UEFA have given the go-ahead to a new international ‘League of Nations’ competition for European countries to contest from 2018.
The competition, which will place countries in a League format with promotion and relegation, is intended to become a third major tournament alongside the World Cup and European Championships.
It has now been approved by governing body UEFA and whilst details over the format are still in discussion, it is set to involve four divisions, sub-divided into four smaller pools, with each of the pool winners then meeting in a ‘final four’.
Set to replace a majority of international friendlies, the tournaments is scheduled for a September-November 2018 run, with ‘final four’ fixtures then to be played in 2019.
General secretary Gianni Infantino has today confirmed to the UEFA congress in Kazakhstan the inclusion of four Euro 2020 qualification spots.
“Twenty teams will advance from the qualifying competition to the Euro 2020 finals - which are being played in 13 cities around Europe,” Infantino has commented.
“That leaves four extra slots to be filled and they will come from four teams from the Nations League who have not otherwise qualified.”
Based on current national team coefficients, Italy would make it into the top division alongside the likes of Spain, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands and England.