Brazil, Argentina to join Nations League in UEFA’s revamped tournament plan
Euro champions Italy will play Copa America champions Argentina in ‘Finalissima’ on June 1 next year
10 South American teams will play in the Nations League competition from 2024
Both UEFA and CONMEBOL have opposed FIFA’s plans to host the World Cup twice in four years
UEFA, the governing body of European football, is in talks with their South American counterparts, CONMEBOL, over a newly planned joint Nations League , that will see South American heavyweights Brazil and Argentina featuring in the expanded competition.
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Both UEFA and CONMEBOL have opposed FIFA’s plan to host the World Cup twice in a four-year cycle, with the two this week signing an extended Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) until June 2028.
The UEFA has already released the schedule for the joint Nations League, with Euro 2020 champion Italy taking on Copa America winners Argentina in the so-called 'Finalissima' on June 1 next year in London.
"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 spokesperson said.
UEFA vice-president Zbigniew Boniek on Thursday said 10 South American teams will play in the Nations League competition from 2024.
"From 2024 CONMEBOL will join the Nations League. We do not know yet in what formula, in what form. We signed a memorandum about cooperation between CONMEBOL and UEFA and from 2024 these teams will play in the Nations League,” he said.
Is Nations League against FIFA’s biennial World Cup plans?
Boniek also said that six CONMEBOL teams will join League A of the Nations League while the other four will join League B.
There is no doubt that the entry of South American sides would bring more eyeballs towards the Nations League. The number of teams in the two groups would increase from 16 to 22 and 20 respectively, with all the matches set to be played in Europe to avoid excessive travel.
The revamped Nations League would also represent direct competition to FIFA's plans for a World Cup every two years, a proposal Boniek said would be difficult to implement, adding that he was against the idea of introducing more new events.
FIFA will hold a global summit on Monday to discuss their ambitious plans, but UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who has been a vocal critic of the biennial World Cup idea, said the meeting would not be a defining moment in the process.