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Germany

Beckenbauer Calls for Bigger Bundesliga

Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer has called for the Bundesliga to join other leading European football leagues by having 20 teams in the top division. The top leagues in Spain, England, Italy and France all have 20 teams and Beckenbauer, head of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee, believes Germany must follow suit. "Out of the five big European football nations four have leagues with 20 teams," Beckenbauer told Bild daily. "Germany has the most inhabitants but still has the luxury of the smallest league. The country deserves more football." The proposal by Beckenbauer would see two sides added to the 18-strong Bundesliga but not everyone is in favor of the idea. "We have enough problems fitting the games in as it is," declared Bayern manager Felix Magath. "The burden on the international players has reached a stage where it cannot carry on. It would be more harmful than productive."

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