UEFA unveils Nations League tiering with draw set for January 2018

  • UEFA unveils Nations League tiering with draw set for January 2018

UEFA unveils Nations League tiering with draw set for January 2018

Iceland's remarkable rise has been rewarded with a place among Europe's top teams in UEFA's inaugural Nations League which kicks off next September.

Four group winners from division "A" in June 2019 will determine the victor of the first draw of the League of Nations.

ENGLAND are the only Home Nation in the European elite for Uefa's new competition.

The draw of the League of Nations on 24 January 2018 in Lausanne.

When it was unveiled in January the new Uefa Nations League was touted as the answer to "rejuvenate national team football".

The winners of the four groups will be promoted to League A, from which the bottom placed sides of the four groups will be relegated to League B.

Country coefficients and the recently concluded World Cup qualifying helped determine which nations would be drawn into the four different leagues - A, B, C, D.

Today it was announced which teams will feature in the four leagues.

Northern Ireland are also in League B, alongside a number of Ireland's recent opponents, Austria, Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ostensibly, the initiative is about appeasing the big guns in League A who want to play each other more often in lucrative games and it also gives them a strong back-up plan if they suffer a disastrous qualifying series.

In a similar format, the four group winners will advance to the semi-finals.

Scotland, Norway, Greece and Serbia are among 15 countries in League C, while the 16-team League D includes minnows like Liechtenstein, San Marino and Gibraltar, along with sides such as Belarus and Macedonia.

The competition, which UEFA says will replace most worldwide friendlies, will be played in September, October and November 2018, with a group stage draw scheduled for next January.

On the flip side, with relegation and promotion at the end of each cycle, it means that some of the teams historically always at the very pinnacle of the game are always just a couple of below-par performances away from suddenly finding themselves stuck in the second tier for at least two years, with seeding for the World Cup and European Championships affected as a result.