Germany Threaten to Withdraw from Euro 2016 After 'Arrogant' Michel Platini JibeFebruary 24, 2014
German football league CEO Christian Seifert has taken a swipe at Michel Platini by suggesting that Germany shouldn't bother participating in the Euro 2016 qualification process.
Platini—who responded to Joachim Loew's criticism of the decision to allow 24 teams qualification for the upcoming French tournament—was called "arrogant" by Seifert, as reported by Reuters via Yahoo! Sports:
I find it somewhat arrogant for a UEFA president, and maybe we should simply not play after all. Then we'd see what the European Championship is still worth. Twenty-four teams out of 54 will qualify, so you don't need to have such a long qualifying tournament.
While perhaps a tongue-in-cheek response to the UEFA leader, Seifert also suggested Germany aren't the only nation to be frustrated by a process that will see them play 10 qualifiers in the space of a year.
He said "a lot of leagues don't like what UEFA is doing," after Loew had previously claimed the governing body's new rules "reduces the sporting value" of the competition.
Platini claimed only Germany and England were the vocal minority, as reported by Dominic Fifield of The Guardian:
"Two or three associations—England, Germany, the big ones basically—weren't in favour, but of the 54, 51 actually supported the tournament," said Platini.
The new process allows the top two teams from each group to qualify automatically for the competition. Those who finish third go into a playoff round, ensuring some of the less fancied European nations get to appear on the big stage.
As noted in Bleacher Report's full roundup of the draw, this ensures elite sides like Germany have a number of easy games:
Whether Germany will learn anything from facing Gibraltar twice remains to be seen, but the country's concerns are more than justified. The European season is already jam-packed, especially for teams in the Champions League, so many players are going to struggle for motivation against a side that are yet to play a competitive fixture.
Seifert jokingly called the test against Gibraltar a "firecracker," as noted in Reuters' report. When you consider England face San Marino—a part-time team they beat 8-0 away from home recently—it seems the qualification schedule is bloated.
Although it is highly unlikely Germany would ever pull out of Euro 2016, Seifert's comments are evidence of unrest toward the Platini regime.