"Regional football league to be launched in 2018"
Macedonian Football League Director Vasko Dojcinovski says UEFA has approved the launch of a regional football league in 2018.Source: B92
Speaking for Croatian daily Vecernji List, Dojcinovski said the league should consist of 24 clubs from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Macedonia, and that heads of football associations from these countries all supported this new regional format.
He said he was "personally not fond" of the current working name for the competition - the Balkan League - and added it was "unofficial, and probably won't stick."
The new league should start in the fall of 2018 after qualifiers for European competitions show which clubs will play in their group phases. All regional clubs that fail to make it to the Champions League and the Europa League will automatically go to the regional competition's group phase - and there will be six groups with four teams each.
Dojcinovski also revealed there are "some problems" - namely, "the benefits" for the winner and the finalist have not yet been agreed on.
"We are a little immodest so we want the winner to get a Champions League spot and the runner-up to go to the Europa League, which will be a little difficult to push past UEFA," he said, and added:
"The security aspect is also worrying, we are very much thinking about that. But - there are also high risk games in the Champions League, aren't there? We agreed that special measures of caution would be applied to those games. We are guided by the interest of football, football must move forward, unburdened by politics."
As for the funding, Dojcinovski said he"heard unofficially" UEFA has already prepared money for the league - "and it's millions."