UEFA Nations League Is A Bad Idea For Football, But Is Brilliant For Business

A few days ago, there was a report which revealed that UEFA is planning a “radical overhaul” of international football which would see a competition starting in 2018. Referred to as “ UEFA Nations League ”, the tournament would divide their body members into nine divisions and games would take place on the friendly dates issued by FIFA. Promotion and the relegation of teams would simply mirror the system followed in club level football.

Currently, UEFA have two reasons:

  1. They plan to maintain interest in football during the FIFA friendly dates.
  2. They see a huge potential from television rights.

BBC divulged that UEFA would be concentrating the media rights for European qualification matches for both European Championship and the World Cup. This would allow the broadcasters to buy television rights from UEFA instead of its members.

Basically, UEFA stands to benefit directly from televised internationals. Financially, European football’s governing body can look forward to a cash overflow if the idea is converted to a reality. But, the important question is whether it would be good for the sport.

As of now, FIFA allocates five to seven international matchday periods each year. England has played four friendlies in 2013. That is more international football and not less.

It could inhibit a national association’s planning for everything right from the tournament preparation to the development of the squad.

For example, a lower ranked team like Malta, Albania or Moldova shouldn’t be prevented from scheduling fixtures against “stronger” teams. This is an attempt to provide the players with experience against the best sides of the continent.

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