Michel Platini answers fans' questions
Monday, March 16, 2015
UEFA President Michel Platini answers questions sent in by fans, players and coaches, including the future of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA European Championship.
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They asked, he answered. UEFA President Michel Platini faced a multitude of video questions sent in by fans, players and coaches from around the world in an interview recorded at the House of European Football in Nyon and which appears today on UEFA's official YouTube channel.
The past, present and future of the UEFA Champions League were among the major topics discussed by Mr Platini just a few days before he seeks a third mandate as UEFA President at the XXXIX Ordinary UEFA Congress in Vienna.
Responding to a question from one fan about reducing the number of teams in the UEFA Champions League, Mr. Platini said: "If you reduce the number of teams, it means that you never develop many countries to play football. If you don't bring in some small clubs to play in the Champions League, they will never receive the money from the Champions League. With this money, we can develop many leagues, everywhere in Europe. That's the job of the President of UEFA: to develop football in Europe."
Real Madrid CF and Spain goalkeeping legend Iker Casillas wanted to know if the UEFA President is happy with the new format of the UEFA European Championship.
"I'm very happy about the increase in the number of teams in the EURO, but it wasn't an easy decision to take in 2010," Mr Platini said. "At that moment, it was very important to know if the quality of the football would be the same with 24 teams.
"But, after [major] reflection, after EURO 2008, we saw that we can have 24 good teams in the EURO. It's also an advantage for the cities that host the EURO, because they can stage more than three games, and don't forget it's big progress for the development of football in Europe."
Among the other questions that Mr Platini received was one from FC Shakhtar Donetsk defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy, who wanted to hear the UEFA President's thoughts on how football could look in five years. "We have changed some rules to improve the game," Mr Platini replied. "Now we have to face some problems: the behaviour of the players and the behaviour of the fans.
"I think many people don't like how [the players] go to talk to the referees, or they simulate.
"Sometimes their behaviour is not good, and many people don't like football because of that. And the behaviour of the fans needs to be looked at. We all have to be more tolerant. We have to work [against] discrimination, we have to work against racism, we have to work against violence in the world."
During the interview, Mr. Platini was also asked about financial fair play, third-party ownership, the FIFA presidential election and women's football, among other topics.
Watch the full video above.