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2020/21 UEFA Nations League: League Phase draw

When was the draw? How did it work? What were the pots? Who drew who?

UEFA via Getty Images

When was the draw?

The draw took place on Tuesday 3 March 2020, with the ceremony getting under way at 18:00 CET in Amsterdam.

Who drew who?

League A

Spain v Germany: Two giants collide

Group 1: Netherlands, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland
Group 2: England, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland
Group 3: Portugal, France, Sweden, Croatia
Group 4: Switzerland, Spain, Ukraine, Germany

League B

Group 1: Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland, Romania
Group 2: Czech Republic, Scotland, Slovakia, Israel
Group 3: Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Hungary
Group 4: Wales, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria

League C

Group 1: Montenegro, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan
Group 2: Georgia, North Macedonia, Estonia, Armenia
Group 3: Greece, Kosovo, Slovenia, Moldova
Group 4: Albania, Belarus, Lithuania, Kazakhstan

League D

Group 1: Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra, Malta
Group 2: Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, San Marino

The full fixture schedule with confirmed dates and kick-off times is available here.

What were the pots?

Nations League 2018/19 memories

The 55 associations were split into four Leagues according to their position in the UEFA National Team Coefficient Rankings (1–16 in League A, 17–32 in League B, 33-48 in League C, 49–55 in League D). Within each League, teams were subdivided into two (League D) or four pots (for Leagues A, B and C), again according to the rankings.

League A

Pot 1: Portugal, Netherlands, England, Switzerland
Pot 2: Belgium, France, Spain, Italy
Pot 3: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden
Pot 4: Croatia, Poland, Germany, Iceland

League B

Pot 1: Russia, Austria, Wales, Czech Republic
Pot 2: Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Finland
Pot 3: Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland
Pot 4: Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary, Romania

League C

Pot 1: Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Georgia
Pot 2: North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Cyprus
Pot 3: Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Luxembourg
Pot 4: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova

League D

Pot 1: Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Liechtenstein
Pot 2: Andorra, Malta, San Marino

How did the draw work?

How the UEFA Nations League draw worked

The draw started with League D and Pot 2, which contained three balls, with teams assigned to groups in ascending order from D1 to D2. The draw continued with Pot 1. The draws for the other Leagues followed a similar procedure, though with four pots.

Were there any restrictions?

There are typically three restrictions placed on draws:

  • Prohibited team clashes (teams who cannot be paired as decided by the UEFA Executive Committee)
  • Winter venue restrictions (groups may include a maximum of two venues with high or medium risk of severe winter conditions)
  • Excessive travel restrictions (teams cannot be paired if travel time is eight hours of more, including flight and 90 minutes ground operations)

Because of how the Leagues and draw pots fell this time around, there were no potential clashes.

How do the Leagues work?

Teams play each other home and away, with the four group winners of League A qualifying for the UEFA Nations League Finals in June 2021 that feature semi-finals, a third-place match and the final. The group winners in Leagues B, C and D gain promotion and those who finish bottom of the groups in Leagues A and B will be relegated.

As League C has four groups while League D has only two, the two League C teams to be relegated will be determined by two-leg play-offs in March 2022. If a team due to participate in the play-offs qualifies for the 2022 FIFA World Cup play-offs, the League C teams ranked 47th and 48th in the overall UEFA Nations League rankings are automatically relegated.

When do the matches and finals take place?

UEFA has confirmed the 162 League phase fixtures, with dates and kick-off times. Kick-off times are 15:00 CET (Saturday and Sunday, optional), 18:00 CET and 20:45 CET. Matchweeks are below:

Matchday 1: 3–5 September 2020
Matchday 2: 6–8 September 2020
Matchday 3: 10–11 October 2020
Matchday 4: 13–14 October 2020
Matchday 5: 14–15 November 2020
Matchday 6: 17–18 November 2020
Finals: TBC
Relegation play-offs: 24, 25, 28, 29 March 2022

The full fixture schedule with confirmed dates and kick-off times is available here.