- League will replace most international friendlies on calendar
LONDON: UEFA says it has initiated talks with FIFA and other regional confederations about expanding its new Nations League into a global competition.
The Nations League starts next September and will replace most international friendlies on FIFA’s calendar which involve European teams. UEFA and FIFA told BBC Sport they are having constructive discussions about the league’s development.
But UEFA says no decisions have been made. “These discussions involve our national associations, European football stakeholders, all confederations and of course FIFA, with whom we have a very good relationship,” UEFA said in a statement.
“We have included them in discussions on this topic since the start.” The Nations League, which involves all 55 UEFA nations, will provide four qualifying spots for Euro 2020 and will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Germany’s Bild and the Associated Press (AP) stated the new global tournament would take place during odd-numbered years and would be an expansion of the new Nations League. Recent reports stated FIFA had its own idea for a new global competition.
“FIFA has been involved from the start of the process,” the world governing body added. “Thanks to the co-operative atmosphere, FIFA will continue to have constructive discussions about the next steps together with UEFA and the other confederations.”
According to a report, the global expansion would see teams divided into seven divisions according to their FIFA ranking. Each confederation would run its own qualifying groups with promotion and relegation every two years. Group winners would advance to eight-team intercontinental tournaments played in June.
Last month, the BBC reported that FIFA was considering introducing longer but fewer international breaks during the domestic season.