UEFA’s proposed Nations League looks like it will change the world of international friendlies, prompting CONCACAF to respond with their own international competition.
According to Reuters, CONCACAF is close to finalizing plans for a new “League of Nations” competition that would effectively eliminate friendlies. A total of 41 nations from North and Central America and the Caribbean have reportedly been contacted by CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani and the format could be finalized as soon as this weekend.
“There has been overwhelming acceptance that it is a great idea and the way we need to go,” Montagliani told Reuters. “There are a few formats that we have looked at and we have had various members coming back with ideas. We have a format that we have landed on and we will show it to our members first.”
Montagliani says the new competition would help some of the region’s smaller names become competitive, giving them frequent meaningful games against others within the area. Powerhouses like the U.S. Men’s National Team and Mexico would also be involved, as Montagliani says that “it is not like you’ll have a choice to opt out”.
That means the region’s elite will be unable to play friendlies against top international competition but would rather stay within the region for international matches. Given Europe’s move to their own international league, scheduling big-name friendlies would be difficult regardless without UEFA’s teams on the table.
“What people need to realize is that the world of friendlies is going to change, with Europe changing to the Nations League, it is going to get harder to get friendlies,” said Montagliani .
“The truth of the matter is that a lot of the friendlies our nations play, including the bigger nations, are a waste of time, let’s be honest, a lot of them are not quality. You are better off playing a game that actually means something (even) against an opponent, that on paper anyway, may not be as good.”
Plans for the league could be finalized as soon as Saturday at the CONCACAF Congress in Aruba.