2020-2021 UEFA Nations League
The 2020-2021 UEFA Nations League is the second edition of the League of Nations organized by the Union of European Football Associations. It pits the men's national teams of the 55 member associations in a group stage from September 3 to November 18, 2020 and a final phase postponed from October 6 to 10, 2021 following the postponement of the European Championship to 2021.
The final of this 2020-2021 competition is won by France on October 10, 2021 in Milan against Spain (2-1). France thus becomes the first team to achieve the double World Cup (2018) and League of Nations (2020-2021) but also the first team to have won in its history the World Cup, the Olympic Games, the Euro, the Confederations Cup and the League of Nations.
The format of the competition is changed from the previous edition. Thereby :
All 55 UEFA member associations take part in the competition;
The teams are split into four leagues, A-B-C-D, based on their performance in the 2018-2019 Nations League group stage. The breakdown is as follows:
Sixteen teams in League A (the 12 teams from League A 2018-2019 + 4 promoted from League B);
Sixteen teams in League B (the 8 non-promoted teams from Ligue B 2018-2019 + 8 promoted from Ligue C);
Sixteen teams in League C (the 7 non-promoted teams from Ligue C 2018-2019 + 9 promoted from Ligue D);
Seven teams in League D (the 7 non-promoted teams of League D 2018-2019).
Leagues A, B and C are divided into four groups of four teams, so that each team plays six games within each group (using the home-away system). League D is divided into two groups of four and three teams respectively.
The four group winners of League A advance to the Nations League finals, which takes place in October 2021, with two semi-finals, a third-place match and a final. A host country will be appointed by UEFA from among the finalist teams. For this edition, 3 countries have applied to host the final phase of the competition:
These three nations being in the same group (Group 1), Italy (winner of this group) will organize the final phase of the competition.
Teams are also subject to a system of promotion and relegation to a higher or lower division. In League A, the bottom four teams in each group are relegated. In League B, the four winners in each group are promoted, while the bottom teams in each group are relegated. In League C, the four winners from each group are promoted, while the bottom teams in each group play relegation play-offs, two of them subsequently being relegated and the other two remain in League C. In League D, the two group winners are promoted.
Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup
This edition will be linked to the qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
First round (group stage): The 55 UEFA affiliated teams at the time of the draw will be divided into ten groups (five groups of six teams and five groups of five teams). Each team meets all the opponents within its group in home and away matches. The winners of each group qualify for the World Cup and the ten runners-up qualify for the second round (play-offs) Second round (play-offs): the play-offs will be played in two rounds in single knockout matches:
the 1st round would pit the ten second-ranked teams in their group against the two best unqualified nations via the playoffs based on the League of Nations results.
the 2nd round will see