Nations League: Uefa approve new 'third' tournament to replace most international friendlies from 2018

Format received unanimous support from Uefa's 54 members and will also see the introduction of promotion and relegation in international football

Uefa has approved the new Nations League tournament which will replace most international friendlies from 2018, the governing body has announced.

The new tournament, which will feature promotion and relegation and will allow an extra chance to qualify for European Championships, received unanimous support from UEFA's 54 member associations.

"We accept and respect that all UEFA member associations have agreed to create a new competition," said Wolfgang Niersbach, chairman of UEFA's national teams competition committee.

"This is a big step for national teams in Europe and we hope that fans will support the new format."

UEFA said the key driver behind the Nations League is "sporting integrity", saying there is an increasing feeling in the game that international friendlies do not provide adequate competition.

The governing body also believes the new tournament will help improve the quality and standing of international football, as it will allow all nations to play competitively at their level.

UEFA explained in a statement: "The Nations League and the Euro qualifiers will be linked, with the new competition allowing an extra chance to qualify for Euro final tournaments.

"The competition and proposed amended qualifying formats for the European qualifiers, starting with Euro 2020, came after a thorough consultation process with UEFA's member associations, which began in 2011."

The exact format of the Nations League has yet to be finalised and will be the subject of further discussions between the associations, but the concept is for the 54 national teams to be divided into four large divisions according to coefficient rankings.

The statement continued: "Prior to Euro 2020, each division will be sub-divided into four pools of three or four teams, so each team plays four to six matches between September and November 2018.

"The final four competition, involving the four pool group-winners of group A, will start in 2019, whereas play-offs for the Euros will then take place in March 2020.

"National teams will thus either be competing to become Nations League champions, or be fighting for promotion and to avoid relegation in their groups, as well as to qualify for Euro play-offs."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee