Fans will love 'Week of Football', says Platini
By Football News
Michel Platini has defended UEFA's decision to alter the format for the 2016 European Championship qualifiers.
Under the plans, qualifying matches for the tournament to be held in France will take place on any day within a six-day window - the so-called 'Week of Football'.
Traditionally, international matches were held on Saturdays and Wednesdays, until a recent shift to Fridays and Tuesdays, but the governing body's president believes the new measures will prove a hit with fans.
"The Week of Football is a new and exciting proposition for our fans," Platini said. "We have spread out our qualifying games across six days from Thursday to Tuesday.
"This means fans of European football around the world can watch more action than ever before. They will love it.
"The proposal of a week of football was approved by UEFA in 2011 and we decided right away that we wanted to increase the exposure of national team football.
"In the past there were 20 or 30 national qualifying games on Fridays and Tuesdays, so it was very difficult for our fans to follow them all.
"They had to pick between watching Germany, Italy, England, Spain or France - now, by spreading the games across six days, we are increasing the visibility of the national team which will be great."
The 2016 finals will also see an expansion from 16 teams to 24.