The World League

Discussion in 'Belgium' started by Blondo, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    In 1904 Belgium played a major role in the creation of FIFA and the organization of international matches and tournaments. On 21 May of that year there were seven men at the table when FIFA was founded, two of which were Belgians. Already then there were thoughts of staging an international competition. A year later Édouard de Laveleye, a Belgian baron, convinced representatives of the British Home Nations to join FIFA rather than remain independent. The FA recognized the authority of FIFA and this allowed FIFA to hold its first international football competition. The rest is history.

    Fast forward to late 2017 and the impending birth of a new competition, the Nations League, architected by S.Martens, former CEO of the Belgian FA and current Director of Football at FIFA, and his Portuguese colleague. Now it very much sounds like this competition will go global and the Nations League could grow to a full-blown World League:


    So starting in 2020 the Nations League could grow to 7 World League divisions, WL League A-G, each with a cross-confederation Final 8 main event in June of odd-numbered years ... after an intra-confed group stage in Sep-Nov the year before ... and all confed members are included (223 instead of FIFA's 211). Beside the top tier league, League A, there's no mention of how the other 6 leagues would look but let's take a stab at it:

    League A: UEFA (3 groups of 4 teams) --- Conmebol (2x3) --- Concacaf (1x4) --- CAF (1x4) --- AFC (1x4)
    League B: UEFA (3x4) --- Conmebol (1x4) --- Concacaf (1x4) --- CAF (2x4) --- AFC (1x4)
    League C: UEFA (3x4) --- Concacaf (1x4) --- CAF (2x4) --- AFC (2x4)
    League D: UEFA (2x4) --- Concacaf (1x4) --- CAF (2x4) --- AFC (2x4) ... OFC (1x4; cfr. the proposal)
    League E: UEFA (1x4) --- Concacaf (2x4) --- CAF (3x4) --- AFC (2x4)
    League F: UEFA (1x4) --- Concacaf (2x4) --- CAF (2x4) --- AFC (2x4) ... OFC (1x5)
    League G: UEFA (1x3) --- Concacaf (1x4 + 1x5) --- CAF (2x4) --- AFC (1x4 + 1x3) ... OFC (1x5)

    - In the inaugural edition all teams will be drawn into their division + group based on their FIFA ranking (the group stage is an intra-confed affair, as opposed to cross-confederation Final 8 tournaments). It sounds like WL2020/21 will be the inaugural edition and if that's indeed the case FIFA/UEFA could opt for the Nov. 2019 FIFA ranking (end of ECQs and excluding the play-offs in March 2020 + EURO2020). By March 2018 or ahead of Russia2018 more information could be divulged, including about the overhaul of FIFA's flawed rankings.

    - in subsequent editions promotion/relegation will determine the division wherein a team competes. Group winners gain promotion to the next tier division while bottom-placed teams are relegated (in the following WL edition). I'm guessing that when there are more bottom-placed teams than there are teams gaining promotion only the worst-placed team(s) will be relegated and conversely the next worst-placed team will be relegated when there are more teams gaining promotion than there are bottom-placed teams in the next division. Within each division the WL ranking will probably be calculated based on position in the group then points, goal difference, goals scored, away goals scored, wins, away wins, disciplinary points (red card 3 points, yellow 1 point, two yellows 3 points), coefficient ranking (= the same tie-breakers as those from the UNL).

    - In each group all teams will play against each other (home and away) during the international breaks Sep-Nov.

    - Group winners, at the end of the group stage in Nov., advance to the Final 8 (to be hosted by one of the 8 finalists in June of the following year).

    - like for UNL2018/19 the WL ranking at the end of the WL2020/21 group stage could determine the seeding in the European WCQs (July 2019 preliminary draw for Qatar2022 to be postponed until after the group stage, i.e. Nov.2020?)

    - assuming European WCQs for Qatar2022 will have 10 groups (with group winners qualifying directly) the remaining 3 spots could go to WL play-off winners within UEFA. IF so, and that's a big if, League C play-off winners would have a guaranteed WC berth. Currently, FIFA Oct.2017 ranking, League C teams range from Bosnia (ranked 40th) to Estonia (80th).

    Just to serve as an example (mainly focussing on UEFA teams drawn into League A and the subsequent Final 8/promotion/relegation battle):

    - Nov.2019 FIFA ranking is published and the WL draw takes place in e.g. Jan.2020
    - Sep-Nov.2020, WL group stage
    - Nov.2020, Germany, Spain, Belgium; Brazil, Argentina; Mexico; Egypt; and Iran win their WL groups.
    - The WL2020/21 ranking is drawn up after the group stage has ended.
    - Croatia, Denmark, Holland; Chile; USA; Nigeria, Ghana; S.Korea end up as worst-placed teams and are relegated. In the next WL edition, 2022/23, they'll be replaced by group winners from League B, e.g. Iceland, Sweden, Ireland; Ecuador; Honduras; Algeria, Morocco; and Uzbekistan.
    - Dec.2020, FIFA decide the Final 8 main event will be hosted by e.g. Spain (to be awarded to one of the League A finalists). As the final event will take place in early June 2021, e.g. 5-13 June 2021, the hosts won't have much time to prepare. Especially in League G, which includes non-FIFA teams, this could present problems.
    - March 2021, start of regular WCQs in Europe. UEFA teams that reached the Final 8 go into WCQ groups of 5 in order to make room for the Final 8 in June 2021.
    - June 2021, Confed Cup is scrapped, plans for an expanded CWC binned and WL Final 8 tournaments take place instead
    - March 2022, 10 WCQ group winners have already qualified directly for Qatar2022 and possibly the remaining 3 spots could go to WL play-off winners within UEFA.
    - April 2022, Final Draw Qatar2022.
    - 30 May-14 June + 19-27 September 2022, group phase WL2022/23
    - 21 Nov-18 Dec Qatar2022 final event
    - March 2023, start of regular ECQs for EURO2024
    - June 2023, WL Final 8
    - March 2024, 20 ECQ group winners have already qualified directly for EURO2024 and possibly the remaining 3 spots could go to WL play-off winners
    - June-July 2024, EURO2024 final event
    - Sep-Nov.2024, WL2024/25 group stage


    PS who knew ... the very first FIFA sanctioned match = Belgium and France met in the first official international match in Brussels on 1 May 1904. The clash between Belgium and France is one of the oldest and most contested rivalries in the international game. The rivalry is nicknamed le Match Sympa in French ("the Friendly Match"). Seeing as the World League will replace friendlies the rivalry will now continue in le Championnat Sympa ("the Friendly Championship").
  2. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    There seem to be some big egos that need stroking ... it doesn't sound like the World League will replace the Nations League as quickly as first envisioned. IMO they should simply alternate between the Nations League and a World League and if egos aren't put aside ahead of 2021 then we just play the NL instead.
  3. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013

    In the last paragraph the writer mentions FIFA and UEFA could be put offside (refering to his EU ruling). In the early days of the game the football landscape was a patchwork without much uniformity. FIFA was created with an anti-competitive behaviour mission in mind to tackle that uniformity issue and root out any splinter organizations (e.g. the quote below from FIFA themselves). Now that scandals have eroded FIFA's hold on power and they're even struggling to properly monetize their only flagship event, the World Cup, there could be opportunities for 3rd parties to start challenging FIFA's monopoly or at least make them more attuned to corporate wishes. FIFA have been worried about football's equivalent of the NBA, be it a long-mooted Super League break-away or the filthy rich Premier League for that matter. TBF FIFA haven't been sitting idly by and lately they've been exhausting themselves to try to stay relevant, launching one proposal after the other.

    However Infantino has already been told that the CWC expansion won't happen in 2021. Ceferin also said the World League, which could see the light of day in 2021 as well, might take more time to be realized because he's being confronted with a few big egos. It doesn't sound like it's going swimmingly for FIFA. The expanded CWC will be competing with quite a few club and national team competitions. The calendar is already awfully congested, especially if the expanded CWC is to be held in summer.

  4. Blondo

    Blondo Member+

    Sep 21, 2013
    Another forgotten piece of history: the Seeldrayers Cup (currently named the Champions League).

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