Teams learn their status for new Uefa tournament

Teams learn their status for new Uefa tournament

Wales's World Cup misery was compounded on Wednesday after Uefa revealed they had been pipped by Holland to a place in the top division of its new Nations League. The four group winners are promoted to League A, with the four sides that finish bottom relegated to League C for the next competition, to be played in 2020.

The finer details of the Nations League can be found over on UEFA's website.

The Nations League, which starts in September, is aimed at cutting out "meaningless" friendlies - but will also produce four Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The draw takes place on January 24 with the games to be played between September and November next year with Euro 2020 qualifiers being run off in 2019.

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.

Teams will be split into four groups of three.

Crucially, the top four ranked League B teams that do not qualify for Euro 2020 will enter play-offs in March 2020 with one place in the competition on offer.

A host country will be appointed in December 2018 from the finalist teams.

UEFA hopes it will create more competition away from often one-sided qualifying programmes, and give smaller nations a chance to be truly competitive against each other.

There will still be dates in the calendar for the top nations to play worldwide friendlies, with Nations League games taking up four of the six available global match dates at the end of next year.

Albania's coach Christian Pannuci has been set a Euro 2020 qualification task as he succeeded Italian compatriot Gianni De Biasi in mid-2017 and led the national side in its last four World Cup qualifiers.

Each league will have its own play-off competition with single-leg semi-final and final to decide who gets the final four places. Scotland are the lowest ranked of the home nations so they are in League C. "Under the current deal, all of England's matches are screened on ITV but from 2018 the team's friendly matches - which will be a part of a new Uefa Nations League - will only be available on Sky Sports".

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