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UEFA To Launch New ‘Nations League’ European Tournament In 2018, Set To Replace Most International Friendlies

By Chris Wright

France Soccer Euro 2016 Qualifying Draw

Quite what Ian Hislop has to do with any of this, we’re not sure…

In a bid to replace some of the slew of pointless international friendlies that currently clutter the footballing calendar with something a little more meaningful, UEFA have hatched a plan to launch a new “League of Nations” tournament for European international sides.

The tournament would act as a third major competition for European countries after the World Cup and European Championship, with UEFA expected to official green-light their proposal later today.

“League of Nations” games will be played in odd-numbered years on dates already reserved for international friendlies, with the whole shebang starting in earnest after the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup.

As BBC Sport note, there are no precise details available pertaining to the format of the tournament, though it’s thought that there will be “up to four divisions” complete with a promotion and relegation system, plus a ‘final four’ mini play-off tournament in the summer.

Great, something else for England to fail dismally at.

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By Chris on March 27th, 2014 in International football, Newsnow. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “UEFA To Launch New ‘Nations League’ European Tournament In 2018, Set To Replace Most International Friendlies”

  1. porcelain sandwich says:

    I really hope all the participating nations take it about as seriously as the Capital One Cup, otherwise there’s going to be a huge loss in the amount of young players that managers are willing to experiment with.

  2. gkiller14 says:

    The only issue I have with this is that, as an American, it will mean less and less opportunities for the USMNT to play top shelf European talent. The more we play with the big guys, the closer we get to becoming one of them. Of course, this could also force COMNEBOL and CONCACAFF to merge up for a version of this as well. Playing Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay on a fairly regular basis would also help things.

  3. fnarf doodle says:

    Isn’t this what international rankings are for?

  4. It’s all bullshit. I’ve never understood the point of the FIFA rankings — after all, FIFA already have a perfectly good method for determining which teams are better than others. It’s called “football.”

  5. BDWG says:

    Why is it starting in 2018 if it is supposed to be in odd-numbered years? Am I the only one who caught that?

    • Chris says:

      @BDWG: Sorry, should clarify – it’s the 2018/19 season so ‘league games’ will be in 2018 and the ‘final’ will be summer of 2019.

  6. AC says:

    @James C. Taylor… Isn’t it called “money”

  7. Jarren says:

    The promise of qualification for the European Championships is the only thing stopping this from being a glorified “League Of Friendlies”.

    That was quite clever of UEFA, although I don’t know if it means less teams qualify for the EC2020 through the standard qualification system.

    Anyone any insight on that?

  8. Jarren says:

    @gkiller14: That’s a good point, but as you mention you can still play friendlies against the likes of Brazil & Argentina. Not to mention the cream of African & Asian talent.

    The US is definitely a respected team throughout the world, and you’ll grow stronger regardless of whether you play European teams or not.

    Good luck for the World Cup, it’s a tough group for the States but not impossible.

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