This would be very interesting. It’s probably never going to happen but it’s fun to think about. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, is there?
Sunday England’s Independent published an exclusive report that UEFA is considering overhauling the format for the European Soccer Championships (aka the Euro) and would consider inviting Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and possibly Japan to participate in the 2020 event. It appears to stem from the growing riff between UEFA boss Michel Platini and FIFA head honcho Sepp Blatter over the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, among other issues.
UEFA would then take a page from the Copa America, inviting guest teams so that the Euro would end up rivaling the World Cup in importance:
The plans are still to be finalized, let alone approved, but one senior adviser to Platini said: “The ideas are at an early stage but they are very feasible. The South Americans have been doing it for decades, inviting teams from outside their continent to take part in the Copa America. So why cannot Europe?”
Again, this seems like something that sounds like pure speculation, although it’s fun to think about.
From an American perspective, it would be fairly awesome. Imagine, the U.S. playing Brazil in a tournament that counts in, say, the Stade de France. Tell me you wouldn’t want to watch that even if it wasn’t the World Cup.
Although the U.S. wasn’t mentioned as one of the possible teams UEFA would invite in the Independent’s report, it’s hard to see the Yanks being snubbed. This potential power play by Platini and UEFA is all about money. Inviting the U.S. to play and opening up the Euro to the American television audience is a no-brainer.
Last year’s Euro drew big rating on ESPN, despite most of the games being played in the middle of the day. Spain’s 4-0 win over Italy was watched by over four million on ABC. The novelty of the U.S. playing in this tournament would make those numbers skyrocket.
There is money to be made by UEFA by including the United States National Team in this plan … should it ever evolve further than the pipe dream stage. With all the unrest stemming from Qatar decision, perhaps this isn’t as crazy as it sounds.
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