Given how immensely popular football is, especially in Europe, it was just a matter of time before we had a new competition to look forward to. In comes the UEFA Nations League, officially starting in 2018.
The idea behind the UEFA Nations League started off in 2013, and it is to have all the UEFA countries compete for another title. The main benefits from this are, of course, more revenue for everyone. The less popular countries would benefit from the UEFA broadcast, as a television contract with the UEFA would be centralized.
The popularity of European football, of course, isn’t limited only to the old continent – the great general interest for it is best reflected in the fact that it is possible to bet on European soccer leagues all around the world, using Sportingbet Bonus Code Canada, for example. Having this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the competition was unanimously accepted by all 54 countries at the time. The meeting took place on 27 March 2014, in Asana.
The Tournament Format
Like any tournament, this one also has a format, and it is not that different from what we have seen so far. The countries are divided into groups from A to D. Each group has a certain number of places, though not all have the same numbers. Group A has 12 members, group B also has 12 members, group C has 15 member and group D 16 members.
The numbers amount to 55, the current number of UEFA countries.
Each group will be divided into 4 smaller groups, containing either 3 or 4 teams per group. Inside the smaller groups, every team will face one another twice.
Teams can be promoted and relegated from each group. The first place team in groups B, C and D gets promoted to the next tier group, while the last ones in A, B and C get relegated.
Teams from group A, at least the winners of the smaller groups, go on to the Nations Finals and get a chance to compete for the title. There are two semi final matches, a final match and a third and fourth place decider.
Connections to the UEFA European Championship
The Two championships are connected, providing teams from the UEFA Nations League with another opportunity to enter the European Championship.
Each of the four groups, A, B, C and D, will have playoffs. A winner from every group earns a place at the semi-finals. If the winner of a group is already one of the 20 qualified teams for the European Championship, rankings will be used to determine the next one to get a playoff spot.
There has been generally good reception of the Nations League, mostly as it aims to replace international friendly matches, providing both the teams and fans with more excitement. Teams will actually try harder to compete and fans will get to see better quality football.
The UEFA Nations League is a competition which aims to replace the international friendly matches and make football more exciting, thus potentially eliminating the off-season. Both the teams and the fans get more out of it. Once the 2018/19 season is over, we will have a better understanding of the importance of the UEFA Nations League.