News From Spain: UEFA to reform World Cup qualification and add games to Nations League

UEFA are set to bring in a new set of reforms to the structure of their competitions, with international football to contribute further to the fixture congestion in football.

According to Diario AS, UEFA will discuss how best to the carry out qualification for the World Cup. The competition in the USA, Canada and Mexico in 2026 will have 48 teams, a third of which will be European. The leading idea is that the 16 teams would be formed from 12 groups of four or five teams, with the top team qualifying and the remaining four consisting of the second-place teams with the best record.

In addition, there are plans to extend the Nations League by a further four games. The Final Four is currently formed of the top team from each of the Nations League A games, but the changes would see the top two from each group involved in a play-off to qualify.

However the Euros will remain untouched – it is thought that the strongest nations opposed the idea of extending the competition from 24 teams to 32.

With both club competitions and national competitions intent on expanding in order to pursue larger incomes, it appears the fans are in for seasons watching increasingly exhausted footballers. The likes of Thibaut Courtois has been clear that he wants less games in the future, vocally criticising the governing bodies.


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