UEFA Nations League is a new competition of selections and its organizer is UEFA of course. The idea of UEFA is for it to be held every 2 years so that there is a Final four in the odd years when there is no Euro or World Cup. Learn more about the format and the UEFA nations league standings in this text.
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What is the format of the UEFA Nations League?
It is a competition between the 55 member nations of UEFA which was created because UEFA and its associations wanted more sport meaning in national team football. Likewise, a lot of associations, coaches and players supported this idea because they thought that friendly matches were not providing adequate competition for national teams.
Consequently, the 55 nations are split into four “Leagues” with the strongest nations in League A, and the weakest in League D.
Leagues A, B and C: Four groups of four nations (16 teams each)
League D: One group of four and one group of three (7)
Teams within each group will play each other home and away.
What were the UEFA Nations League groups?
1: Netherlands, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland
2: England, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland
3: Portugal, France, Sweden, Croatia
4: Switzerland, Spain, Ukraine, Germany
1: Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland, Romania
2: Czech Republic, Scotland, Slovakia, Israel
3: Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Hungary
4: Wales, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria
1: Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Montenegro
2: Armenia, Estonia, North Macedonia, Georgia
3: Moldova, Slovenia, Kosovo, Greece
4: Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Belarus, Albania
1: Malta, Andorra, Latvia, Faroe Islands
2: San Marino, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar
Ascents and descents
The winners of each group in Leagues B, C and D move up, while the nations at the bottom of Leagues A and B drop down for the next edition of the Nations League. Moreover, the four bottom teams in League C will playoff to decide which two nations drop to League D.
UEFA nations league standings
Meanwhile, you can find the latest standings here.
Will there be UEFA Nations League champions?
Yes. The four group winners from League A – Belgium, France, Italy and Spain – will play off in knockout format (semifinals, third-place match and final). This was supposed to happen in June 2021, but with Euro 2020 delayed for this summer, the Nations League finals will now take place in October 2021. In addition, Italy will be the host nation as winners of group A1.
How will the Nations League affect World Cup qualifying?
First of all, the games will be crucial in earning FIFA World Ranking points. The qualifying draw will take place on Dec. 7, with the seedings based on the World Ranking at the end of the Nations League group stage.
Secondly, the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League will decide the final two teams for the 2022 World Cup playoffs.
The 10 group winners in World Cup qualifying will go direct to Qatar 2022. The 10 group runners-up will enter the playoffs, along with the two best-ranked Nations League group winners who do not have a qualification route.
The ranking order for a World Cup playoff, as required, for Nations League group winners is: France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Wales, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania, Armenia, Gibraltar and Faroe Islands.
When is the next Nations League?
Believe it or not, another edition of the Nations League will be squeezed into the packed World Cup year in 2022. As a result, there will be four rounds of games in June, and another two in September. Subsequently, the finals will be played in June 2023.
The games will have a direct impact on seeding for qualifying for Euro 2024, and provide the ranking for the playoffs of that tournament.
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To conclude, this cup largely replaces the international friendly matches previously played on the FIFA International Match Calendar. It has a lot of supporters as their teams will now have the chance to play in more competitive matches, take part in a new competition and get a second chance to qualify for the major tournaments for instance. On the other hand, a lot of people are against as it will allow weaker teams to qualify through the Nations League to take part in the Euro finals, instead of getting in through the standard process. Even so, football fans are eager to watch some quality national football matches in the second half of 2021 and enjoy some exciting moments.