European Gods of soccer a.k.a. UEFA have decided that the old format of qualifiers was too simple. They wanted to make it a bit more complicated, but it seems they went over the line – it seems that no one has any idea how the UEFA Nations League works.
If you’re one of the soccer fans who are clueless about the rules of the new format, you’re at the right place. I’m now going to explain how it works!
No More Friendlies
Back in the day, people loved friendlies. But then, somewhere around the turn of the century, some new rules were introduced, most importantly the limitless number of substitutions. What this means is that the head coach had the right to sub as many players as he wanted, basically making friendlies look like training games.
It’s no surprise that the fans lost their interested in these types of games, which meant empty stadiums. And empty stadiums meant less money from the tickets. Of course UEFA had to do something about it. They came up with a kind of drastic solution – no more friendlies!
Instead of playing friendly games, national teams from Europe are going to play a bunch of matches as a part of the UEFA Nations League over the course of two years.
Eyes on the Prize
What makes Nations League a more exciting alternative to friendlies is the prize the teams will get. This competition determines which national teams are gonna get qualified for the Euro 2020. It’s gonna be the 16th European Championship, a competition that’s been happening every four years since 1960.
If you do your math, you will see that Euro 2020 will mark the 60th anniversary of the competition, hence the reason why UEFA decided to make the qualifiers special. Speaking of qualifications, 24 teams that do well in the Nations League will get to play in the final stage.
UEFA Nations League
There are currently 55 UEFA-approved national teams in Europe. Each of these teams gets a chance to qualify for the European Competition by participating in the Nations League. Of course, it would be unfair to pit teams like Malta against heavyweights like France, which is why UEFA decided to separate teams into four leagues according to their strength, which is judged by their coefficient.
Therefore, we got the League A in which 12 best European team compete, including France, Germany, Spain, and so on. Similarly, the weakest teams are in the League D, where we’ll see some national teams that you might not have even heard of – Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, San Marino, etc.
And because there are 12-16 teams in each league, the leagues have their own groups with three or four teams in each. The winners of the leagues B, C, and D will get promoted to a higher league until we get a clear list of teams that will compete in the Euro 2020.
But, this isn’t the end. UEFA wanted to make it even more complicated by adding a knockout system that will determine the winner of the first-ever UEFA Nations League. The Final 4 will take place next June.
Why Nations League Might Actually be the Best Thing for Soccer?
If you’re wondering what made UEFA come up with such a complicated system, it’s to make the beautiful game even more interesting. Instead of friendlies, we’re gonna have a huge number of highly-competitive international matches.
What that means is that bettors will have plenty of opportunities to have fun and make some money. The best thing is that some bookies and online casinos have already started giving away some pretty lucrative bonuses for this competition. Click here if you want to find out more about those promotions!