2008 Euros was a fantastic tournament, too: we can all remember the incredible never-say-die exploits of Turkey, the attacking dynamism of a young and emerging Germany and the brilliance of the tournament winners Spain, but 2012 has surpassed even that - and to think the knockout stages haven't even begun yet.
This year's European Championships has been so very different from the boring and sterile 2010 World Cup, where there were many disappointing matches.
Yet my enjoyment of the tournament is tinged with sadness. I fear that due to changes that your organisation is making to the competition, we will never have such an exciting European Championships again.
You can read the whole of my Memo to Platini here.