Podolski slates new format
Germany forward Lukas Podolski has criticised the new 24-team format for the European Championship, labeling it 'stupid' as it created a great deal of confusion among the players.
European soccer's governing body UEFA have added eight places to the finals tournament since it was last hosted in 2012, when only the top-two sides from the four groups advanced straight into the quarter-finals.
The expansion means four of the best third-placed teams joined the top-two from each of the six groups in the Round of 16 and Podolski believes sides have been forced to wait too long to discover who their opponents were in the knockouts stages.
"The group stage was a little bit strange, because UEFA did some stupid things with the system. It's not about the smaller teams, it's about the decisions. Some teams waited three days in the camp for a decision," Podolski told reporters in France.