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UEFA Soccer Nations League

The draw for a brand new competiiton, the UEFA nation’s league has just been completed. Here is what this league is all about (adapted from http://www.uefa.com/uefanationsleague/index.html#/)

What is the basic format?

  • The format of the UEFA Nations League will feature promotion and relegation. The 55 European national teams have been divided into four leagues (A-D)in accordance with UEFA’s national association coefficient rankings on 11 October 2017.
  • League A includes the top-ranked sides and League D includes the lowest:

League A

  • Teams will be split into four groups of three, with the group winners then contesting the UEFA Nations League Finals (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.
  • The four teams that finish bottom of their groups will be relegated to League B for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.
  • GROUP 1

    •  Germany
    •  France
    •  Netherlands

    GROUP 2

    •  Belgium
    •  Switzerland
    •  Iceland

    GROUP 3

    •  Portugal
    •  Italy
    •  Poland

    GROUP 4

    •  Spain
    •  England
    •  Croatia

League B

  • Teams will be split into four groups of three.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League A, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League C for the next competition to be played in 2020.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer

GROUP 1

  •  Slovakia
  •  Ukraine
  •  Czech Republic

GROUP 2

  •  Russia
  •  Sweden
  •  Turkey

GROUP 3

  •  Austria
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  •  Northern Ireland

GROUP 4

  •  Wales
  •  Republic of Ireland
  •  Denmark

League C

  • Teams will be split into one group of three and three groups of four.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League B, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League D for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

GROUP 1

  •  Scotland
  •  Albania
  •  Israel

GROUP 2

  •  Hungary
  •  Greece
  •  Finland
  •  Estonia

GROUP 3

  •  Slovenia
  •  Norway
  •  Bulgaria
  •  Cyprus

GROUP 4

  •  Romania
  •  Serbia
  •  Montenegro
  •  Lithuania

League D

  • Due to a decision of the UEFA Executive Committee, Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot be draw in the same group.
  • The four group winners are promoted to League C for the 2020 edition.
  • The top four ranked teams that do not qualify for UEFA EURO 2020 will enter a play-off in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.

GROUP 1

  •  Georgia
  •  Latvia
  •  Kazakhstan
  •  Andorra

GROUP 2

  •  Belarus
  •  Luxembourg
  •  Moldova
  •  San Marino

GROUP 3

  •  Azerbaijan
  •  Faroe Islands
  •  Malta
  •  Kosovo

GROUP 4

  •  FYR Macedonia
  •  Armenia
  •  Liechtenstein
  •  Gibraltar

When will the UEFA Nations League take place?

The UEFA Nations League will take place as follows:

  • The UEFA Nations League group games will be held over six matchdays, during the ‘double-headers’ in September, October and November 2018. The UEFA Nations League Finals competition for the teams that win the four groups within the top division is scheduled for June 2019.
  • For the UEFA Nations League Finals, the group winners of UEFA Nations League A will play in a knockout format (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.
  • The play-off matches will be staged in March 2020 (see below).

Will qualifying for the UEFA EURO change?

 How the play-offs for UEFA EURO 2020 work

The changes to UEFA EURO qualifying will make it more streamlined. The equation is now simple: ten groups with the top two teams in each group qualifying automatically, and the other four places being awarded to European Qualifiers play-off winners, in which the 16 group winners of the UEFA Nations League will be in contention.

The UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw will be made after the completion of the UEFA Nations League and allow for the four UEFA Nations League Finals participants to be drawn into groups of five teams.

But the key principle of the qualifiers remains: that every team can play every team.

  • The European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 commence in March 2019. There will be two matchdays in each of March, June, September, October and November 2019. In total, there will be five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams (ten groups in all) playing over ten matchdays (the same number as now). The winner and runner-up in each of the ten groups will qualify automatically for the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament (June 2020).
  • The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will take place in March 2020 and which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners.
  • If a group winner has already qualified via the European Qualifiers, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League ranking.
  • Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The winner of each path will win a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020.
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