UEFA considering Nations League for international friendlies

UEFA are considering a new ‘Nations League’ competition that would replace international friendlies for competitive matches between August and June, writes ESPN.

The proposition remains vague but there is a concrete proposal to introduce the concept, which could see the international sides divided into different leagues based on their seeding and then competing for promotion and relegation. The matches would be played throughout August and June, with the winners of the top division crowned as champions.

President of the Norwegian Football Association, Yngve Hallen, admitted the rumoured plans are being considered. “It is true that this series of games is one of the models being discussed,” he said.

Karl-Erik Nilsson, a member of the Swedish Football Association, added it is: “An exciting idea. It has been established that it is difficult to get interest around friendlies.

For 2020 it has been looked at whether it would be possible to combine traditional qualifiers with this league format, instead of friendlies, to increase interest. It is worth looking at but we were clear that it can’t have an impact on the qualifiers for the Euro tournaments. The qualifiers are No. 1 and have the highest priority.

The success of the Champions League has already inspired the Europa League. This is also something they are trying to look at in connection with the Nations League – how this can sharpen the market. That’s what this is largely about,” Hallen added.

The competition, which may feature a total of nine divisions, would include all member nations. Rather than suffering heavy defeats to the top sides, it is suggested that the likes of San Marino, Andorra and Liechtenstein would benefit more from regular meetings with teams on the same ability level.

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