UEFA Nations League to Revolutionise International Football | Kwesé

UEFA Nations League to Revolutionise International Football

UEFA Nations League to Revolutionise International Football

10:15 SAST | 08 Aug 2018

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World football revolves around the club system. It’s major clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City that can draw incredible talent from around the world and millions of devoted fans. While the world's greatest footballer (or close to), Lionel Messi, turns his back on international duty, he remains fully committed to Barcelona. To win a La Liga title, or Premier League, is what youngsters dream of. And indeed a UEFA Champions League is the ultimate gong for someone wanting to make their mark in the game. 

When stars can earn so much more for their clubs, sometimes duty to country is grudging. The FIFA World Cup is the exception, exciting players and fans alike with the sheer enormity of the occasion. But it comes around once every four years. Continental competitions are important too, but those are only held once every two (or more) years and of them only the UEFA EURO and the Copa America come close to the World Cup in prestige. 

Then there are the international friendlies, which don’t count towards anything much and therefore lack the context of overall competition. It's time for a change to invigorate international football competition. UEFA is leading the revolution in the game with a brand-new competition called the UEFA Nations League which kicks off in September (LIVE on Kwesé Sports). All 55 European federations have signed up and are part of this ground-breaking tournament that'll take place every two years. 

There are six international windows between 6 September and 20 November, and instead of playing meaningless friendlies European nations will compete to win the inaugural Nations League trophy. To be sure only 12 of the 55 countries have a chance of winning the trophy as the competition has been split into four leagues (A, B, C and D). 

League A consisting of four groups: 1. Germany, Netherlands and France; 2.  Belgium, Switzerland and Iceland 3. Portugal, Italy and Poland; 4. Croatia, England and Spain. That’s an impressive bunch of teams, considering that includes all four all Russia 2018 semi-finalists, plus other high achievers from the tournament. The three teams of a group play each other home and away with the group winner qualifying for the semifinals, to be held in June 2019 and to be hosted by one of Italy, Poland or Portugal. 

While it may seem as if only League A has something to play for, nothing could be further from the truth. The three other leagues have the added incentive of promotion and UEFA EURO 2020 qualification. The winners of each group will be promoted up a league and they’ll also have a chance to qualify for UEFA EURO through a playoff system. In other words, the EUFA Nations League will provide four of the 24 qualification berths for the UEFA EURO. 

Is it not time for AFCON to do something similar? Catch the UEFA Nations League, starting 6 September, on Kwesé Sports. 

For the freshest line-up of on-demand sports and entertainment check out Kwesé iflix

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