Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Sports | By Mabel Barber

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Nations League

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Nations League

UEFA has confirmed the composition of the four leagues for the inaugural UEFA Nations League 2018-19, with the Republic of Ireland in League B alongside Northern Ireland and Wales.

The top division is 12 teams strong and will be split into four groups of three, with the winners playing the Nations League finals in June 2019 to decide an overall victor.

Joining England in the top division are France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Croatia and the Netherlands.

Matches to be played home and away between September and November 2018 (teams will play four or six games depending on the size of their group).

Teams in the bottom 16 in the rankings - are now guaranteed one of the 24 qualifying places for the European Championship finals.

The four best placed finishers in each league tier of the Nations Cup that failed to qualify for Euro 2020 will then go into a play-off for one place - with a one legged semi-final and one legged final in March 2020.

The results of the past week's World Cup qualifiers cemented each country's starting position in the Nations League - a biennial four-division tournament which replaces friendly matches from September.

Austria, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Czech Republic and Turkey complete the 12 teams.

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Today it was announced which teams will feature in the four leagues. There will be a normal qualifying competition, with two teams going through from each group.

League C: Hungary, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Norway, Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania.

Teams will be split into one group of three and three groups of four.

Teams will be split into four groups of three. The four group-winning teams in the division groups will progress to a final round to determine a champion.

League D: Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino and Gibraltar.

Euro 2020 qualification will begin after the group stages of the Nations League concludes and will run throughout 2019, with the play-offs taking place the following Spring.

The finer details of the Nations League can be found over on UEFA's website.

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