Uefa plans for a footballing 'Davis Cup' dismay the FA

The football association reacted warily yesterday to proposals for a new competition between European nations. Uefa, meeting in Prague, presented three options for competitions to occupy fixture dates currently allocated to friendly matches.

The football association reacted warily yesterday to proposals for a new competition between European nations. Uefa, meeting in Prague, presented three options for competitions to occupy fixture dates currently allocated to friendly matches.

The impetus has come from the smaller and mid-ranking nations which struggle to find attractive opposition for friendlies. The suggestions are: a competition based on the Davis Cup in tennis; a similar tournament over three years; and a three-year knock-out cup finishing with a small tournament the summer before a European Championship. All three suggestions are likely to involve leading nations being seeded, thus committing them to play fewer fixtures.

Even so, the FA, acutely aware of resistance to an expansion of the international calender from Premiership clubs, were cautious.

Lars Christer Olsson, Uefa's director of professional football and marketing, told the conference: "We need to make friendlies more competitive without losing the advantage they have for coaches to be able to test and school new players outside the traditional qualification matches for the European Championship and the World Cup.

"Any new competition would be launched with the idea of making it easier for member associations to plan matches and for them to have a more secure financial footing than they do now.''

David Davies, the executive director of the FA, said: ''The problem is balancing the needs of the national team with those of the clubs. We have only played two friendlies all year to free up the players because of the needs of their clubs."

The FA prefers to play a few prestige matches against quality opposition, such as the forthcoming games against Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, rather than smaller, less demanding and attractive opponents.

The alternative view was expressed by Jim Boyce, the president of the Northern Ireland Football Association. He told the conference of presidents and general secretaries of Uefa's 51 member associations: ''It is getting harder and harder for smaller associations to play prestige friendlies against the bigger countries. So you end up playing a friendly against another small or middle-ranking team and the public are not interested. They do not want to watch these matches. I think this is a step most smaller associations would welcome. Once there is a competitive edge, the matches become more interesting."

The Uefa chief executive, Gerhard Aigner, said: "If you had a three-year competition then it could start in 2004 to produce a final in 2007, the year before the 2008 European Championship. But these are very initial ideas. There is still a lot of discussion to be done."

More research will be carried out over the next six months and another report will be presented at Uefa's next Congress in Stockholm in April next year.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas