Originally Posted by Uppercut
Quite a lot in Algeria and Slovenia, I'd imagine. But even from an Anglo-centric perspective, I don't see how that match taking place harmed the tournament. If it doesn't interest you, you can watch exactly as many games as you did under the 16 team format and experience no "dilution" of quality at all.
Yes, but quite a lot of people in Algeria and Slovenia are not likely to be neutrals are they? In truth, I think you'd be hard pressed to make an argument that there were many non-Algerian/Slovenian people in the world who were particularly interest in the match.
It may not harm you per se, if you avoid such matches, and yes, these teams would probably go out anyway. But bulking up a tournament to include teams that are too poor to qualify ordinarily serves to benefit other than those raking in the money and the supporters of these nations. These tournaments are meant to provide a showcase for the World's/Europe's most elite talents, adding in a load of dross would cheapen rather than enhance the experience. I would rather see good football rather than more football.