- The football season is ending; however, the new Nations League season is just getting started, the tournament was launched in 2018
- The draw for the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League group stage was held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on 16 Dec 2021
- The first four matches are scheduled for June, with the final two, which deduce the Nations League group stage, held on September
International football gets back on June 1 with the start of the third edition of the UEFA competition, which was launched in 2018.
It has taken on greater significance in light of the upcoming World Cup in November and December – England has six Nations League games remaining before tackling Iran in their opening match in Qatar on November 21.
The first four matches are scheduled for June, with the final two, which deduce the Nations League group stage, held in September.
Sportsleo has compiled a list of everything you need to know about the tournament.
The Nations League Format
As for the 2018/19 and 2020/21 competitions, the teams have been divided into four ‘leagues’: League A, which includes England, and League D, which includes teams like San Marino and Andorra.
Each ‘league’ has been broken down into groups. Leagues A-C each contain four groups, while League D only has two. Every league has four teams, with the exception of League D, which has three.
The teams will play each other at home and away in these groups— with the first four rounds of games taking place in June 2022 and the last two in September 2022.
These dates differ from those previously used because the winter World Cup will be held in November and December 2022.
The tournament winners must be from League A. Its four group winners will advance to the Nations League Finals, which will be held in June 2023 and will most likely that one of the four qualifying teams will play host
The Netherlands, Belgium, Wales and Poland have already submitted bids. They are all members of the same group.
The Finals events will consist of two semi-finals, a play-off for the third place, and the final.
That’s not to say the teams in Leagues B-D don’t have anything to play for.
In addition to competing for promotion and avoiding relegation (top team moves up, bottom team moves down), there is the possibility of qualifying for the Euro 2024 play-offs.
That is, at least, the expectation – more on that later.
The draw for the Nations League
On Thursday, December 16, the draw for the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League group stage was held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
Each ‘league’ draw had a seeding system in place, where teams were divided into four pots depending on how they finished in the 2020/21 Nations League.
Gareth Southgate’s England was placed in pot three despite finishing third in their group in that year’s tournament.
Holders Spain, France, Belgium, and Italy were the top seeds.
Group 1 consists of France, Denmark, Croatia, and Austria.
Group 2 consists of Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.
Group 3 consists of Italy, Germany, England, and Hungary.
Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, and Wales comprise Group 4.
Group 1 consists of Ukraine, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, and Armenia.
Group 2 consists of Iceland, Russia, Israel, and Albania.
Group 3 consists of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Romania, and Montenegro.
Sweden, Norway, Serbia, and Slovenia comprise Group 4.
Group 1 consists of Turkey, Luxembourg, Lithuania, and the Faroe Islands.
Greece, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, and Cyprus comprise Group 2.
Group 3 consists of Slovakia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.
Group 4 consists of Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Georgia, and Gibraltar.
Group 1 consists of Liechtenstein, Moldova, Andorra, and Latvia.
Group 2 consists of Malta, Estonia, and San Marino.
England will begin their Nations League season 0nthe 24th of June in Hungary, followed by a trip to Germany shortly afterwards.
Their highly anticipated rematch with Italy at Wembley Stadium will take place on June 11, with their season wrapping up at home against Hungary on June 14.
Southgate’s team will travel to Italy on September 23 before concluding their group campaign at home against Germany on September 26.
Following the World Cup qualifying procedure interruptions, Wales and Scotland’s fixtures had to be changed.
The complete updated Home Nations run of games is as follows:
Fixture Schedule for the Nations League
Hungary A on June 4; Germany A on June 7; Italy H on June 11; Hungary H on June 14; Italy A on September 23; Germany H on September 26.
Sep 21 – Ukraine H; Sep 24 – Rep of Ireland H; Sep 27 – Ukraine A; Jun 8 – Armenia H; Jun 11 – Rep of Ireland A; Jun 14 – Armenia A;
Poland A on June 1; Netherlands H on June 8; Belgium H on June 11; Netherlands A on June 14; Belgium A on September 22; Poland H on September 25.
The Republic of Ireland
Greece H on June 2; Cyprus A on June 5; Kosovo A on June 9; Cyprus H on June 12; Kosovo H on September 24; Greece A on September 27.
Nations League crucial dates
First and second matchdays – June 1-8, 2022
Matchdays 3 and 4 are scheduled for June 9-14, 2022.
5th and 6th matchdays – September 22-27, 2022
Finals: June 14-15, 2023
Final (and the play-off for third place): June 18, 2023
March 21-26, 2024: Play-offs