UEFA vice-president confirms South American teams set to join Nations League

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The likes of Brazil and Argentina are set to compete in the UEFA Nations League after UEFA vice-president Zbigniew Boniek confirmed South America's governing body CONMEBOL has reached an agreement with its European counterpart over joining the biennial competition.

The Nations League, which began in 2018, is currently contested by UEFA’s 55 member nations.

However, the 10 members of CONMEBOL are set to form part of a newly expanded competition from 2024.

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What was said?

Asked about the proposal, Boniek told Meczyki: “From 2024 CONMEBOL will join the Nations League.

“We do not know yet in what formula, in what form. We signed a memorandum about cooperation between CONMEBOL and UEFA and from 2024 these teams will play in the Nations League.”

Boniek added that six South American teams will join League A of the Nations League while the other four will join League B.

The games are expected to be played in Europe to cut down on travel.

The bigger picture

An expanded Nations League looks to be the next step in closer relations between UEFA and CONMEBOL.

The two governing bodies signed a joint agreement last week pledging to “broaden their existing cooperation” and develop football "beyond their geographical zones”.

The agreement also includes the opening of a joint office in London, which will be in charge of “coordinating projects of common interest”.

The first example of this is a friendly match between Copa America winners Argentina and Euro 2020 champions Italy in June 2022, the first of three such matches between the respective continental champions.

Possible FIFA conflict

A revamped Nations League also appears to directly conflict with FIFA’s plans to hold a World Cup every two years instead of four.

The Nations League at present fits around other major international tournaments, but it would clash with a World Cup if it was held every two years.

UEFA and CONMEBOL have both publicly opposed FIFA's plans for more regular World Cups, with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expressing "grave concerns" about the proposals earlier this year.

Football's world governing body is holding a global summit on Monday to discuss the future of the game, including their plans for a biennial World Cup.

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