2020/21 UEFA Nations League: League Phase draw

When is the draw? Who can teams face? What are the draw pots? How does it work?

The UEFA Nations League trophy on stage during the UEFA Nations League draw
The UEFA Nations League trophy on stage during the UEFA Nations League draw UEFA via Getty Images

When is the draw?

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

Who can teams face?

The 55 associations have been 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 have been 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 does the draw work?

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

Are there any restrictions?

Not as things stand! 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 have fallen this time around, there are currently 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 will confirm the 162 League phase fixtures, with dates and kick-off times, as soon as possible after the draw. 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: 8–10 October 2020
Matchday 4: 11–13 October 2020
Matchday 5: 12–14 November 2020
Matchday 6: 15–17 November 2020
Finals: 2, 3, 6 June 2021
Relegation play-offs: 24, 25, 28, 29 March 2022