Previous
CFR Cluj-Napoca
Slavia Prague
12:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
LASK Linz
Club Brugge
12:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
Apoel Nicosia
Ajax Amsterdam
12:00 PM UTC
Leg 1
Game Details
Next

Low's new Germany comes at a price

Germany
Read

UEFA has no fear of collusion in final Euro 2016 group games

UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti does not fear teams colluding to produce favourable results in the final round of Euro 2016 group games.

Concerns over matches where a certain result suits both teams are prevalent at most tournaments, but there could be an extra risk with the new 24-team format at this year's European Championship.

Teams playing on Wednesday will be able to work out how finishing first, second or third in a group will decide their opponents in the round of 16.

However, Marchetti said on Monday that there is "little room for speculation" at Euro 2016.

"We think we are pretty safe because there is a need by many teams to win," Marchetti said. "I am not overly worried."

UEFA expanded its marquee national team event from 16 sides to a 24-team format, where only four of the six third-place teams advance, alongside group winners and runners-up, to complete the final 16.

A five-step tiebreaker process ranks the third-place teams -- including Albania, who have finished their Group A campaign and must wait until at least after the early-evening games on Tuesday before knowing their fate.

The term "biscotto" -- the Italian word for cookie or biscuit -- got wider understanding after Euro 2004 when a 2-2 draw for Denmark and Sweden meant both teams advanced and eliminated Italy.

"I have heard about 'biscotto' since I was born," said Marchetti, who is Italian. "It is not the fault of the 24-team format."

Amid speculation that a bigger Euro 2016 would reduce the quality and drama of games, Marchetti said the tournament was a "positive surprise" so far.

There are 24 teams competing in this year's European Championship.

"All the groups are open, but some of them are really open to any solution," he said. "For us it is an extremely positive note and we're very happy."

Fewer goals have been scored, with only 47 after the first 24 games, compared to 60 goals at the same stage of Euro 2012, and 57 goals four years earlier.

"It is a significant decrease in goals but there are some other interesting things, too," Marchetti said, noting games were tighter and being decided by late goals.

"In seven matches the result has changed in the last 10 minutes. If more goals means more matches ending in 4-0, 4-1 ... I don't know what people like the most."

Marchetti said UEFA had not discussed making the tournament bigger to a natural bracket of 32 teams from its 55 member federations.

"There has been no talk so far to expand to 32 teams," he said, noting that the 15-month qualifying campaign had to be kept interesting. "The bread and butter of national teams is qualifiers."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.