UEFA confirms leagues for new global tournament with England in top tier


WITH THE GROUP stages of the 2018 World Cup qualifying complete, the line-ups for the inaugural Uefa Nations League have been confirmed.

There are four Leagues A, B, C & D, with teams placed according to their UEFA ranking.

Wales just missed out on League A, edged out by Netherlands, with Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland also in League B with them.

The top 12 nations, based on the 2017 UEFA National Ranking, are in League A will be drawn into four groups of three and play each other home and away on the worldwide dates in September, October and November next year.

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The draw of the League of Nations on 24 January 2018 in Lausanne.

In order to counteract what many view as meaningless global friendlies, UEFA have established the Nations League, which will be played off between teams of similar standards.

Within League A, the Nations League winners of the four groups will go into a semi-final format mini tournament to take place in June 2019.

That means missing out on the potential for games against Germany, Italy, Spain and England, who are among the dozen teams to qualify for League A.

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The victor will be decided at a tournament between the winners of the four league A groups in June 2019, with semi-finals, a third-place match and a final to be held in one of the finalist countries.

Four group winners from division "A" in June 2019 will determine the victor of the first draw of the League of Nations.

Teams will be split into one group of three and three groups of four. Best teams from division "B" will move into the elite League of Nations. The four group winners will be promoted to League C for the 2020 edition.

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.

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