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Special rules applicable for the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League finals

Teams allowed to make unlimited squad changes before their first match in case of serious injury or illness, while matches will go ahead as long as a team is able to field a squad of 13, including one goalkeeper


With the UEFA Nations League finals to be played from 6-10 October, and to ensure an as safe environment as possible for all those involved, the UEFA Return to Play Protocol will be applicable to the final phase.

The UEFA Executive Committee decided last week to extend the specific COVID-19 rules, as has already been established and applied for other UEFA national team competitions, in order to guarantee the smooth running and continuity of the tournament, which will be held in Milan and Turin and features the hosts Italy, Belgium, France and Spain.

Player list replacements

After submission of the list of 23 players, article 43.04 of the competition regulations allows unlimited replacements in case of serious injury or illness before the first match, provided that the replacements are medically certified.

Players who have tested positive for COVID-19 in tests conducted before the relevant team’s first match or who have been declared as “close contacts” of a positive COVID-19 tested person, can be replaced with the approval of the UEFA administration.

As previously implemented for UEFA national team competition matches, the following specific COVID-19 rules have been adopted for the UEFA Nations League finals.

Specific COVID-19 rules

Should a group of players of a team be placed into mandatory quarantine or self-isolation following a decision of a competent national/local authority, the match will go ahead as scheduled as long as the team has at least 13 players available (including at least one goalkeeper), irrespective of any other provision of the relevant competition regulations (including the deadline for the submission of the list of players).

If a national association is not in a position to field a team with 13 players, (Including at least one goalkeeper), the match may, if possible (i.e. subject to available viable rescheduling options), be rescheduled within the next 24 hours of the date of the relevant match by the UEFA administration, which shall also have the power to assign the rescheduled match to an alternative venue.

If the match cannot be rescheduled, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) will take a decision on the matter. The national association that is responsible for the match not taking place will be declared by the UEFA CEDB to have forfeited the match and will be considered to have lost the match 3-0.

If any member of the appointed referee team for a match tests positive for COVID-19, UEFA may exceptionally appoint replacement match officials who may be of the same nationality as one of the national associations concerned and/or may not be on the FIFA list.

The special rules applicable for the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League finals can be read here in their entirety.