ASTANA: European football federations are expected to confirm tomorrow the launch of a new national teams tournament to fill the match dates allocated in the calendar to friendlies.

UEFA Congress will be told officially that the new tournament should be played every second year from 2018-2019 after the plan was approved today by the executive committee.

The competition is expected to see 54 countries split into four divisions and may be used to support the qualifying competitions for both the European Championship and the World Cup – though the latter depends on the opinion of world federation FIFA.

The Nations League top division would begin after the 2018 World Cup in Russia and climax with semi-finals and final at a neutral venue. The lower divisions would feature promotion play-offs.

Scots want FIFA role

Congress is expected to approve stamp new rules which will see its 54 members vote on the British FIFA vice-president from candidates put forward by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There had been suggestions that the home nations would propose a single candidate of their own on a rotation basis – Wales are next in line – but Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan has said it will put forward its own candidate.

Regan, as reported by the Press Association, said: “We in Scotland will put forward a candidate that will be considered for the position in 2015 and they will be given the chance to network across Europe ahead of the vote.

“We are simply following the process and if the UEFA members vote on that process tomorrow we will stick by rules.”

At the moment the position is filled by Northern Ireland’s Jim Boyce, following an informal agreement it would be rotated between the home nations after England’s Geoff Thompson took the position in 2007.

Boyce has indicated he will be stepping down next year. Wales, who would have been next under the rotation agreement, have never had a FIFA vice-president.

There have been suggestions that David Gill, the former Manchester United chief executive who is currently a UEFA vice-president, may be put forward as England’s candidate.

The British FIFA vice-presidency has been a privilege of the home nations since 1946 but is being abolished in the reform process. UEFA then decided to elect a British representative itself.