UEFA plans Nations tournament

  • Last Updated: March 27 2014, 9:05 GMT

UEFA is planning a 'League of Nations' tournament which will allow countries to secure qualifying places for the World Cup and European Championship.

UEFA: Could introduce new tournament after 2018 World Cup
UEFA: Could introduce new tournament after 2018 World Cup

The governing body has been discussing the possibility of a new competition, to be played biennially in odd-numbered years on the dates currently reserved for friendlies.

UEFA's executive committee has backed the initial proposals, although the exact format is still to be confirmed.

European countries are expected to be split into four divisions, with England included in a top division of 14 teams along with Spain, Germany, Italy and Holland.

The Nations League could begin after the 2018 World Cup and have a climax of semi-finals and final at a neutral venue, while in the lower divisions there would be a final to decide on promotion and qualification places for the World Cup and European Championship.

This new tournament would not replace the current qualifying competitions for major events, but it would award the four qualification spots that are currently decided by the play-offs.

The Football Association believes the new competition could be an exciting addition to the football calendar.

FA chairman Greg Dyke said earlier this month: "In principle, we'd be quite interested. The hard thing about that is the detail but I think a Nations League where we played the top nations would be very attractive."