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Oct 13 13 11:51 AM

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Of course these are just currently ideas at best (could just be rumours), but UEFA are said to have been throwing around a number of proposals recently for international football.

First of all, they have the idea of a 'UEFA Nations League' to replace most international friendlies by using those times to arrange matches between teams in 'divisions' with promotion and relegation after each edition (apparently 9 Divisions with 6 nations each), complete with centralised TV distribution, etc..
http://www.goal.com/en-ke/news/4631/soccerex/2013/10/11/4325834/uefa-considering-nations-league-competition-report

Going further up the insanity scale, there have been reports of turning the UEFA European Championships into a 'World Cup alternative', using some sort of structure that would see part qualification and part Copa America-style 'guest teams'. A terrible suggestion (except from a financial point of view), that UEFA later denied.
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/exclusive-uefa-plot-to-turn-the-euros-into-alternative-world-cup-8861335.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24423918
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#1 [url]

Oct 13 13 3:48 PM

I rather see a 'UEFA Nations League' as qualifying for European Championships and Worldchampionships tournament, but with another piramid system.

Three Disions:
#1-16 Division 1, divided into 4 groups of 4.
#17-32 Division 2, divided into 4 groups of 4.
#33-54 Division 3, dived into 5 or 6 groups.

If WC format will be the same as in 1934 and 1938 (16 teams, knock out system) this tournament can be held in 14-15 days. Every 2 years (2014, 2016 etc).
For ENC 8 teams, knock out system, tournament can be held in 8-9 days. Every 2 years (2015, 2017 etc).

More chances to win both tournaments, season will be shortened with at least 2 weeks.

The way UEFA (probably) want to create a 'UEFA Nations League' will give European countries less opportunities to play against non-European teams. Sometimes team managers want to test their team against such sides. And how about the friendlies playing in the last weeks before final tournaments?

After all, not the best idea.

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#2 [url]

Oct 13 13 10:32 PM

In polish press there was an article about UEFA Nations League:
http://sport.wp.pl/kat,1726,title,UEFA-ma-pomysl-na-nowe-rozgrywki,wid,16046766,wiadomosc.html

In which UEFA propose divide Europe into 5 divisions.
Gr. A - 8 teams
Gr. B - 8 teams
Gr. C - 16 teams
Gr. D - 16 teams
Gr. E - last 6 teams

I can imagine in:
A and B - 2 groups for 4 teams. They play 3 group matches, then semifinals (1-4, 5-8) and placement matches for 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th positions.
C and D - 4 groups for 4 teams. They play 3 group matches, then semifinals (1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16) and placement matches for 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th positions.
E - league format with 5 teams - every team play 5 matches against each other.

Every team in every division could play 5 matches per edition.

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#3 [url]

Oct 14 13 9:42 PM

I had a similar idea a few years ago - basically the same as the Champions League, but for countries and run over two years.

Most people think it would be more interesting if the big teams played each other more often, but the seeding in any qualifying system gives the opposite.
Whereas in South America it is much more exciting.

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#5 [url]

Oct 15 13 6:55 AM

This is not going to work unless as a replacement for the Euro. There are just no dates to fit an additional tournament into and top players are not going to risk an injury in a semi-official competition if they are set to play 60+ matches per season anyway.

I can't understand why UEFA cannot divide teams into 2 or 3 tiers and force the lower tier to play preliminary qualifications for the Euro. It's done in other sports, it's even done by UEFA in women and junior football, so where's the problem? Is that because of the egalitarian principle that requires San Marino to be able to play a top nation once in a while? Such matches serve no purpose for either the big fish or the minnows, except possibly as an opportunity to set some goalscoring records.

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#6 [url]

Oct 15 13 11:20 AM

I do not want preliminary rounds; let us keep the system that works perfectly....In CONCACAF, OFC en Africa some teams only play a few matches with interest every four years....That is not good for their development...In UEFA every team plays a number of matches and that keeps the interest going for the national teams....

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#7 [url]

Oct 15 13 6:26 PM

What development has San Marino achieved after being consistently beaten in every qualifier since the nineteen nineties? Going from scoring a goal every 40 matches to a goal every 20 matches (not exact figures, I know)?

Unlike in other conferederations where minnows could potentially lessen the gap between them and the regional powers, teams like San Marino, Andorra and (likely) Gibraltar are never going to be on par with Luxembourg or Malta, not to mention any country where football is professional. They are just too small to afford anything but carefree after-work ball kicking.

If San Marino tried to enter a team in basketball or volleyball European qualifiers, they would be politely told not to bother, so why the insistence in case of football?

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TheRoonBa

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#8 [url]

Oct 15 13 6:46 PM

San Marino does have a team in basketball and volleyball European qualifiers - although they have to qualify through a preliminary group (with teams like Malta, Cyprus, Scotland, Luxembourg).

It's a difficult thing to decide. We could have preliminary rounds - but then San Marino would be inactive for a very long time if (as is likely) they were to be knocked out. At least now the fans in San Marino get the opportunity to see very good national teams. Not sure it is a positive thing to take that away. They are just as deserving of a place in the tournament, as they are equal in status (a nation and FIFA member) to the other 'bigger' teams.

Perhaps a "UEFA Challenge Cup" (like the AFC Challenge Cup) would be a nice idea?

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TheRoonBa

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#10 [url]

Oct 16 13 3:32 PM

The problem is that some teams would not be able to qualify in that particular cycle. At the start of a qualification campaign, all FIFA/UEFA members should be able to qualify (even though in reality, some of them never will).  However, AFC seems to believe in this route, as most of the Challenge Cup teams do not get to enter qualification for the Asian Cup.

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#11 [url]

Oct 16 13 5:42 PM

What about Iceland or Latvija.... Now they have a (little ) chance ....I repeat: the European system is the best solution in a sportive point of vue; not every principle must be sacrified for the financial benefits of the big  teams or federations... And the public is more interested in a match for qualifiyng (even against minnows) then in a friendly game against a big team..

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#12 [url]

Oct 16 13 5:55 PM

I don't see that it is necessary for *every* team to have a chance to qualify every time.

I was thinking more along the lines of a 10 or 12 team "premier league" with the best teams playing each other home/away over 4 years (or over 2 years). This league would replace the European Championship, but still allow friendly dates. There could be playoffs for the top four teams, semis and a final. Below this, four parallel leagues of 10 or 11 teams. Playoffs to determine promotion/relegation.
World Cup qualification to be decided similarly taking the top 9 premier teams, and the 4 winners of the 2nd level (or some inter-divisional playoffs to give more teams from 2nd level potential access).

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#13 [url]

Jul 10 14 12:38 PM

Introduce Tier System

In UEFA there are a total of 54 members. There is no point in having a France vs Andorra or Germany vs San Marino match, as it will not improve the football standard in Andorra or San Marino. Rather UEFA should seriously consider to includer Tier System in World Cup Qualification and UEFA Euro Qualification. 

The UEFA members can be divided into following Tiers: 

TIER-I (15 Teams): 1. Spain, 2. Germany, 3. Portugal, 4. Switzerland, 5. Italy, 6. England, 7. Belgium, 8. Greece, 9. Netherlands, 10. Ukraine, 11. France, 12. Croatia, 13. Russia, 14. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15. Denmark  

TIER-II (15 Teams): 16. Slovenia, 17. Scotland, 18. Romania, 19. Serbia, 20. Sweden, 21. Czech Republic, 22. Turkey, 23. Armenia, 24. Wales, 25. Austria, 26. Hungary, 27. Slovakia, 28. Montenegro, 29. Iceland, 30. Norway 

TIER-III (14 Teams): 31. Finland, 32. Albania, 33. Poland, 34. Republic of Ireland, 35. Israel, 36. Bulgaria, 37. FYR Macedonia, 38. Belarus, 39. Azerbaijan, 40. Northern Ireland, 41. Georgia, 42. Estonia, 43. Moldova, 44. Lithuania 

TIER-IV (10 Teams):  45. Latvia, 46. Luxembourg, 47. Kazakhstan, 48. Malta, 49. Cyprus, 50. Liechtenstein, 51. Faroe Islands, 52. Andorra, 53. San Marino, 54. Gibraltar  

WORLD-CUP QUALIFICATION

Let's assume, the UEFA have 13 World Cup spots. 

WORLD-CUP QUALIFICATION - UEFA

The World-Cup Qualification - UEFA comprises Round 1, Round 2, and Play-Off Round.The Tier-I, Tier-II, and Tier-III teams will directly enter into Round 2. 

ROUND I

The following 10 Lower-Ranked teams will enter into this Round: Latvia, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Malta, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar. These 10 teams will be split into two groups of 5-teams each. Top 2 teams in each Group will qualify to Round II.

ROUND II

The 44 Directly entered teams along with 4 Round I qualifiers (Total: 48 teams) will enter into this round.The 48 teams will be split into eight grous of 6-teams each.The 8 Group-Winners will automatically qualify to World Cup.The Best Group-Runners-Up will also automatically qualify to World Cup.The remaining 8 Group-Runners-Up will qualify to Play-Off Round.  

PLAY-OFF ROUND

The 8 Group-Runners-Up will play a home-and-away Play-Off.The 4 winners of the Play-Off will qualify to World Cup.  


UEFA EURO CUP QUALIFICATION

Let's assume, the spots for UEFA Euro is 24. Out of this 24, one will be allocated to Host Nation and another three need to allocate to the Previous Winner, Runner-Up, and the Third-Placed Nation. Providing automatic qualification to Winner and Runner-Up will ensure the strong european team will play the Euro. Providing automatic qualification to the Third Place team will bring some relevence to the Loosers Final match. Most probably, the Host, the Previous Winner, Runner-Up, and Third-Placed nation will be among Tier-I, Tier-II, or Tier-III.  Thus there will be 20 spots available which will be open for 50 teams. All Tier-I, Tier-II, Tier-II and Top-6 Tier-IV teams (46 teams) will enter into Round 2. 

ROUND I

The following 6 Lower-Ranked teams will enter into this Round: Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar Top 4 teams will qualify to Round II. 

ROUND II

The 44 Directly entered teams along with 4 Round I qualifiers (Total: 48 teams) will enter into this round.The 48 teams will be split into eight grous of 6-teams each.The 8 Group-Winners and 8 Group-Runners-Up will automatically qualify to Euro Cup.The Third-Placed teams in each Group will qualify to Play-Off Round.  

PLAY-OFF ROUND

The 8 Third-Placed teams will play a home-and-away Play-Off.
The 4 winners of the Play-Off will qualify to Euro Cup.In UEFA there are a total of 54 members.

 

Last Edited By: rivatphil Jul 10 14 12:44 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#14 [url]

Jul 10 14 10:04 PM

rivatphil wrote:
ROUND I
The following 10 Lower-Ranked teams will enter into this Round: Latvia, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Malta, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar. These 10 teams will be split into two groups of 5-teams each. Top 2 teams in each Group will qualify to Round II.

Round I could take some time if it is groups.  E.g. Latvia will play 8 games in Round I, and then 10 games in Round II.
Not necessarily a problem, but it is asking a lot of the calendar.

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TheRoonBa

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#15 [url]

Oct 12 14 12:07 AM

http://www.uefa.com/community/news/newsid=2079553.html

2018-19 UEFA Nations League seems to be a reality now, and it will also act as a partial qualifier for UEFA Euro 2020 (4 berths available).

DIVISION A - 1-12 (4 groups of 3 teams)
DIVISION B - 13-24 (4 groups of 3 teams)
DIVISION C - 25-38 (2 groups of 3 teams, 2 groups of 4 teams)
DIVISION D - 39-54 (4 groups of 4 teams)

Teams will play 4 or 6 matches during September, October and November 2018. The winners of each group will be promoted (in Group A, they go forward to a Final 4 tournament in June 2019 to determine the UEFA Nations League champions). The bottom team in each group will be relegated (except in Group D, where there is obviously no relegation).

Initial placing of teams will be based on UEFA national team coefficients.

The winner of each of the 4 groups in each Division (A, B, C and D) will play semi-finals and a final to establish the Divisional Champions. Each of these divisional champions will qualify for UEFA Euro 2020. This means a team ranked 39-54 is guaranteed a place at the finals (I don't like this idea - it reminds me of the AFC Challenge Cup winners qualifying ahead of more deserving teams). The "Final Four" for the UEFA Nations League championship will apparently be separate from the play-off between the same 4 teams for one UEFA Euro 2020 berth. If a team is already qualified for UEFA Euro 2020 (whose qualifiers will be held as normal - 10 groups of 5 or 6 teams, winner and runner-up of each qualifying directly), the next highest-placed team within that Division (A, B, C or D) will qualify instead. It's entirely possible that the 4 group winners of Division A will also qualify directly (and possibly all the 12 teams in Division A might qualify directly), in which case, the highest team from the B Division who hasn't already qualified will take the "Division A" play-off spot.

If the groups were to be decided now, this is how they would look (I've used the serpentine system to make the draw):
DIVISION A
GROUP 1: France, Greece, Russia
GROUP 2: Germany, England, Portugal
GROUP 3: Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia
GROUP 4: Spain, Italy, Ukraine

DIVISION B
GROUP 1: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hungary, Austria
GROUP 2: Denmark, Romania, Slovakia
GROUP 3: Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland
GROUP 4: Switzerland, Sweden, Israel

DIVISION C
GROUP 1: Montenegro, Scotland, Albania
GROUP 2: Slovenia, Armenia, Finland
GROUP 3: Norway, Serbia, Lithuania, Northern Ireland
GROUP 4: Iceland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Wales

DIVISION D
GROUP 1: Estonia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, San Marino
GROUP 2: Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Andorra
GROUP 3: Latvia, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar
GROUP 4: Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Faroe Islands

Last Edited By: TheRoonBa Oct 12 14 12:10 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#16 [url]

Oct 12 14 6:54 PM

TheRoonBa wrote:
Each of these divisional champions will qualify for UEFA Euro 2020. This means a team ranked 39-54 is guaranteed a place at the finals
Hmm, I can suddenly see a way for Scotland to make it at last...  we deliberately lose enough games to get a low ranking and then win the lowest division.  Clearly some of our recent managers were years ahead of their time. 

All these silly little groups - is that the best they could think up? 

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TheRoonBa

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#17 [url]

Oct 12 14 10:19 PM

I guess it's better to play competitive matches rather than friendlies, and the matches are played over 6 FIFA dates in 3 months - so no need for teams to wait around for months knowing they are already eliminated. Plus, a 3-team group with one promotion place and one relegation place might possibly make every game worthwhile.

At the moment, Estonia would be the qualifier from Division D. Not sure they would bring too much to Euro 2020. Latvia, Macedonia and Moldova - likewise.

I still think they should have stayed with 16 qualifiers, not this 24 nonsense.

I like the fact the small teams will get competitive matches, though.


It seems they wanted to fit it all into the 6 FIFA dates.  I think they could have split it 16-16-16-6 (4-team groups for each division, two 3-team groups for the bottom division). Top 2 from the two lowest groups would be promoted. That would give everyone a realistic chance of promotion.

Last Edited By: TheRoonBa Oct 12 14 10:25 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#18 [url]

Oct 12 14 11:41 PM

What are the stated aims of this new exercise anyway? May we cynically assume that UEFA just wants more competitive games to sell TV rights? In that case why make the good teams play each other from the start?

The new thing is not terrible since it's just added on to the existing system, but I was hoping that some larger league system would replace the existing qualifying groups of 6 teams. Many games in the latter end up being fairly pointless unless viewed as coefficient determinants for future episodes. Conversely, the impact of one or two freak results is larger.
In small groups a hell of a lot will depend on the draw.

For example, in the current Euros, with so many teams to qualify, it might be better to simply remove the top seed from each group, put them in their own "Superleague" and play each other for a trophy, while all the other teams play the groups as usual but without the big seeds. Otherwise the big seeds just cruise along, learning nothing during qualifying, and dropping occasional points which screw up the other teams involved. The fact that Spain and Germany lost this weekend just illustrates the effect that their occasional slip-ups have on the chances of the also-rans in the group, (rather than the chances of Spain or Germany themselves - they will qualify regardless). One could make the same argument about the impact of minnows. Remove the outliers at the top and bottom ends and let the mediocre middle fight it out.

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#19 [url]

Oct 14 14 7:18 PM

nfm24 wrote:
What are the stated aims of this new exercise anyway? May we cynically assume that UEFA just wants more competitive games to sell TV rights?
From the organisation that special seeded the top 6 nations (guaranteeing a 6-team group under the broadcasting deal) for the current qualifiers?

I agree that this idea is good as an addition rather than a replacement, though, a different tournament for teams to play regularly at 'their level' while still leaving room for countries to arrange a few friendlies at their own leisure...

  

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#20 [url]

Oct 14 14 10:29 PM

The teams who might be most irritated by this are probably Brazil and Argentina, whoo presumably now have reduced opportunities for cash-in friendlies.
Luckily, there is always Asia...

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