ASTANA – Fifty-four representatives of national football associations and members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) voted during the March 27 XXXVIII UEFA Congress in Astana to establish a UEFA Nations League tournament.
A four-point resolution establishing the new tournament called, “National men’s A-team competitions 2018-2022,” was unanimously adopted. The tournament will be held for the first time in 2018.
“We accept and respect that all UEFA member associations have agreed to create a new competition,” said Wolfgang Niersbach, chairman of the National Teams Competition Committee. “This is a big step for national teams in Europe and we hope that fans will support the new format.”
Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov noted during the congress the important role football plays in peace, friendship and harmony.
“We are pleased to welcome you in Kazakhstan, in our capital Astana. For us, it is an honour that Kazakhstan is the first CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) country to host a UEFA Congress. This decision was taken despite the little experience Kazakhstan had under the jurisdiction of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association),” said Akhmetov in his opening remarks to the UEFA and FIFA representatives.
Akhmetov also noted that young Kazakh players are training at the Brazilian Academy in Botafogo under an initiative of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is also the Honorary President of the Kazakh Football Federation.
According to the prime minister, hosting the UEFA Congress in Astana will take its rightful place in the history of European football and encourage the development of football in Kazakhstan.
The annual congress is the supreme governing body of UEFA. It holds meetings of all UEFA committees. The high-ranking representatives of FIFA, including FIFA President Sepp Blatter and the heads of other continental confederations, were among the delegates of the congress.