25 January 2018

First draw for a debut tournament

Europe will temporarily say bye-bye to meaningless friendlies as from this autumn all member countries of the continent will be occupied with the Nations league. Exactly at midday today in Lausanne, Switzerland, the European football organization conducted the first ever draw for the new competition that will start from September, while finals are going to be played in June 2019. Schedule of groups are the following:

                                                 Nations league A
Group 1                       Group 2                         Group 3                   Group 4
Netherlands                 Iceland                            Poland                     Croatia
France                         Switzerland                     Italy                        England
Germany                      Belgium                          Portugal                   Spain

                                                 Nations league B
Group 1                      Group 2                 Group 3                             Group 4
Czech Republic            Turkey                    Northern Ireland                 Denmark
Ukraine                       Sweden                  Bosnia and Herzegovina       Republic of Ireland
Slovakia                      Russia                     Austria                               Wales

                                                 Nations league C
Group 1                       Group 2                         Group 3                     Group 4
Israel                           Estonia                          Cyprus                       Lithuania
Albania                        Finland                          Bulgaria                     Montenegro
Scotland                      Greece                           Norway                      Serbia
                                   Hungary                         Slovenia                     Romania

                                                 Nations league D
Group 1                       Group 2                         Group 3                     Group 4
Andorra                       San Marino                      Kosovo                       Gibraltar
Kazakhstan                  Moldova                          Malta                         Liechtenstein
Latvia                          Luxembourg                    Faroe Islands              Armenia
Georgia                        Belarus                           Azerbaijan                 FYR Macedonia

The first Nations league winner for 2018/19 season will be contested between four group winners from the A league: with semifinal games, third place match and a final.
Four group winners will be automatically promoted to higher league place (D to C, C to B and B to A). In vice versa scenario, those teams who will finish bottom in their groups are going to be relegated into lower leagues (A to B, B to C and C to D).
Apart from two regular kick-off times a third is going to be introduced as optional - 15.00CET.
This new tournament can be also used as a backdoor for the European championship in 2020. Winners from each groups, those who did not qualified through the regular process, will have their last chance to be at the complicated EURO event in two years time. Depending on how many teams there will be, play off games against each other is going to be at the end of March 2020.
Nations league is going to be played in every two year cycle.


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