Confusion greets Nations League as Uefa hopes to revive internationals

Heather Diaz
September 6, 2018

The winners of the four League A groups will be drawn into the play-off finals.

But whether the Nations League should be linked to Euro qualifying, and if so in what way, are quibbles for further down the line.

Wales and the Republic of Ireland will also play in the second tier (League B) and have both been drawn in Group Four alongside Denmark.

The Three Lions face Spain at Wembley in a UEFA Nations League tie on Saturday September 8 before meeting Switzerland in a friendly at the King Power Stadium three days later.

The four group winners in League A, however, will qualify for the Uefa Nations League Finals set to be played in June 2019, in one of the participating countries. The 12 teams in Leagues A and B are sorted into four groups of three, the 15 teams in League C are sorted into three groups of four plus one group of three, and the 16 teams in League D are sorted into four groups of four teams.

The finals will take place in June 2019, and will be hosted by one of the competing nations.

Type Uefa Nations League into an internet search engine and you will be greeted by a plethora of bewildered voices.

Similarly, the four bottom-placed teams in Leagues A, B and C will be relegated to the league below.

The better-placed side in each semi-final will be given the advantage of playing at home, while the destination of the finals will be determined by a draw.

The Republic of Ireland, England Scotland and Wales also begin the new worldwide cycle with Nations League matches during the September global break.

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Meanwhile, teams will still be free to play friendly matches when the opportunity arises, hence why Scotland and Belgium meet in Glasgow this Friday, for example. "The friendlies don't really interest anybody - neither the fans nor the players nor the media and nor the national associations", he said in 2014. Italy, Poland and Portugal - the three teams which make up group A3 - have all submitted bids, so it is expected that whoever wins that group will host the finals.

"Teams do not learn and progress by repeatedly losing; now some sides will start winning".

The system will also offer an alternative route into the European Championship, beginning with Euro 2020.

In short, yes. But the UEFA Nations League doesn't do "in short".

By the end of 2019, twenty teams will have qualified through the regular UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, and a lot of permutations will come into play in relation to who will feature in the play-offs.

Effectively, the traditional European Championship qualification process hasn't changed much.

By securing top spot in your mini-group, you automatically advance to a play-off series that is pencilled in for March 2020, where the last four places at the summer showpiece will be handed out.

If a group victor has already qualified for Euro 2020, their spot is given to the next best-ranked team in their group.

When does the first Nations League tournament take place?

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The conditions on which teams are ranked is as follows: position in the group then points, goal difference, goals scored, away goals scored, wins, away wins, disciplinary points, coefficient ranking.

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