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Nov 28, 2012

Platini plans Champions League changes

UEFA is considering expanding the Champions League to 64 teams and scrapping the Europa League, president Michel Platini has confirmed.

The changes would allow seven English club teams and five Scottish sides to enter at a preliminary qualifying stage and could come into effect in time for the 2015 competition.

"There is a debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018," Platini told French newspaper Ouest France.

"We are discussing it, we will make a decision in 2014. There is nothing decided yet."

The possibility of a breakaway European league, as mooted by Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, was dismissed by Platini who questioned the viability of such a competition.

"It's a question that is regularly brought up," he said. "I can't see how it could work outside the Uefa framework. Who will referee them? In what stadiums will they play?"

Rosell, who is chairman of European Club Association had previously said: "If UEFA and the ECA reach an agreement, we would like to increase the Champions League under the umbrella of UEFA. If not, the ECA is entitled to organise their own champions competition."

Platini also hinted at the introduction of video technology to aid officials' decisions, but underlined that it is by no means a foregone conclusion as of yet.

He added: "There is a complicated thing for which we might, and I say might, need video, it's offside. Because it is very difficult for the referees to rule on that."

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