Mourinho endorsed the plans, but only if the change does not increase the demands on players, with more matches and less rest.
“I’m totally in favour,” said Mourinho. “As a club manager, if the expansion meant more games, less holidays and less pre-season for players, I would say no.
“But it’s important for critics to analyse and understand that expansion doesn’t mean more matches.
“Players are protected and clubs are protected in this way. I prefer groups of three. Two matches and then through to the knock-out stages or go home.
“This way, the two group matches are crucial, then the knock-out stage is next which brings even more emotion. “Teams with less potential and experience will probably play two matches and go home.
“But they would do so having improved and gained experience on the pitch, which would be added to the economic rewards of appearing at the finals – including further investment in their footballing infrastructure.