The draw for the Euro 2016 qualifiers has not gone down without any hiccups.
The German Football Federation are threatening to pull out of the tournament after getting into a war of words with UEFA President Michel Platini.
Germany are incensed over comments Platini made in regard to a statement from Germany’s coach Joachim Löw on the new format of the competition.
On Friday Löw criticised the new 24-team final tournament for the European Championship, as well as taking a shot at newly included Gibraltar, who were drawn in the same group as the Nationelf alongside Georgia, Scotland, Poland and Ireland. Löw said:
I think increasing the number of teams in the European Championship is questionable and the same goes for the qualifying tournament. It reduces the sporting value of not only individual matches but also of the entire tournament.
When Platini was asked for his thoughts on Löw’s comment on Saturday, the Frenchman quipped “If they don’t like it they don’t have to take part. But this is very important for the international game.”
Now there has been a fresh backlash.
German Football League CEO Christian Seifert has personally stepped into the spotlight to take aim at Michel Platini, having gone on German TV to make the following statements:
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. A lot of leagues don’t like what UEFA is doing. The clubs are the employers, they pay the players and UEFA is not on the right path when they don’t look at the interests of the national leagues.
Seifert also sarcastically called the upcoming matches with Gibraltar a “firecracker”.
A similar criticism of England’s Euro 2016 qualifying group from BT Sport can be watched below.