Why FIFA and UEFA Are at Loggerheads Over New Version of Nations League Tournament

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FIFA logo - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.12.2021
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The infighting between FIFA and UEFA has intensified in recent months, especially after the sport's world governing body announced its plans to host a biennial World Cup. The two organisations are once again at loggerheads over proposed changes to another major international tournament, Nations League.
FIFA is on course to block UEFA's proposed expansion of the Nations League, which would allow South American nations to compete in the prestigious 10-team European competition, according to the British media.
Tensions between the game's two institutions are at an all time high after UEFA shocked the football world with its announcement that the Nations League will now see 10 South American teams competing alongside their European counterparts from 2024.
According to the UK media, UEFA had not informed FIFA about its plan to launch a rebooted Nations League and that's why the Zurich-based institution is furious with Europe's governing body of football.
UEFA's decision to implement these changes has caused massive chaos, with international football facing an unprecedented crisis and finding itself on the verge of a vertical split between two groups.
While UEFA and South American confederation CONMEBOL are on one side, FIFA and the remaining power centres, including the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), are on the other.
"From 2024 CONMEBOL will join the Nations League", UEFA Vice-President Zbigniew Boniek said earlier this month.
"We do not know yet in what formula, in what form. But we signed a memorandum about cooperation between CONMEBOL and UEFA and from 2024 these teams will play in the Nations League", a UEFA spokesperson added.
As per British newspapers, the partnership between UEFA and CONMEBOL, leading to the creation of an intercontinental tournament, is being viewed by FIFA as venturing out of its territory. In fact, it has declared it as a "land grab".
Moreover, FIFA and other confederations have been left fuming because of UEFA's secrecy surrounding the whole episode.
The anger among FIFA and its allies is palpable, as the proposed tournament is being compared with the now defunct European Super League (ESL).
The ESL was launched to destroy the continent's premier club tournament, the Champions League, but later collapsed after it met with a hostile response from UEFA.
Ironically, FIFA is now calling the new Nations League competition another Super League, which would see the participation of national sides instead of teams from Europe's top clubs.
Apart from FIFA, the AFC and Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) are bitterly opposed to UEFA's idea.
Besides, AFC and CONCACAF have also been left frustrated at the timing of UEFA's latest proposals, considering the two organisations were making efforts to broker a compromise between FIFA and the European body over the contentious topic of a biennial World Cup.
However, with UEFA's announcement, chances of a compromise look extremely bleak at the moment as FIFA are now thinking of derecognising the Nations League, which would make it meaningless, as it would no longer enjoy the status of an official tournament.
Additionally, FIFA are set to heighten their demand for a World Cup every two years.
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