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The Dowie

UEFA considering international leagues

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They truly are mentalists for even considering such a nonsense:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/oct/10/uefa-internationals-nations-league-friendlies

Uefa is considering a radical overhaul of international football that would see national teams playing a new Nations League competition.

The idea, floated at executive committee meetings that preceded aUefa meeting in Dubrovnik last month, would see Uefa using existing dates for friendlies in the international calendar to launch a new league involving all 54 member nations.

Uefa sources have told the Guardian that the idea was one of several floated at the meeting as part of a discussion about how to improve the attractiveness of international football from 2018 onwards. The Uefa executive committee will now examine the idea in more detail before deciding whether to adopt it.

The new concept, first revealed by Norwegian paper Dagbladet, would see all Uefa's members divided into a series of perhaps nine divisions based on their recent results, with promotion and relegation following each round of matches.

The winner of the first division would be Uefa's Nations League champion and win a substantial prize, with the bottom team in each division being relegated in favour of the winner of the tier below.

The Norwegian FA president, Yngve Hallen, who sits on UEFA's national committee for international tournaments, said: "It is true that a series of games is one of the models being discussed."

The discussions are taking place against a backdrop of concern that the qualifying campaigns for the expanded European Championships from 2016 will prove less attractive because there will be less jeopardy.

In conjunction with other Uefa innovations due to be introduced from 2014 onwards, including its "week of football" in which qualifiers will take place across six days to maximise viewers, the drive from its HQ in Nyon is to boost the profile of the international game.

Uefa has recently taken central control of TV rights for the competitive qualifying matches of all its member nations, promising large underwritten guarantees to the biggest countries. That has increased the pressure on Uefa to bring in funding from TV and commercial partners in order to meet them.

If the Uefa Nations League idea is explored further, then the European governing body would be likely to look to centralise the TV and marketing rights in the same way as it has for the Champions League.

"The success of the Champions League has already inspired the Europa League. This is also something they are trying to look at in connection with the Nations League - how this can sharpen the market. That's what this is largely about," said Hallen.

"But there have been very clear political guidelines from all 54 federations that the focus needs to be on the football/competitive aspect. All countries should have equal opportunities," he added.

"No-one should have to qualify for this tournament - everyone plays from the first game. And then there is also a recognition that tournament form should be easy to understand for most people. All this we need to work out."

The Swedish FA representative Karl-Erik Nilsson told Aftonbladet that "it has been established that it is difficult to get interest around friendlies".

"For 2020 it has been looked at whether it would be possible to combine traditional qualifiers with with this league format, instead of friendlies, to increase interest," he said.

"It is worth looking at but we were clear that it can't have an impact on the qualifiers for the Euro tournaments. The qualifiers are No1 and have the highest priority. There won't be more international games because of this."

He said the initial reaction among the 54 members was that "creating more interest is not something negative".

Nilsson added: "All 54 members were in Croatia and the idea was presented from a perspective of: is this worth looking at? And the overall feeling was: 'let's look at it but don't let it have an impact on the qualifiers'."

He said that one idea included in the presentation was to divide the groups so that clubs next to one another in the Fifa rankings were grouped together, while another version envisaged a geographical structure.

The FA and the other big European associations may be among the most difficult to convince of the merits of the plan, because they would have to give up the possibility of lucrative friendlies against big South American sides.

How the groups might look

First division Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, England, Portugal

Second division Russia, Greece, Croatia, Sweden, France, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Third division Ukraine, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic

Fourth division Republic of Ireland, Serbia, Norway, Slovakia, Turkey, Israel

Fifth division Slovenia, Austria, Romania, Montenegro, Poland, Finland

Sixth division Scotland, Armenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus

Seventh division Wales, Northern Ireland, Albania, Iceland, Lithuania, Macedonia

Eighth division Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Kazakhstan

Ninth division Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar

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We'd lose our glamour friendlies if this happened.

 

Which is kinda the point, I guess. UEFA sees a steady stream of all the big teams playing each other and the eyes spin like a slot machine to the pound signs

 

Except it will get zero backing. The minnows will say no because they'll be constantly stuck playing each other even worse than now. The medium-ranking nations (I'm generously including us in that) exactly due to GPJim's point. And the big boys will say no for both commercial and practical reasons - commercial because it reduces their ability for money-spinning games against Brazil, Argentina, China, Japan etc., and practical in that if they are locked in to a virtually exclusive diet of European oppo, the chances to prepare for non-European challenges presented by a World Cup are significantly reduced. So it won't fly.

 

Ironic that this is yet more monsense arising out of the most bone-headed, pig-ignorant decision a footballing body has ever made, the move to ruin the Euros by expanding it to 24 teams...

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I'm probably in the minority as this is something I've thought might be a good idea for a while. Only one up & down is a bit limiting as you'd end up aging the same four teams every year. Groups of six with two up & two down for me.

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I'm probably in the minority as this is something I've thought might be a good idea for a while. Only one up & down is a bit limiting as you'd end up aging the same four teams every year. Groups of six with two up & two down for me.

 

Anything is better than friendlies so I would be for it.

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It seems like an idea in theory, reality is somewhat different.

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I'm probably in the minority as this is something I've thought might be a good idea for a while. Only one up & down is a bit limiting as you'd end up aging the same four teams every year. Groups of six with two up & two down for me.

Anything is better than friendlies so I would be for it.

 

I'm with you lads. I've definitely heard worse ideas than this.

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7th Division! That certainly puts things into perspective. Not too confident we'd be pushing for promotion either.

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7th Division! That certainly puts things into perspective. Not too confident we'd be pushing for promotion either.

 

But it won't be called that!

 

1st division will the Nations Premier League,

then you will have the Championship League,

then the Nearly Championship League,

followed by the So Close to the Nearly Championship League

and then League 1

and League 2

and then us in League 3 or The League that is closest to League 2! - simples! :crying:

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Well if they did it so it was 2 up 2 down it would be a bit more interesting. Otherwise we'd just be playing the same teams all the time.

 

But, then we wouldn't get any more of the 'big boys' Unless we do well and they go to sh*t?

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But, then we wouldn't get any more of the 'big boys' Unless we do well and they go to sh*t?

 

Bloody students! :tongue2:

 

You still get the big boys in the qualifiers. This is just to replace friendlies.

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Bloody students! :tongue2:

 

You still get the big boys in the qualifiers. This is just to replace friendlies.

 

Ohh right, just skimmed it. Pretty decent idea if it went 2 up 2 down then!

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I don't think it's that bad of an idea. At least our friendly matches would mean something. It's not as if we ever play "glamor friendlys" anyway!

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Guest nicormp

I like the idea of playing teams of similar ranking, however I would like to see it on a world level rather than just a Uefa one . Take the rankings directly after a world cup final then create mini leagues of 8 teams to play each other on a home and away basis.

 

14 games on top of WC and Euro qualifiers is about 34 games over a 4 year period plus any finals appearances which is roughly what it is now.

 

Based on current ranking prior to tonight our league would consist of, Uganda, UAE, Gabon, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Northern Ireland, Dominican Republic and Estonia. There are a few wee spots among that lot that could do with a wee visit from the GAWA.

 

If we had taken the rankings following the end of WC10, our friendlies up until WC14 would have been: Bosnia, Ecuador, Austria, Benin, Hungary, Cyprus, Iran.

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