Football Notes: UEFA Confirms Final Regulations For Nations League
UEFA confirmed the final competition rules and regulations for its Nations League. The new national team competition, which will begin on September 6, 2018, aims to ensure the continued success of national team football by replacing most friendlies with competitive matches. The format will feature promotion and relegation and see the 55 European national teams divided into four leagues (UEFA).
Belgium's football execs have been "given an end-of-November deadline to convince UEFA they can deliver a stadium to host part of Euro 2020." Brussels' Eurostadium was picked to host three group-stage games and a Round of 16 knockout match but construction has been "fraught with political and legislative problems." UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said that "Stockholm, Cardiff and Wembley have all been put on stand-by to step in if necessary" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/21).
The English Football League will advise its clubs to "follow the lead of the Premier League and bring forward the close of the transfer window from next season," according to British media reports. England's 72 lower-league clubs met at Villa Park on Thursday to "consider the impact of a shorter window." Should a majority of the clubs want change, a formal ballot would take place at February's meeting of EFL clubs (REUTERS, 9/21).
A "Super White Army" banner was covered up during an England women's football match after a picture of it was shared online by one of the team's players. The sign at National League side Tranmere Rovers' ground was "obscured by the FA for the Lionesses' World Cup qualifier" on Tuesday. The Tranmere Rovers Supporters' Club said that it was "not remotely racist" and referred to its team's shirts (BBC, 9/21).
The Scottish Professional Football League said that it cannot take forward an "effective independent review" into the handling of Scottish Premiership side Rangers' EBT use. It expressed "disappointment" over the Scottish FA's decision not to participate and said that a review would have resulted in "a better understanding" of procedures (BBC, 9/21).
Brasileiro side Santos fans were "locked inside their own stadium for 20 minutes following violence from supporters" after the club's elimination from the Copa Libertadores. Fans of the club "battled outside the Vila Belmiro ground" after Ecuadorian side Barcelona's 1-0 win, "forcing police to lock the gates." TV station Globo said that supporters inside the stadium "tried to get into the Santos dressing room" (BBC, 9/21).
Sierra Leone FA President Isha Johansen was charged with "abuse of office and misuse of public funds" by the country's Anti-Corruption Commission. Johansen has been indicted on six counts, as has SLFA Secretary General Chris Kamara. Both were detained last year as the ACC investigated "potential abuse of funds" (BBC, 9/21).