The UEFA Nations League faces a new battle after the blows of Sky Sports, Kevin De Bruyne and Jurgen Klopp

This month’s Nations League matches will not be broadcast on Sky Sports, while the competition, which had breathed new life into European international football, has been heavily criticized by Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester City manager Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, among others.

The League of Nations is in danger of collapsing with declining support
The League of Nations is in danger of collapsing with declining support

Think back to November 2010.

Another exciting Premier League campaign was underway, with Carlo Ancelotti chelsea aiming to beat Sir Alex Ferguson manchester united to the title. Fans loved the action, but it was stopped to accommodate an England-France friendly at Wembley. As expected, even the players couldn’t care about the game.

“It’s not an ideal time to play this game because Arsenal they are in top form and we have some important games in the future Premier league and the Champions LeagueGunners midfielder Sami Nasri said. “But I would never turn down a big game at Wembley.” That was one of the kinder comments.

The friendlies were frustrating for everyone involved. Something had to be done to give importance to these games… and in 2014, UEFA drew up a plan. They announced the nations leaguea new biennial competition designed to fill gaps in the international calendar.

UEFA insisted that the Nations League would “create more meaningful and competitive matches” and give structure to the international calendar. However, just three years after Portugal was crowned the inaugural winner, and no doubt having aided the development of a number of so-called “minor” nations, the growth of the competition could come to a halt.

Sky Sports, the UK’s most popular subscription television network, will no longer show Nations League matches after doing an excellent job of keeping those living in Britain entertained for up to six nights during international breaks. Sky lost the rights. But how much did they want to keep them? Clearly not bad enough.

The likes of Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville won’t be covering the Nations League for Sky Sports this month.


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All Nations League matches, except England matches, which will be broadcast on Channel 4 – will now be shown on Premier Sports, a smaller sports broadcaster in the UK compared to Sky Sports and BT Sport.

“We are delighted to receive this fantastic UEFA National Team match package,” Premier Sports CEO Richard Sweeney said in a press release. However, his enthusiasm is unlikely to convince many British fans to shell out another £129 annual subscription to watch it.

Diversification of football broadcasting rights is a big issue in the UK. Fans will need Sky Sports, BT Sport, Premier Sports, Amazon Prime and DAZN if they want to see all the action… and we’re supposed to be enduring a cost of living crisis!

While England games will be more visible thanks to Channel 4 reintroducing them to terrestrial television, games in Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland could easily be forgotten… not to mention those involving countries like Germany. , Spain and France.

The Nations League TV deal with Premier Sports is worrying, but the competition’s woes don’t end there. Kevin De Bruyne, possibly the best footballer on the planet at the moment, barring Karim Benzema, has criticized the lack of importance of the competition.

“For me, the League of Nations is not important,” he told reporters on Monday. “We have to play those games, but it’s kind of a practice campaign. Everybody’s had a really tough season. As soon as we’re on the field, we do what we have to do.”

“Then I want to win. Apart from that, I don’t have much to say about it. We don’t have anything to say about it. As players, we can talk about holidays or rest, but we don’t have anything to say. We follow what we have to do and that’s it. is, we have a little more than three weeks of vacation every twelve months.

“Outsiders don’t understand how a player feels after a season. It doesn’t have to be like that, in the end it won’t change anyway. There’s no point in saying anything about it either. Nothing will change anyway.” You’re not exactly selling that Premier Sports subscription, are you?

Kevin De Bruyne is not worried about the Nations League after a long season with Manchester City


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It’s easy to see why players aren’t as concerned about the Nations League when players like manchester city Y Liverpool are wrapping up grueling 55- and 60-year gaming campaigns;

Gareth Southgate was forced to leave Jordan Henderson out of his squad for all four (yes, four) England Nations League games this month. The midfielder has just finished a 57-game season with Liverpool. “He’s played a lot of football this season,” Southgate said. For professionals, it’s too much football… and his coaches know it.

“I still think about it [the Nations League] is one of the most ridiculous ideas in the world of football because now we’re finishing a season where players have played over 70 games, easily – 63 or 64 club games, plus internationals – and then we go straight to 75, which is pretty crazy,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said in May.

“We continue with the Nations League matches because we have to play them [when] there is no tournament, what does it matter, we played four, five or six games with the national teams”.

Jurgen Klopp has questioned the existence of the Nations League


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It’s obvious that UEFA is under pressure from the number of games they are forcing players to swallow (remember, there will be more Champions League games soon too), especially from managers who are in a position to speak. And it is not clear if FIFA will be available to support them in the future; there has been talk of the world governing body for sport creating your own competition as they and UEFA battle to stay on top of the world game.

FIFA’s head of global football development Arsene Wenger he also wants the World Cup to be a biennial tournament, which will be difficult to achieve with the Nations League in existence, and has called for the competition in question to be scrapped.

“We need to get rid of the League of Nations and find clearer events that everyone understands,” Wenger said in 2020. “If you ask people on the street what the League of Nations is, you won’t find many who can explain it. You need to have as few events as possible.”

The Nations League has given more meaning to the international calendar and there are fewer meaningless games, De Bruyne’s comments notwithstanding. However, the solution to UEFA’s friendly headache was to play fewer friendlies, not make the schedule even more intense.

Right now, it’s hard to imagine the Nations League existing in 2032. The competition got off to a brilliant start, but opposition is growing and, with fewer fans tuning in this month, support is expected to wane. And from there? Well, ultimately, it is impossible to predict what will come next.

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