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What is the UEFA Nations League?

UEFA's newest national-team competition is into its second edition; find out all you need to know.

The UEFA Nations League trophy
The UEFA Nations League trophy ©UEFA via Getty Images

The UEFA Nations League is a national-team competition that replaces friendlies with competitive matches, allowing nations to play against equally-ranked teams. The four group winners of the top-ranked League A qualify for the UEFA Nations League Finals in June 2021. For the remaining sides, there is promotion and relegation to play for.

How does it work?

The draw for the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League League Phase was made on 3 March 2020.

Ahead of the draw, the 55 competing teams were split into four Leagues according to their position in the UEFA National Team Coefficient Rankings following the 2018/19 inaugural UEFA Nations League.

A new league structure has been introduced since the first edition, comprising 16 teams in Leagues A, B and C and seven teams in League D. The group winners in Leagues B, C and D will gain promotion. Those who finish bottom of the groups in Leagues A and B will be relegated. Two League C teams will be relegated to League D for the third edition of the competition in 2022/23. Those two teams are determined by play-offs (home and away) between the four fourth-ranked teams from each League C group.

How are the winners decided?

The four group winners of League A qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals in June 2021. The knockout tournament will be hosted by one of the quartet.

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