Platini blasts Champions League

UEFA President Michel Platini says the Champions League has ”killed off, destroyed” other European competitions.

Platini tells German daily Bild that Europe’s second club competition, the Europa League, has been damaged by the dominance of the Champions League.

"Lots of false information has been written. We have put only a few considerations under the microscope. At the moment, it is the will of almost everyone [at UEFA] not to change anything," Platini told Bild.

"UEFA is extremely democratic. If we fail to reach an agreement, nothing is changed. The major associations such as Germany and Spain are no more powerful than Armenia or Georgia. All 53 organizations have the same rights.

"The Europa League is the trophy that belongs to the hearts of clubs all over Europe as anyone can win it.

"Other [European] competitions have been killed – destroyed even – by the tremendous attention given to the Champions League, but we want the Europa League to rise again."

Platini also defends his support for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, suggesting it is held in winter to avoid summer temperatures and that neighboring states also host the tournament.

Platini says he has not yet decided whether to run for the FIFA presidency in 2015.

"I must first think about that. It depends on whether I have the appetite for it. I still need a few more months to make a decision," he added.

"[Blatter and I] share a good relationship, but we cannot always agree on certain things. Maybe in five percent of all that is debated do we have differing opinions.

"I voted for Qatar and I would do so again. I made the decision for personal reasons, just as I voted for Russia 2018. I was the only one who had openly stated previously that both countries have never held a World Cup.

"I demand two conditions for Qatar: Firstly, the World Cup must be played in the winter, because of the climate. You can hardly play football in 40 degree heat and the fans would find it hard to bear.

"Secondly, the neighboring emirates need to be involved so that the World Cup is taking place throughout the region.

"On the day that I would sell my vote, it would be very, very expensive [to buy] – I joke!"