UEFA Nations League: Another Way To Qualify For The Euros?

Written by on January 25, 2018

Is the Uefa Nations League a complicated irrelevance? Or, for some of the home nations, is it their best route to Euro 2020?

England, Wales and Northern Ireland might baulk at that suggestion, given all three were at the finals in France in 2016, but would they all be entirely confident of finishing in the top two places in a five- or six-team group to earn qualification in the usual way?

The Scottish FA is being more circumspect. With its focus sharpened by Hampden hosting four Euro 2020 tournament matches, it is selling Uefa’s new competition – one which will effectively replace most international friendlies – to sceptical fans as a way of ending what would be a 22-year absence from major finals.

The reasoning? The fact that two of the bottom 31 teams in the 55-nation European rankings are now guaranteed qualifying slots.

The draw for the first Nations League tournament took place on Wednesday in Lausanne – with the fixtures announced from 15:00 GMT – and is, according to Uefa’s head of competitions, “different, not complex”.

Scotland drew Israel and Albania in a 3 team group.

20 Years ago there was no talk of back door entry to World Cups and Euros as we played Brazil in the opening game of France ’98 and almost pulled off a more than decent result against the then World Champions.


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