Nations League confirms division structure as Wales miss out on top flight

12 October, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • UEFA Nations League - Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales will be in 'B' competition

England will take their place alongside the heavyweights of Europe in league A when the inaugural Nations League starts in 2018, Uefa confirmed today as it outlined the format of the new competition.

Chris Coleman's side had been on course to challenge the likes of England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France for the inaugural title in European football's third major global competition but lost out by less than 600 coefficient points.

The 12 best countries will compete in League A and will be split into four groups of three.

Honestly, Pies had completely forgotten about the imminent implementation of the UEFA Nations League, which is basically UEFA's attempt to address the dwindling appetite for the surfeit of meaningless friendlies that now clog up the worldwide calendar.

This continues accordingly until each of the groups have four teams in the play-offs.

The four League A group winners will contest the "Final Four" tournament in June 2019, while the bottom placed team will be relegated to League B. They will be replaced in League A by the four group winners from the second tier.

UEFA have confirmed that one of those teams will guarantee a spot in the tournament, with four getting promoted to League A.

Ireland will be joined by Wales, Austria, Slovakia, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Demark, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

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However, the Nations League will be used to decide the seedings for the Euro 2020 qualifiers and, on top of that, offer four non-qualifying teams a "back door" route into Euro 2020.

And League D consists of Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino and Gibraltar.

The draw for individual groups takes place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on January 24, 2018.

League D features 16 teams, with four groups of four, and those teams will play on all six assigned matchdays.

Can teams qualify for Euro 2020 from the Uefa Nations League?

The competition, which UEFA says will replace most global friendlies, will be played in September, October and November 2018, with a group stage draw scheduled for next January.

The qualification for Euro 2020 will now now run from March to November 2019, with Dublin hosting the Group draw on 2 December 2018.

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