Uefa Unveils Plan for a New International Tournament

A “League of Nations” is expected to get Uefa’s green light on Thursday as a third major tournament for European countries.

Games would kick-off in odd-numbered years on dates reserved for friendlies, starting after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The competition is expected to be in a 14-team top tier of four divisions with promotion and relegation, plus a ‘final four’ competition in the summer.

Uefa Secretary General Gianni Infantino Says 'Nations League' Proposal May Get the Go Ahead On Thursday.
Uefa Secretary General Gianni Infantino Says ‘Nations League’ Proposal May Get the Go Ahead On Thursday.

No exact detail has been given but the European football’s governing body’s ExCo has already backed the competition.

The 54 member association of Uefa will vote on the proposal at its annual congress in Kazakhstan.

Uefa General Secretary Gianni Infantino has confirmed an agreement to set up the new tournament should be reached on Thursday.

“What has triggered what is being called the Nations League is the international calendar and dates for friendly matches,” said Infantino.

“We have been looking at optimising the structure of the calendar without bringing in any more dates.”

England would likely be in the top division alongside countries like number one-rated Spain, Germany and Italy. Each division will therefore be divided into groups with the winners qualifying for a semi-final and final, played in neutral venues.

Winners of the division three and four could gain entry to the European championship.

There is also room for nations to play friendly against national sides from outside Europe during the Fifa-free dates proposed for the tournament and lower-ranked countries could arrange high-profile fixtures with bigger teams.