UEFA Nations League
|Number of teams||54|
The UEFA Nations League is a proposed international association football competition, to be contested by the senior men's national teams of the member associations of UEFA, the sport's European governing body. The first tournament is due to commence in September 2018, after the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the winner will be decided in June 2019. The competition will largely replace international friendly matches currently played on the FIFA International Match Calendar.
In October 2013, Norwegian Football Association President Yngve Hallén confirmed that talks had been held to create a third full national-team international tournament for UEFA members but warned that it was only at the design stage.
The concept of the UEFA Nations League would see all 54 of UEFA's members associations' national teams divided into a series of groups based upon a ranking formulated using their recent results, where they would be promoted and relegated to other groups according to their results within the group. The proposed tournament would take place on dates on the International match calendar that are currently allocated for international friendlies and would not affect the FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championship.
In March 2014, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino stated that one of the benefits of the proposal would be to help less glamorous national associations arrange games. The Football Association's chairman Greg Dyke said that the proposal is "very attractive", as England would be expected to play against top-ranking national teams. Royal Belgian Football Association's general secretary Steve Martens said that lower-ranked nations would still benefit financially from the competition, as the television contract with UEFA would be centralised.
According to the approved format, the 54 UEFA national teams will be divided into four divisions (called "Leagues"): 12 teams in League A, 12 teams in League B, 14 teams in League C, and 16 teams in League D. In the top division League A, teams will compete to become the UEFA Nations League champions. Teams will also compete for promotion and relegation to a higher or lower division. The UEFA Nations League will also be linked with UEFA Euro qualifying, providing teams another chance to qualify for the UEFA Euro finals tournament.
Each season of the UEFA Nations League will be played from September to November of an even-numbered year (pool stage), and June of the following odd-numbered year (final four competition of League A), meaning a UEFA Nations League champion will be crowned every two years.
All 54 UEFA national teams will compete in the UEFA Nations League.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- Northern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland
- San Marino
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- Gibson, Owen (10 October 2013). "Uefa explores internationals shake-up with Nations League plan". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- "Nations League: New European tournament to be confirmed". BBC Sport. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- ""Nations League moet nieuwe mijlpaal in Europese voetbal worden"" (in Dutch). zita.be. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- "UEFA Nations League: all you need to know". UEFA.com. 27 March 2014.
- "UEFA Nations League/UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying" (PDF). UEFA.com.
- "UEFA Nations League format and schedule approved". UEFA.com. 4 December 2014.
- "UEFA Nations League format and schedule confirmed". UEFA.org. 4 December 2014.
- "UEFA Nations League and European Qualifiers competition format, 2018–2020" (PDF). UEFA.com.