What's next after the group stages in Nations League, and how can countries earn a Euro 2020 place?

Countries are currently challenging for promotion and relegation, while the competition offers the likes of Georgia and Kosovo another chance at reaching Euro 2020.

What happens next?

Starting with the promotion and relegation side of the group stages:

  • Four group winners from Leagues B to D will play in the tier above for the 2020/21 edition
  • Each bottom-placed side in groups for Leagues A and B will be demoted to the division below for the next tournament
  • In League C, there is one group of three and three groups of four – meaning that the bigger groups will see the bottom side relegated, along with the lowest-ranked third place side
  • To ensure it is fair for all, only results against the top two nations will count towards the ranking for the worst third place side in League C

In June 2019, there will be the Nations League Finals to determine the overall winner:

  • This will include the winner from each group in League A only
  • The four teams will be drawn into semi-finals for a single-leg knockout match
  • The winners will play out the final and losers in the third-place play-off
  • The host country for the Finals must be one of the participants and must provide two stadiums of at least 30,000 capacity
  • Nations put forward their bids before the August 2018 deadline
  • Portugal will host the Finals – their fellow bidders Italy and Poland were also in Group A3 with Portugal claiming top spot
  • The winner of the Finals is crowned the Nations League champion

How can you earn a Euro 2020 place?

One of the incentives for countries to perform to the highest level in the Nations League is that there are four Euro 2020 spots on offer.

But with the normal qualification also taking place, it has led to confusion over who will get those places – here's how:

  • One country from each League will be awarded a Euro 2020 spot via the play-offs
  • The normal qualification for the major tournament will take place following the completion of the Nations League group stages and before the play-offs are held in March 2020
  • This will decide 20 of the 24 spots available at Euro 2020
  • The group winners from each group will reach the play-offs for their League, providing they have not already qualified for Euro 2020
  • If they have already qualified, the next best ranked side in that League will go to the play-offs
  • If a League does not have four teams left to compete in the play-offs, the remaining spaces will be filled by nations from another League based on the Nations League ranking
  • The Nations League ranking system follows this order:
    • Points
    • Goal difference
    • Goals scored
    • Away goals scored
    • Wins
    • Away wins
    • Disciplinary points
    • Coefficient ranking

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