Wednesday, 24 January 2018

All you need to know about the new UEFA Nations League

What is the UEFA Nations League?
The UEFA Nations League is a new international tournament where European nations will play against each other  in a league format for the chance to compete in the Final Four summer showpiece in 2019, where the winner will be crowned the Nations League champion.
How will it work?
There will be 55 teams involved, split into four leagues (A, B, C and D) based on their UEFA ranking at the end of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. Within those four leagues, teams will be split again into groups, which will be made up of either three or four teams. Within each league, four teams will be promoted at the end of the cycle, while four teams will be relegated. They will then play at their new level in the next competition, which starts in 2020. The winners of the four groups in League A will qualify for the Final Four competition.

How the groups have been divided
League A (four groups of three): Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Croatia, Netherlands
League B (four groups of three): Austria, Wales , Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Turkey
League C (one group of three, three groups of four): Hungary, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Norway, Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania
League D (four groups of four): Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino, Gibraltar

When will the Nations League take place?
The draw for the above group stages takes place on Wednesday in Lausanne at 11am GMT. Ukraine and Russia will not be drawn into the same group, and neither will Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Matchday 1: September 6-9, 2018
Matchday 2: September 9-11, 2018
Matchday 3: October 11-13, 2018
Matchday 4: October 14-16, 2018
Matchday 5: November 15-17, 2018
Matchday 6: November 18-20, 2018
Finals: June 5-9, 2019

What is the Final Four?
The Final Four is the climax to the Nations League. It will take place in June 2019 and pit the group winners from League A, B, C and D against each other. There will be a one-game semi-final stage followed by the final. The winner will be named as Nations League champion.

The Final Four tournament will occur in odd years, meaning that in years when there isn't a World Cup or European Championships, there will be a Nations League winner. 

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