February 26, 2018

England in top tier of new UEFA Nations League

12 October 2017, 12:38 | Pamela Mathis

The League of Nations: Ukraine starts in division B

UEFA Nations League - Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales will be in 'B' competition

But, for fairness, any team that wins their Nations League group will not be "promoted" into a play-off in a league above their own.

UEFA claim the main advantage of the new system is that it creates "more meaningful and competitive matches for teams" than the current trend of filling global dates with friendlies.

The Republic of Ireland have been drawn in League B alongside Northern Ireland and Wales. However, if a whole league does not have enough teams for a play-off, which is conceivable in League A, then the places will be filled by the best-ranked teams from the league below.

Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland join Wales in League B while Scotland are consigned to League C given their ranking of 27 in Europe.

How do the leagues line up?

UEFA hopes it will create more competition away from often one-sided qualifying programmes, and give smaller nations a chance to be truly competitive against each other.

League C will be made up of three groups of four teams and one group of three. It concludes with the Final Four tournament in the summer of 2019.

Why has it been launched?

The aim is to improve the quality of worldwide football and reduce the number of meaningless friendlies as UEFA bid to re-ignite interest in the global game.

Uefa hopes that matches will be "more competitive, leading to more interest from supporters who have become bored with global friendlies", adds The Sun, which notes the competition will have a wider significance.

Starting next year, there will be four leagues, with each country placed in a division rated on their level.

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The very top sides in Europe also have a new biennial global honour to compete for - the UEFA Nations League trophy; a three-match mini-tournament hosted at a single venue during June in the years between major finals.

The next edition of the competition, with relegation and promotions taken into account, will begin in 2020.

England who progressed to the World Cup finals this month are in League A.

This continues accordingly until each of the groups have four teams in the play-offs. Russian Federation and Ukraine will not be drawn into the same group. These games will be held in one of the finalists' countries.

What about the major tournaments? .

How teams perform in the Nations League will be used to determine which pots they will be placed in for future European qualifiers for the Euros and the World Cup.

The four group winners are promoted to League A, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League C for the next competition, to be played in 2020.

The Nations League - the brainchild of Michel Platini - is being introduced to bring in more interest in friendly dates while there is the added bonus of a backdoor entry into Euro 2020.

European football's governing body confirmed the pots for the first ever Nations Cup which begins next September as part of an overhaul of the worldwide football calendar.

How will the UEFA Nations League work?

When will the Nations League be played?

"Under the current deal, all of England's matches are screened on ITV but from 2018 the team's friendly matches - which will be a part of a new Uefa Nations League - will only be available on Sky Sports".

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