In September 2007, CAF (the Confederation of African Football) announced the creation of a new tournament - the African Championship of Nations - a competition for the B-teams (only players who are active in their domestic league are eligible).
This tournament is meant to strengthen the national leagues all over Africa and to enlarge the player pool for the national sides.
Prince Dornu-Leiku wrote an interesting article regarding this competition on PlanetWorldCup.com.
How about a similar competition for countries from Central and Eastern Europe (also known as The wild, wild east on Xtratime :) ), involving teams from the former Eastern Bloc (including Albania and the ex-Yugoslavian countries for good measure)?
Split the 24 countries in 6 groups of 4 teams with the winners and the best two runners-up advancing to the knock-out stages.
Twelve matchdays would be required - 6 the group stage and another 6 for the KO stages (quarterfinals, semifinals and finals would be played over two legs - home and away).
Using the latest FIFA rankings, these would be the pots:
Pot 1: Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Russia, Poland
Pot 2: Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, Hungary, Macedonia
Pot 3: Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovakia, Latvia, Slovenia, Albania
Pot 4: Armenia, Georgia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Montenegro
Group A: Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, Azerbaijan
Group B: Romania, Lithuania, Belarus, Estonia
Group C: Croatia, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia
Group D: Poland, Moldova, Albania, Armenia
Group E: Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Kazakhstan
Group F: Russia, Macedonia, Latvia, Montenegro
These are the available FIFA dates, after EURO 2008:
20 August 2008
06 September 2008
10 September 2008
11 October 2008
15 October 2008
19 November 2008
11 February 2009
28 March 2009
01 April 2009
06 June 2009
10 June 2009
19 August 2009