The UEFA Nations League is an international men’s football competition, contested by members of the European football governing body, UEFA and first held in 2018.
The tournament was created in order to replace uncompetitive international friendlies with competitive matches between equally ranked teams.
The first tournament took place between September and November 2018 over four match days, with the Finals taking place in Portugal in June 2019. The first and current champions of the UEFA Nations League were Portugal, who defeated the Netherlands 1-0 in their home country.
How does the UEFA Nations League work?
The UEFA Nations League is a biennial tournament, held between the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships. All 55 UEFA members compete in the UEFA Nations League, divided into four divisions (leagues) with promotion and relegation between them.
For the 2020-21 tournament, there will be 16 teams in League’s A, B and C, with 7 teams in League D. The league’s are divided into four groups of four teams, playing six matches on a home-and-away basis (except for a group of three in League D that plays four matches).
In the top league (League A), the four group winners qualify for the UEFA Nations League Finals, hosted by one of those four teams. The group winners in Leagues B, C and D will gain promotion whilst those who finish bottom of the groups in Leagues A and B will be relegated. Two teams in League will be relegated, determined by a home-and-away play-off between the four bottom teams.
The UEFA Nations League also provides teams with an alternative route to qualify for the UEFA European Championships. Teams that won their UEFA Nations League group in the tournament preceding a Euros will earn a spot in the play-offs, or if they had already qualified for the Euros, the play-off spot will go to the next best ranked team.
In the tournament preceding a FIFA World Cup, the best two Nations League group winners, based on the Nations League overall ranking that finished outside the top two of their qualifying group will compete in the play-offs.
2020-21 UEFA Nations League
For the 2020-21 tournament, there will be 16 teams in League’s A, B and C, with 7 teams in League D. The 2020-21 tournament will see the league phase played between September and November 2020, over six match days.
The Finals were originally due to be played in June 2021 but were rescheduled due to the postponed UEFA Euro 2020 and will now be played in September/October 2021.
Group A1 – Netherlands, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland
Group A2 – England, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland
Group A3 – Portugal, France, Sweden, Croatia
Group A4 – Switzerland, Spain, Ukraine, Germany
Group B1 – Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland, Romania
Group B2 – Czech Republic, Scotland, Slovakia, Israel
Group B3 – Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Hungary
Group B4 – Wales, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Bulgaria
Group C1 – Montenegro, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan
Group C2 – Georgia, North Macedonia, Estonia, Armenia
Group C3 – Greece, Kosovo, Slovenia, Moldova
Group C4 – Albania, Belarus, Lithuania, Kazakhstan
Group D1 – Faroe Islands, Latvia, Andorra, Malta
Group D2 – Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, San Marino
Matchday 1: 3rd-5th September 2020
Matchday 2: 6th-8th September 2020
Matchday 3: 10th-11th October 2020
Matchday 4: 13th-14th October 2020
Matchday 5: 14th-15th November 2020
Matchday 6: 17th-18th November 2020
Finals: September/October 2021
League C Relegation play-offs: 24th-25th March & 28th-29th March 2022
How do I get tickets to the UEFA Nations League?
Tickets for UEFA Nations League league matches will be available through each of the nation’s football associations.
For the Finals, tickets will be available through the UEFA website. Ticket prices for 2019 UEFA Natons League Finals ranged from €30-€120 for the third place match, to €40-€150 for the Final.