Other than the ****ed way they're doing Euro 2020 qualifying, this would be a great idea for competitive friendlies and for the smaller nations.
UEFA section badly needed a first round of qualifying involving Andorra and co. to give them competitive matches, so this will give them that.
(Original post by Zerforax)
I still don't understand what it is..
Is it like a second tier tournament for all the teams which don't qualify?
Every team is involved.
The Nations League on its own is very simple. It's just, if I've understood it correctly, they've completely ****ed it and we might see Moldova in future Euros (or World Cups if it's being used there).
Just imagine the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two but with nations. The 12 best ones are in the PL (Germany, France etc.), and so on, with San Marino, Andorra etc. being the bottom division.
But instead of all playing each other, the divisions are split into groups of 3 or 4, and they play each other instead (England, Spain and Croatia is one of the top tier groups). Little mini-leagues within a league.
The team that finishes bottom of each group gets relegated to the next division, the team that finishes top gets promoted. Teams that finish top of their groups in the top division play playoffs like the MLS (or any American sport) to decide the winners.
But this is also deciding who qualifies for the Euros (and I presume the World Cup in the next Nations League in 2 years). There's going to be the normal qualifiers we know, where the top 2 teams automatically qualify. That'll make 20/24 spots. The last 4 comes from the Nations League.
This is the second chance for teams to qualify, after failing in the normal regular Euro qualifiers.
Now you would think those 4 spots go to the 4 group winners of the top divisions (the ones who will enter the playoffs to decide the ultimate meaningless winner American-style). But no. The best 16
teams from the Nations League will have playoffs, being made up the best 4 from each division
and only those from each division playing others in the division
In other words
, you'll be seeing the final 4 places decided by playoffs involving the best 4 non-qualified teams from each the Premier League, the Championship, League One and League Two.
So it'll be like seeing a Champions League where, as well as Man City and Chelsea, there'll be Stevenage, Rochdale and Milwall.
Or Luxembourg, Scotland and Norway.