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Uefa confirm the Nations League will impact on Euro 2020 qualifying

It was also explained that the new competition will replace “most friendlies”.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: EMPICS Sport

Updated at 12.53

THE UEFA NATIONS League has been in the works for a number of years now, but most of the finer details have been confirmed today.

The competition, which Uefa say will replace “most friendlies” in international football, is due to begin on 6 September 2018, and will separate teams according to how they are ranked.

The following details, as per the official Uefa website, have also been confirmed.

  • All 55 Uefa associations enter.
  • The teams are split into four leagues, A–B–C–D, according to their position in the Uefa National Team Coefficient Rankings following the end of the European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup (as per 11 October 2017; play-off results will not be included).
  • League A will consist of the 12 top-ranked teams. The next 12 teams will be in League B, the next 15 in League C and the remaining 16 in League D.
  • Leagues A and B will each comprise four groups of three teams.
  • League C will contain one group of three teams and three groups of four sidesLeague D will be formed by four groups of four teams.
  • All draw procedures to be confirmed. Matches to be played home and away between September and November 2018 (teams will play four or six games depending on the size of their group).
  • The four group winners of League A will qualify for the Uefa Nations League Finals, to be held in June 2019, with two semi-finals, a third-place match and the final. One host country will be appointed by the Uefa Executive Committee in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.
  • The group winners in Leagues B, C and D will gain promotion and those who finish bottom of the groups in Leagues A, B and C will be relegated.

Ireland are currently ranked 23rd in the Uefa coefficients, which would place them in League B, although that is subject to change depending how they get on in their upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers, with the League Phase Draw set to take place on 24 January 2018.

Uefa also confirmed that the results of the Nations League will impact on qualifying for Euro 2020.

With 24 finalists in total, the top two teams from each of the 10 Euro 2020 qualifying groups will go through automatically.

Uefa says that the final four places will be awarded via European qualifying play-offs, with 16 Uefa Nations League group winners (i.e. the four group winners in each of the four divisions).

  • 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.
  • If a Uefa Nations League 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 rankings.

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