Uefa’s new Nations League explained
Four European Championship places up for grabs in new competitive format
Uefa’s new Nations League will comprise of four divisions, each containing 12-14 teams based on Uefa’s coefficients.
As it stands, Ireland, currently ranked in what is essentially the second tier, would play in Division B.
Each division will have four mini-leagues — so Ireland would likely play three or four other Division B teams on a home-and-away basis between September and November 2018.
The winners of each mini-league go into the division’s semi-finals and then final at a neutral venue in June 2019.
Twenty of the 24 qualification places for Euro 2020 will be decided via the usual qualifying groups in matches played from 2019.
The top four teams in each Nations League division will play-off for the four remaining Euro 2020 qualifications places in March 2020, with one team from each division qualifying for the European Championship.
If a team has already qualified, the play-off place goes to the country finishing immediately below them in that division.
Two of Europe’s 13 qualifying places for the 2022 World Cup may also be decided via the top two divisions of the Nations League.
TV income is likely to organised in a similar way to the Champions League, with each country being awarded half the value of its Nations League TV rights deal, and the rest shared out across the 54 nations via participation money and match bonuses.