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UEFA looking to bring in 'League of Nations' to replace international friendlies

 

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UEFA are expected to be given the go ahead for a new European national league which would be played between the World Cup and Euros tournaments.

The matches for the league would be played during the season when national teams would normally play international friendlies.

Whilst the governing body have confirmed it will only be brought in after The 2018 World Cup in Russia, no exact dates of the fixtures have been given. It is thought the 54 EUFA members would be divided into three or four leagues, based on their FIFA rankings and co-efficiency.

England would likely be in a top tier, with the other home nations, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in the bottom or third tier.

The leagues would then be divided into groups, with each group winner facing off in a semi-final and final, with group winners from lower divisions winning entry into the Euros.

The League would not neccesarily mean the end of international friendlies, with dates being reserved for lower teams to play top teams.

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

He said: "What has triggered what is being called the Nations League is the international calendar and the dates for friendly matches."

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

"There are teams everyone wants to play against and other teams who struggle to get the opponents they'd ideally like. For all national associations, the fact is that national team matches are key for their development."  

The Football Association is in favour of the plan, with chairman Greg Dyke saying earlier this month: "The hard thing is the detail but I think a Nations League where we played the top nations would be very attractive."

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