Uefa president, Michel Platini (©GettyImages)
Uefa president, Michel Platini (©GettyImages).

Uefa set to reshape international football

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With the long wait for the Brazil World Cup finally coming to an end, international football fans will be pleased with The Telegraph's claims that Uefa plan to introduce a third major international tournament into European football.

Following the success of the Champions League, all of the voting Uefa members backed a similar style competition, which will see the European nations divided into four divisions, with the top 16-team division divided into four groups, which will each battle for the top spot and a place in the last four. The group winners will then feature in a knock-out phase in order to determine the outright winner.

The knock-out phase will be played during the summer, every two years, which means that football fans will have an international final to look forward to once every year.

The winners of the other three divisions could also win themselves a place at the European Championships, as well as a spot within one of the higher divisions, while those who fail to impress could see themselves relegated.

The idea was first put forward last year, and as Michel Platini, the president of Uefa, seeks to restore the appeal of international football, it is rapidly becoming a reality.

An end to the innumerable international friendlies that fans have to endure in between major tournaments is certainly appealing, while the English FA chairman, Greg Dyke, likes the prospect of “playing the likes of Germany, Spain and Italy on a regular basis”, which would also provide England with better preparation ahead of World and European finals.

It would also mean smaller nations would not have to suffer a string of 8-0 defeats, but instead be placed against nations of their own calibre.

If the plans go ahead, football fans will be watching their home nations play frequent, meaningful international football from 2018-19.

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