Three Lions to be in top tier of new Nations League tournament

Frank Dalleres
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A NEW biennial international football tournament contested by European countries and given a working title of the Nations League is expected to be confirmed today.

The competition would consist of up to four divisions of around 14 teams, with promotion and relegation, and could offer qualification places for the World Cup and European Championships.

England would be in the top tier based on current rankings, alongside European champions Spain, Germany and Portugal.

Matches would be played in odd-numbered years, in between the two major tournaments, on dates currently filled by friendly fixtures.

Governing body Uefa is expected to vote in favour of the plans, which have already been approved by its executive committee, at its annual congress today in Kazakhstan.

The idea has been devised as a means of reviving international football, which has lost its lustre as the Champions League and big domestic competitions, such as England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga, have flourished.

“What has triggered what is being called the Nations League is the international calendar and the dates for friendly matches,” said Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino. “We have been looking at optimising the structure of the calendar without bringing in any more dates.”