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What is going on with the UEFA Nations League?

Important changes come to the format of the football organization, find out everything here.

View of the National Arena Bucharest Stadium.

A new calendar comes to the UEFA Nations League. / Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

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Leer en español: Conoce lo que trae de nuevo la UEFA Nations League

Two years ago, the most important European football entity unveiled the “different and non-complex” format, with which it is intended to play every two years “to end matches without transcendence between selections in the international football calendar” according to the BBC.

In this way, the 55 UEFA countries agreed to be divided into four Leagues: A, B, C,  and D which will be divided into four groups. Unlike the first edition, this time it was agreed that the first 3 leagues will have 16 selections, unlike the previous one where they were 12.  Meanwhile, League D will now have 7 countries.

According to the official UEFA website, the change in format occurred when member countries expressed their desire to continue reducing the number of friendly matches. "In addition, it improves sports equity, since all the teams of the groups of four teams will play their last game on the same day and at the same time" . In addition to the above, the organization also expressed that now there will be 162 matches and the 'Finals' will be played, in which the winners of League A face each other to determine the champion of the League of Nations.

It should be noted that this tournament serves as part of the qualification process for the World Cup, which will take place in Qatar in 2022.

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How are the Leagues configured?

To determine which country belongs to each League, the organization takes into account the ranking of selections after the end of the 2018/19 UEFA Nations League, and according to the results a selection can rise or fall (in this case those selections that end last in their groups) to the different Leagues. This is how the best are in League A, and the worst-ranked are in League D.

This ranking has certain characteristics for the first three leagues, since the general ranking is added taking into account the position within the group, the points, the difference in goals, goals scored, goals made as visitors, matches won, matches won as visitors, among others. In contrast, in League D, "the results against the fourth classified are not taken into account when comparing the teams ranked first, second and third place in their respective groups," according to the official website.

The Leagues for the 2020/21 competition

In the draw held on March 3 in Amsterdam, the most interesting matches of League A and B (the latter to show which team will be part of the popular League A), were as follows:

Among the most important matches is that of Spain against Germany, two teams that were crowned World champions, but that little by little have gotten worse, recalling the performance of the German team past World Cup. In addition, the current champion, Portugal, will face France, champion of the last World Cup.

However, it seems that the changes made have a greater influence on the teams belonging to League A, who will shine again and attract more public, plus descending will not cost them so much, because once they reach League B it will be easy to rise again; while League D again encloses the smaller teams and makes it difficult for them to ascend to League A.

The matches will be played for six days, then the final phase will be drawn and then the final will take place. This is the way the games will take place:

  • Day 1: 3-5 September 2020
  • Day 2: from September 6 to 8, 2020
  • Day 3: October 8-10, 2020
  • Day 4: October 11-13, 2020
  • Day 5: November 12-14, 2020
  • Day 6: November 15-17, 2020
  • Final phase draw: to be confirmed
  • Final phase: June 2-6, 2021
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