Article

Platini hails League of Nations decision

27 March 2014 12:02

UEFA president Michel Platini believes the creation of the League of Nations represents a step forward for international football.

Ratified on Thursday, the competition will serve to replace the majority of international friendlies and offer places in UEFA's European competitions.

Divided into groups that will feature promotion and relegation, nations will also compete for the overall title after the governing body's 54 member nations voted in favour of the overhaul this week.

And Platini feels the removal of many friendlies from the footballing calendar will serve to boost the international game.

"The principle is accepted and we need to congratulate ourselves on that," he said.

"We have heard the call of those that want to do this so we have created a competition.

"It's going to replace the friendlies, they don't interest anybody. It's more of a competition and I think it's a good decision because nobody wants these friendlies."

While some details still need to be ironed out, one worry was raised in the press briefing on Thursday - the fear clubs may see players return more fatigued due to the competitive nature of the league.

However, Platini looked to assuage such concerns, assuring that such problems would be contemplated prior to its planned start date in 2018.

"We've just accepted a resolution for a competition that takes place in 2018. We're going to bear in mind all these considerations but let's come back to this years down the line and maybe I'll have that answer," he added.

"You're getting ahead of yourselves.

"We're not going to go into details right now. I can't foresee that today."

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino had more details on the intricacies of the plan, though, insisting the move represents "good news" for clubs as their players will not be exhausted from intercontinental trips.

"Finding the right balance means also having a more structured calendar to play with," he said.

"So for the clubs, concretely, it means that today in the double-headers where you have friendly matches played all around the world, the players will come back after the Tuesday night match on the Wednesday, maybe from trips somewhere in the other part of the world.

"With the concept in place, the players will come back two times out of three either on the Sunday or on the Monday night, and the third time on the Tuesday night because we will have the co-ordination on the match calendars similarly as it is done today only on the qualifiers. But this will be for all matches."

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