Lampard joins calls to abandon Champions League reforms

LONDON (AFP) – Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (pic below) believes the Champions League format should not be changed if the quality of the competition is to be maintained.

Proposals that could have seen promotion and relegation from the Champions League and the group stage of the 32-team competition extended to guarantee more games for those involved have been scrapped due to a lack of support from clubs across the continent.

Lampard, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2011/12, thinks putting extra demands on players will water down the quality of the tournament.

“If you ask me can you play more European games, I personally don’t know where you fit them in amongst our busy schedule,” said the former England international.

“I would find it hard with the players to keep the quality level and the freshness within them.

In response to the rejection of promotion and relegation, where most Champions League clubs would no longer have to qualify each year via their domestic leagues, Director of Competitions for UEFA Giorgio Marchetti said the Champions League must remain an “open competition”.