COMMENT: Platini is to blame for group of dearth

I’d back a competent Championship team to do that, because there will be so many shockingly inadequate countries in France.

The implosion of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of several Balkan states created a plethora of new, small nations.

Those events have a greater significance than their impact on football, of course, but they have certainly led to the Euros being diluted beyond parody.

Platini could have had a separate tournament for the minnows, with qualification for the main event as the prize.

Instead, he chased votes and welcomed everyone into the qualifying groups and enlarged the finals to an ungainly 24 teams.

The big guys with lucrative TV markets were seeded for the qualifiers – except for France, who qualify automatically as hosts.

Platini really will be a worthy successor to Sepp Blatter as FIFA president when the time comes.

At the Brazil World Cup, my wife and I, who paid our own way to follow England, stood with the other travelling fans to applaud Hodgson and his team at the end of their final game – the draw with Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte.