Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v Scotland

Saturday, 13 June 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group D

Last Game

Scotland 6 - 1 Gibraltar

Sunday, 29 March 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group D

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

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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

aybe Hull charged the Liverpool fans more because their massive sense of entitlement takes up more room? Badum tish.

sailingmagpie
Everton team subsidise awayday

T

he John Carver Experiment sounds like the worst jazz fusion band of all time. Which is saying something.

sailingmagpie
The John Carver Experiment: The Next Episode

T

ime to play Liverpool players in their natural positions? I agree, but surely the subs' bench isn't big enough for all of them?

balls-to-monty
The John Carver Experiment: The Next Episode

Footer 365

Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace: Eden Hazard the hero as Blues secure Premier League title with nervy win

Chelsea secured their first Premier League title in five years after a nervy 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Four-time winner Drogba delighted as Chelsea secure title

Legendary Chelsea striker Didier Drogba celebrated his fourth title triumph after Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 1-0.

John Terry revels in Chelsea title win at Stamford Bridge

John Terry said winning his fourth Premier League title at Stamford Bridge was “what he lived for”.

Mail Box

Shouldn't We Give Players Time?

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bathwater every single summer? We also have a Man United fan who wants massive investment. And more...

Liverpool: No Greater Than Aston Villa

It's fair to say that Raúl H. Garcia from the morning mailbox has got something of a kicking on Thursday afternoon. Oh and the Neviller is wrong for once...

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