FIFA are ready to block proposals for a new-look Nations League involving 10 South American sides
FIFA are ready to block UEFA’s proposals to launch a new look and expanded Nations League which will also feature South American countries.
The 211 national federations will take part in a virtual summit hosted by FIFA against a back-drop of bitter in-fighting, which has been exacerbated by last week’s shock announcement that 10 South American sides are set to join a rebooted Nations League in 2024.
FIFA are understood to have been blind-sided by the development, which threatens to split international football in two, with UEFA and the South American confederation CONMEBOL pitted against the rest of the world.
The Asian Football Confederation and CONCACAF, which governs the game in north and central America, are particularly frustrated as they were hoping to broker a compromise, while FIFA are ready to withdraw their sanction for the Nations League, which would render it no more than a friendly tournament.
FIFA the UEFA’s alliance with CONMEBOL and creation of a new intercontinental tournament as an aggressive land-grab, which will reduce the likelihood of achieving a compromise over such contentious issues as the proposed biennial World Cup and reform of the global calendar.
Such is the anger felt by FIFA and other confederations that they have liked the proposed new competition as a Super League for national teams, somewhat ironic given UEFA’s hostility towards and successful demolition of the European Super League for clubs that collapsed earlier this year.
FIFA are ready to respond by doubling down in their demands for a biennial World Cup, which will be discussed again at Monday’s meeting.
Whilst UEFA and CONMEBOL are implacably opposed the idea championed by Arsene Wenger has considerable support elsewhere and could command the backing of a majority of FIFA’s 211 members.
The plans for an enlarged Nations League emerged last week after UEFA and CONMEBOL signed a new Memorandum of Understanding until 2028, which will also involve their respective continental champions Italy and Argentina meeting in a so-called Finalissima at Wembley next June.
‘From 2024 CONMEBOL will join the Nations League,’ UEFA vice-president Zbigniew Boniek revealed last week.
‘We do not know yet in what formula, in what form. But we signed a memorandum about cooperation between CONMEBOL and UEFA and from 2024 these teams will play in the Nations League.’
‘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,’ a UEFA spokesperson added.