UEFA has confirmed that a new European Nations League will start in 2018 which will replace the majority of international friendlies.
The league will be played from September through till November, while the regular Euro 2020 qualifiers will commence the following March (2019).
Fifty-two sides will be split up into four division. Each division will contain four sub-groups
consisting of either three or four teams.
The top ranked European teams at the time (according to UEFA's coefficient rankings) will compete in the top division, with the lowest ranked sides competing in the fourth division.
Each sub-group winner will go through to their division's play-offs, held in June 2019, which will be a straight knockout consisting of two semi-finals and a final.
If however the sub-group winner has already qualified for Euro 2020, then the next best team in the division will qualify for that division's play-offs.
The winner of the first division play-offs will ultimately be crowned the UEFA Nations League champions.
20 of the 24 places for Euro 2020 will be filled by the traditional qualification method. The remaining four will then come from the Nations League, with each of
the winners from the division's play-offs qualifying for the tournament.
F.A chairman Greg Dyke has already commented on the prospect of playing
the likes of Spain and Germany on a regular basis as being 'very
Some do not share his enthusiasm, Stan Collymore for one, who tweets; 'Well done UEFA, just when you thought a governing body couldn't complicate international football anymore, HELLO UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE! Pfft'. His state of confusion is one that is shared in the Twitter community, many of whom seem to be adopting a view of cautious scepticism.
Hopefully though this introduction of UEFA's Nations League will put a necessary end to
those dull and insignificant friendlies, replacing them with action-filled matches that make fans want to walk through the turnstiles each week.
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