UEFA to introduce "League of Nations" competition

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Falastur

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Not sure how many of you follow UEFA football, but for anyone who takes an interest, UEFA has today announced that it's going to introduce a new league-based competition for its international teams, to take place every two years between the World Cup and the European Championships. Details seem sketchy at the moment, but the idea seems to be that the 54 member associations will be put into 4 divisions based on their ranking, with promotion and relegation between the divisions, and instead of international friendlies, countries will now play league matches against each other. This of course means that the international calendar is now going to be dominated by high-profile games, since the top 14 countries in Europe will only be playing each other and not so much playing prestige friendlies against random teams from around the world. It also means that the San Marinos and Andorras of Europe will get a chance to play other teams of their level, which virtually never happens at present.

I'm not usually a fan of...pretty much anything which comes out of UEFA, but this idea seems intriguing.

More details here if you want them:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26747394
 

Orange

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This should be interesting to see how it plays out. It sounds like a pretty cool idea, especially to be seen as preparing for each World Cup by getting more time together. I like the idea and hope it works out!
 

MikeDatTiger

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That sounds like a great idea for Europe. A lot of more attractive matches. As a USMNT fan though, I wonder if this will effectively close Europe out for USMNT matches as USMNT will still need opponents for friendlies. If so, that's a real shame as the trips to Europe were always good tests for the USMNT, though I guess we may have to see more USMNT v. Brazil and Argentina type matches.
 

Falastur

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It won't entirely close it out. UEFA have said they're retaining some dates as open friendly dates, just not nearly so many.

They've also announced that a play-off system between the best teams in the four divisions will replace the second/third place play-offs system for Euro/WC qualification, whereby runners-up in the group stages traditionally play against each other for the last four spots in each tournament. (i.e. "that one where Thierry Henry's handball knocked Ireland out")
 
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Falastur

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There will still be an - entirely separate - qualifying tournament for the two big cup competitions. The LoN will simply help decide the final entries.
 

NYCFCFan10

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I think England needs to ditch the League Cup then.

Its all getting to be way too much.
 

Falastur

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I think England needs to ditch the League Cup then.

Its all getting to be way too much.
Not sure why you think that. This tournament is all about the international teams. It's not adding any extra games to the calendar and it's not taking any away. It's just designed to provide more competitive football for the international squads and to make more money for UEFA.
 
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NYCFCFan10

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Not sure why you think that. This tournament is all about the international teams. It's not adding any extra games to the calendar and it's not taking any away. It's just designed to provide more competitive football for the international squads and to make more money for UEFA.
There's a difference between a friendly and an actual competitive game with something on the line though....

Plus, everything runs into each other and its all getting too clumsy. Reducing the crap would allow for the things that people care most for to better shine.

What's the point of the League cup when you have the FA cup anyway? It's totally redundant.
 

Falastur

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What's the point of the Euros/Gold Cup etc when you have the World Cup? It's a competition designed to provide extra interest and revenue to the teams lower down the league structure, and it does that. It's existed for something like 50 years now, it's not like it's a flash-in-the-pan idea which failed to take off. I doubt that most European teams will try that much harder for this competition anyway. It's never going to be treated with the same respect as the WC/Euros, so players will rapidly come to just treat it like yet another friendly.
 
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adam

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The inaugural "season" wraps up this week, with the first semifinal between Portugal and Switzerland tomorrow and the second semifinal between England and The Netherlands on Thursday.

The final is on Sunday.

Looks like everything will be televised on one of the ESPNs.
 
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Keith Putnam

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The semis have happened!

Portugal beat Switzerland 3-1 via a Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick. Yawn.

England lost 3-1 (with that 1 being a penalty). England's go-ahead goal in regular time was ruled out by VAR for offside, and it looked like the offside was by literally a toe's-length. NED pulled ahead six minutes into extra time due to a terrible defensive error by John Stones, and sealed it in the 114' due to yet another awful defensive error.

So the final is set for Sunday, Portugal v Netherlands.