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Arsenal's Wenger calls for changes to be made for Euro2016 qualification

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels it is vital that the qualification process for the 2016 European Championships needs to change to keep fans interested.

The route to Euro2012 has taken 14 months with the final qualifiers to be played over this weekend and the Frenchman believes there is too much 'disinterest' to sustain a similar qualification process next time around.

"I would say that yes we need a major overhaul," he told the Official Arsenal Magazine.

"I would propose that we had the smaller teams playing against each other in qualification, with the best ones going through to the European Championships, and that the bigger teams then have the opportunity to be qualified directly.

"The lack of quality in some games has been wiped out by the national pride of people supporting their countries. But in the longer term, that doesn't work.

"People want quality, and we saw some games in the last round of internationals - Bulgaria v Wales for example - there were just 1,000 people there.

"That makes a mockery of international football. So we have to look at that quickly, because it creates a new problem.

"I think it will get worse and worse because we are facing an economic crisis too. That will have direct consequences for the attendances.

"It's more and more difficult to sell out games - even in a big country like France. Not one home game there was a sell out - not one. That shows you that there's something happening that is a deeper problem."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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