By Tony Attwood
Europe and South America are planning a “new world championship”. It is, of course, not an issue being widely discussed in the Fifa supporting English newspapers, although the Daily Mail did break ranks and cover it recently, but the story is out in Europe and all over their media…
Here is what the German newspaper SZ says
“Brazil, Argentina and Co. are to play in Uefa’s Nations League from 2024. This is how the soccer associations from Europe and South America want to torpedo Fifa President Infantino’s plan to hold the World Cup every two years.”
ESPN however has picked up on the story, saying, “In a move which will be seen as in clear opposition to FIFA’s planned biennial World Cup, UEFA and CONMEBOL, the South American confederation, signed a renewed and extended Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday to commit to the “opening of a shared UEFA/CONMEBOL office in London and the potential organisation of a variety of football events.”
According to this report the deal includes the first “Finalissima” between the winners of the UEFA European Championship and the Copa America will be held at a stadium in London on June 1, 2022, with Italy playing Argentina.
“This is the last UEFA Nations League in this format,” Boniek, formerly head of the Polish FA, is reported by ESPN to have said in an interview. “We had a meeting with CONMEBOL, the confederation of South American countries. From 2024, teams from this continent will join the competition.
“In what format will it be? We’re still working on it. The schedule of matches for the national teams is restricted so you can’t mix it up too much.”
However the current thinking is that the big two of South America (Argentina and Brazil) will be joined by four other countries (Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay are the most likely Columbia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay) in what is being called League A of the UEFA Nations League.
That, it is said, would set up blockbuster matches against the likes of Spain, Germany, England and France, which South American nations have been unable to play since the Nations League replaced the international friendlies of earlier times.
Then four other nations – suggested by the media covering this to be Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuaela form part of League B. All the games will be played in Europe where there is greater chance of political stability and less chance of disruption of the games.
So the old system of four groups of four nations goes out the window and is replaced by 22 countries in League A and 20 in League B.
A Uefa spokesperson told Reuters that “Uefa is working on a number of projects with CONMEBOL, including a joint Nations League but nothing is finalised and no decisions have yet been made.”
FIFA has yet to set the international match calendar from 2024 onwards, and its final set of plans is being held back because it wants to hold the World Cup every two years, with the existing continental competitions very much placed as second class affairs (because they are not run by Fifa) being squeezed in between.
Both Uefa and Conmebol have said they are completely against the plan, and now we can see what they have in mind – their own expanded tournament together, as a direct and complete challenge to Fifa.
As reported on Untold, Fifa has replaced all the representatives of African nations on the Fifa committees, with its own people – claiming that African football was so corrupt, that it was the only solution. But with the two giant groups of Europe and South America now finally standing up against Fifa, Fifa could be left looking after Aisa, Africa and North America. It is not likely that North America would be happy with that and would probably want to join Uefa and Conmebol.
ESPN has also confirmed the view that Fifa is looking to set up a Global Nations League of their own, so battle has now well and truly commenced.
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