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Great idea, largely because it would mean an increase in International game's between nations of similar standing. As it is, I tend to scan the International fixture lists and struggle to see anything worth watching, but if these breaks were full of games like Holland v Spain, or Germany v France etc, International football would be more watchable. Presumably this would be lucrative to UEFA/nations also, courtesy of TV and advertising revenue.


Further down the spectrum, it would mean smaller nations have more to play for too, even the worst of the 54 teams would be in with a chance of promotion to a higher level, whereas currently qualifying for a tournament is virtual non-starter.

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yep - UEFA at its best.


Yeah we all want to see more Holland - Spain type of games, but so do the Northern Irish who'll stay at home to watch that rather than trog out to watch them play Armenia


NI would currently be in a group with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Estonia, Belarus and Macedonia. You telling me the good folk of Belfast and surrounds wouldn't be knocking down the ticket office doors to see those games ? :)/>


That said, they are talking about replacing the pointless friendlies, not qualifiers.


eg an International break could comprise of a league game against Estonia on the Friday/Saturday, and a qualifier against Portugal on the Tuesday/Wednesday. Be smart with kick off times and share the tv cash around a little, the smaller nations will be better off. Actually NI is a bad example, as they seem to be totally incapable of performing unless they are up against someone 30+ places above them in the World Rankings. Promotion would potentially get them in a group with Scotland and RoI by the way, if people stay at home to watch HollandvSpain rather than get into that, then there's not much hope really.


RoI and Scotland would have Poland, Israel, Slovakia and Bulgaria. Good, competitive group that.


I like it, competitive, meaningful games are far better for blooding players and tactics than friendlies are.


means more money for the richer nations and less for the smaller/poorer ones


More for all done properly. Proportionally more for richer, no doubt, but more for all if it's done right.

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Iceland is one game away from securing a place in the play-offs (after today's game) for the world cup.


That's Iceland, a nation of 320k people, which was ranked 121 in the FIFA rankings that decided the seedings for this WC qualification. We were lucky with the teams we got in our group but it's still quite an achievement.


The effect something like this can have on a nation like Iceland is remarkable. It's not just about football it's about national pride.


According to that article we'd be playing in the 7th division according to this proposal. Just do away with the friendlies. You don't need to kill football in the smaller nations just because the bigger nations find it irritating having to play against "unworthy" opponents.


(that is if I understood this correctly :P )

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I don't think you have. The proposal doesn't affect current qualification groups for Euro's/WC at all, it's just something to replace the dull friendlies.



For some reason I thought that would be a new format for the qualifying... I'm an idiot.

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