Wembley

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

UEFA approve Nations League

UEFA have approved the launch of a Nations League from 2018.

Last Updated: 27/03/14 at 12:35 Post Comment

UEFA: Will introduce new tournament after 2018

UEFA: Will introduce new tournament after 2018

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The new tournament will be played every second year after it received unanimous support from UEFA's 54 member associations in Kazakhstan.

Countries can win qualifying places for the 2020 European Championship if they perform well in the league, which will replace the majority of friendlies.

The exact format of the competition is yet to finalised, but is expected to feature 54 countries split into four divisions according to rankings, with promotion and relegation.

"We accept and respect that all UEFA member associations have agreed to create a new competition," said Wolfgang Niersbach, chairman of the National Teams Competition Committee.

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

The Football Association have welcomed the introduction of the tournament.

Alex Horne, General Secretary of the FA, told Sky Sports News: "It's a positive one. We've been working on this for perhaps 18 months now as a collective.

"I think what we have got in front of us with the Nations League is the prospect of some really exciting fixtures followed by the qualification games.

"For an England player, for manager Roy Hodgson, you want to be taking part in those big games."

Horne insists club managers should back the new competition and eased concerns about the increased workload of players.

"We're not taking any more dates so it's the same 18 dates, the nine double-headers that we agreed we would work to," he said.

"I think better quality games make for better quality development of players and the club managers ought to embrace it."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan backed Horne, saying: "This is great news, particularly for some of the smaller countries across UEFA.

"This will make better use of friendly dates, potentially create greater financial rewards and, more importantly for smaller countries, it's the opportunity for extra play-offs and qualification places for the European finals themsleves."

UEFA president Michel Platini announced the new competition at a press conference and said it would replace friendlies that "nobody wants".

The Frenchman said: "The friendlies don't really interest anybody - neither the fans nor the players nor the media and nor the national associations.

"This is a good decision because nobody wants these friendlies."

The timing of the Nations League could conflict with proposals to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter, however.

Platini added: "I think we will adapt ourselves - the World Cup is the priority. I don't know when it will take place in 2022 but we will organise this with respect to those dates."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

aha, as a German supporting United I can only agree with your great insight in German football! No idea why, but I HATE Eintracht Braunschweig and please don't ever place a bet on Leverkusen, they mess up my ticket every time!

utzelot
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

M

ichael Owen's BT Sport commentary. Michael Owen's Match of the Day punditry. Michael Owen's annual moustache. Michael Owen's unwavering belief that Michael Owen could still do a job for England if called upon in the next major tournament

stevenjameshyde
The Ten Most Hated Things In Football

L

VG with Rooney up top. The 3 in MF being Blind, Herrera and Mata. Young on LW and Di Maria or Januzaj on the RW. You know it makes sense.

GVMUFC
Big Tactical Calls For Manchester Pair

Footer 365

Mile Jedinak will serve ban after accepting FA charge

Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak will serve a suspension after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct.

John Terry will be with Chelsea next season as Jose Mourinho issues guarantee

Jose Mourinho has guaranteed that Chelsea captain John Terry will be with the club next season.

Dave Whelan steps down as Wigan chairman with immediate effect

Dave Whelan has decided to end his 20-year spell as chairman of Wigan with immediate effect.

Mail Box

LVG Stick Needs A Little Context...

LVG's rough ride from the media needs some context - then you would understand, while the Mailbox urges Nabil Bentaleb to go down...

Henderson The Best Midfielder In PL?

Jordan Henderson is named by two afternoon Mailboxers as the PL's best midfielder, while another suggests Man United are trying to emulate Barca...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company