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UEFA Nations League
UEFA Nations League
Founded 2018
Region Europe (UEFA)
Tournament information
Current champions Flag of Portugal Portugal
Number of teams 55
Most successful club Flag of Portugal Portugal (1 title)
Football current event Current
Website Official website

The UEFA Nations League is an 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.

Adoption

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 55 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 Steven Martens said that lower-ranked nations would still benefit financially from the competition, as the television contract with UEFA would be centralised.

The UEFA Nations League was unanimously adopted by the 54 UEFA member associations (Kosovo was not a member at this time) at the XXXVIII Ordinary UEFA Congress in Astana on 27 March 2014.

Format

According to the approved format (prior to Kosovo becoming UEFA member), the now 55 UEFA national teams (including Kosovo) will be divided into four divisions (called "Leagues"): 12 teams in League A, 12 teams in League B, 15 teams in League C, and 16 teams in League D. In each division, four groups are formed (three or four teams in each group) and play each other both home and away.

In the top division League A, each winner of the four groups go on to play in the Nations League Finals, with two semi-finals and one final to decide which team becomes the UEFA Nations League champion.

Teams can also be promoted and relegated to a higher or lower division. Each group winner (there are four groups in each division) is automatically promoted to the next higher division for the next tournament. Each team placing last in its group is automatically relegated to the next lower division.

UEFA European Championship link

Main article: UEFA European Championship qualifying

The UEFA Nations League will be linked with the UEFA European Championship qualifying, providing teams another chance to qualify for the UEFA European Championship.

In addition to the Nations League Finals of League A, there will be four play-offs with a similar format. Each group winner takes a spot in the semi-finals. If the group winner is already one of 20 qualified teams, rankings will be used to give the play-off spot to another team of the league. If less than four teams in the entire League remain unqualified, play-off spots for that league are given to teams of the next-lower league. This determines the four remaining qualifying spots for the European Championship (out of 24 total).

FIFA World Cup link

Main article: FIFA World Cup qualification

The Nations League may also be linked with UEFA's future World Cup qualifications for the same purpose, possibly using the top two divisions.

Criticism

The format was criticised for allegedly allowing weaker teams to qualify through the Nations League to compete in the European Championship finals, instead of qualifying through the standard qualification process.

Seasons

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 (Nations League Finals of League A), meaning a UEFA Nations League champion will be crowned every two years.

Results of Nations League Finals

Season Host Final Third place play-off
Winner Score Runner-up Third place Score Fourth place
2018–19 Flag of Portugal.png Portugal

Team performances by season

  • Rise Promoted
  • Same position No movement
  • Fall Relegated
  • Q – Qualified for upcoming UEFA Nations League Finals
  •    – Hosts of UEFA Nations League Finals
Team 2018–19 2020–21
LG RK P/R LG RK P/R
Flag of Albania.png Albania C &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position C
Flag of Andorra.png Andorra D &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Armenia.png Armenia D &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Austria.png Austria B &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position B
Flag of Azerbaijan.png Azerbaijan D
Belarus Flag.svg Belarus D &0000000000000001.000000Rise C
Belgium.png Belgium A 5 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.png Bosnia and Herzegovina B &0000000000000001.000000Rise A
Flag of Bulgaria.png Bulgaria C &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position C
Croatia.png Croatia A &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall B
Flag of Cyprus.png Cyprus C
Flag of Czech.jpg Czech Republic B &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position B
Flag of Denmark.gif Denmark B &0000000000000001.000000Rise A
England.png England A Q &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Estonia.svg Estonia C 37 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall D
Faroe Islands.png Faroe Islands D &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Finland.gif Finland C 28 &0000000000000001.000000Rise B
Flag of France.png France A 6 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Georgia.png Georgia D 40 &0000000000000001.000000Rise C
Germany.png Germany A &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall B
Flag of Gibraltar.png Gibraltar D &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Greece.svg.png Greece C 33 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position C
Flag of Hungary.png Hungary C &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position C
Flag of Iceland.png Iceland A 12 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall B
Flag of Israel.png Israel C
Flag of Italy.gif Italy A 8 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Kazakhstan.png Kazakhstan D 47 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Kosovo.png Kosovo D
Latvia.png Latvia D 51 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Liechtenstein.png Liechtenstein D 52 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Lithuania.png Lithuania C &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall D
Luxembourg.png Luxembourg D &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Macedonia.png North Macedonia D 41 &0000000000000001.000000Rise C
Malta.png Malta D &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Moldova.png Moldova D 48 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Flag of Montenegro.png Montenegro C
Netherlands.png Netherlands A Q &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Northern Ireland.jpg Northern Ireland B 24 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall C
Flag of Norway.png Norway C &0000000000000001.000000Rise B
Flag of Poland.png Poland A &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall B
Flag of Portugal.gif Portugal A Q &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Republic Ireland.gif Republic of Ireland B 23 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall C
Romania.png Romania C
Flag of Russia Good One.gif Russia B
San Marino.png San Marino D 55 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position D
Scotland.png Scotland C
Flag of Serbia.png Serbia C
Slovakia.png Slovakia B 21 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall C
Flag of Slovenia.png Slovenia C &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall D
Flag of Spain.png Spain A 7 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Sweden Good one.jpg Sweden B
Switzerland.png Switzerland A Q &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position A
Flag of Turkey.png Turkey B 22 &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2.1000000Fall C
Flag of Ukraine.png Ukraine B &0000000000000001.000000Rise A
Flag of Wales.gif Wales B &-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1.000000Same position B

See also

UEFA Nations League
UEFA Nations League seasons

2018-19 · 2020-21 ·

UEFA Nations League finals
2019
UEFA Nations League squads
2019
UEFA competitions
National teams
European Championship (U-21 · U-19)
Clubs
Champions League · Europa League · Super Cup · UEFA Women's Champions League · Cup Winners' Cup (defunct) · Intertoto Cup (defunct) · Women's Champions League
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