UEFA Nations League Draw Explained

The draw for the fourth edition of the Nations League takes place this Thursday (8th February 2024). Here is all the information that you need to know!

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What is the Nations League? – The UEFA Nations League was designed to minimise meaningless friendlies and give nations competitive encounters with equally ranked teams. Teams from all the European associations compete in a league structure featuring promotion and relegation. The 2024/2025 Nations League will have 16 countries in Leagues A, B and C, with six countries in League D. Teams in each league are seeded based on the Access List for the 2024/2025 UEFA Nations League. The Access List is established based on the teams results in the 2022/2023 UEFA Nations League, considering promotion and relegation between the leagues and the results of the UEFA Nations League finals 2023.

Where will the draw be held? The draw will be held in Paris at 5pm on Thursday 8th February 2024.

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Which League are Ireland in? Ireland is in League B.

How many games will Ireland play? Ireland will play six matches in their group, one home and one away against the other three nations in the group.

Who can Ireland draw? The League B draw will determine four groups of four teams. The pots are as follows:
Pot 1: Austria, Czechia, England, Wales
Pot 2: Finland, Ukraine, Iceland, Norway
Pot 3: Slovenia, Ireland, Albania, Montenegro
Pot 4: Georgia, Greece, Turkey, Kazakhstan
*Ireland can’t get Iceland and Kazakhstan in the same group due to travel restrictions. Kazakhstan can only draw one of England, Wales, Iceland, or Ireland.

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What changes have been implemented for the 2024/2025 Nations League? The UEFA Nations League will be expanded with a new knockout round to be played in March 2025. The League A group winners will participate in home and away quarter finals and the winners of these ties qualify for the Final Four. The fourth-placed teams in Leagues A and B are automatically relegated to League B and C respectively. The two lowest ranked fourth-placed teams in League C, meanwhile, are relegated to League D.
The four group winners in Leagues B and C, as well as the two group winners in League D, are automatically promoted to Leagues A, B and C respectively. The third-ranked teams of League A and the runners-up of League B, as well as the third-ranked teams of League B and the runners-up of League C, will play a promotion/relegation play-off.
There will also be play-offs between the two best-ranked fourth placed teams from League C and the two runners-up from League D. The expansion of the UEFA Nations League into the international match calendar window of March will only concern a selected number of teams and the remaining teams will already be available to start the European Qualifiers.

How will the 2024/2025 UEFA Nations League Finals work? Semi-finals will take place on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th June 2025. The winners advance to the final on Sunday 8th June 2025 while the two beaten semi-finalists will contest the match for third place.

What are the dates for the 2024-2025 Nations League?
League phase draw: 8 February 2024
Matchday 1: 5-7 September 2024
Matchday 2: 8-10 September 2024
Matchday 3: 10-12 October 2024
Matchday 4: 13-15 October 2024
Matchday 5: 14-16 November 2024
Matchday 6: 17-19 November 2024
Knockout round play-off draw: November 2024
Knockout round play-offs: 20-25 March 2025
League A quarterfinals: 20-25 March 2025
Final tournament: 4-8 June 2025

Credit: Eurosport

2026 FIFA World Cup qualification
The 2024-2025 UEFA Nations League will be partially linked with European qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The twelve qualifying group runners-up and the four best ranked Nations League group winners who are not qualifying group winners or runners-up will be drawn into four play-off paths of single-leg semi-finals and single-leg finals to determine the last four UEFA teams to qualify for the World Cup.

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