e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Impact of the UEFA Nations League on competitive balance, competitive intensity, and fairness in European men’s national team football

    Scelles, Nicolas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6177-5307, Francois, Aurelien and Valenti, Maurizio (2024) Impact of the UEFA Nations League on competitive balance, competitive intensity, and fairness in European men’s national team football. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. ISSN 1940-6940

    [img]
    Preview
    Published Version
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

    Download (1MB) | Preview

    Abstract

    This paper investigates the multifaceted dimensions of sport promotion, development, and integrity within the context of men’s football in Europe. It specifically focuses on the impact of a newly introduced competition, the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Nations League (UNL), on these three dimensions. The study utilises a dataset comprising 1,058 games played over two distinct periods: 503 games from 2014-2016 (pre-UNL) and 555 games from 2018-2021 (UNL era). The primary areas of interest are competitive balance (CB) and competitive intensity (CI), measured at the intra-match (both CB and CI) and postmatch (CB only) levels, and fairness. Regressions and statistical tests were conducted to explain the determinants of CB and compare CB and CI between both periods. The analysis reveals that CB deteriorated, primarily attributed to changing incentives for the strongest and weakest teams during Euro qualifying matches. By contrast, CI increased due to the UNL’s replacement of most friendly games. While recent literature has raised potential fairness issues due to the establishment of the UNL, findings of this study suggest that the integrity of national men’s football team competitions and games in Europe remained intact during this period. This article advances knowledge of CB and CI. Besides, it also provides empirical evidence that the UNL did not compromise the fairness of national men’s football team competitions and games in Europe. By bringing CB, CI, and fairness together, this study highlights the crucial role of sports organisations in promoting and developing their sport, while also safeguarding its integrity.

    Impact and Reach

    Statistics

    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    8Downloads
    6 month trend
    79Hits

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

    Altmetric

    Repository staff only

    Edit record Edit record