NYON: UEFA is considering the introduction of a ‘Nations League’ competition as part of its long-running efforts to rescue the fading appeal of national team football compared with its own Champions League version.

The proposal, first reported by Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, could be implemented from 2018 and would feature UEFA member associations being divided into as many as nine divisions based on their recent results.

Coincidentally the report emerges just after reports that the big clubs are taking informally about a European superleague of their own.

The winner of the top division would be UEFA’s Nations League champion and win a substantial prize, with relegation and promotion taking place between divisions.

Norwegian federation president Yngve Hallen who sits on UEFA’s national committee for international tournaments, said: “It is true that a series of games is one of the models being discussed. The success of the Champions League has already inspired the Europa League. This is also something they are trying to look at in connection with the Nations League – how this can sharpen the market.

“That’s what this is largely about. But there have been very clear political guidelines from all 54 federations that the focus needs to be on the football/competitive aspect. All countries should have equal opportunities.

“No-one should have to qualify for this tournament – everyone plays from the first game. And then there is also a recognition that tournament form should be easy to understand for most people. All this we need to work out.”