Monday, 18 December, 2017

Ireland placed in second tier for inaugural UEFA Nations League

Ireland placed in second tier for inaugural UEFA Nations League Ireland placed in second tier for inaugural UEFA Nations League
Kristopher Love | 11 October, 2017, 15:46

The other 43 European nations will be spread across three other Leagues B, C and D - the group winners will be promoted to replace the nations finishing bottom of Leagues A, B and C for the next Nations League which begins in September 2020.

Northern Ireland are also in League B, alongside a number of Ireland's recent opponents, Austria, Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

With all 55 UEFA nations assigned to a league, there are 12 teams in A and B, 15 in C and 16 in D.

The draw for the competition will take place on January 24, and matches will take place in September, October and November next year.

Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Spain are the top seeds and can not play each other, with France, England, Switzerland and Italy in pot 2. One host country will be appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.

All the teams has been split into four levels, with one team from each League guaranteed a spot at Euro 2020.

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.

In each league, four group winners are promoted (or play in the Finals, see below) and four teams are relegated for the next competition to be played in 2020. The draw for those play-offs will take place in November 2019 and the play-offs themselves will occur in March 2020.

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

Group games will be followed by semi-finals involving the four group winners and a final to be played in June 2019.

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

Teams will be drawn into four groups of four.

The Uefa Nations League group stage will be played across three worldwide breaks between September and November 2018.