The 2018 UEFA Nations League is now underway, and the first two teams to kick off the inaugural game are France and Germany, the last two World Cup winners. It’s one of the most anticipated matches of the season, featuring Europe’s top heavyweights.
This year’s new tournament will see 55 of the European teams split into four separate divisions, and will provide relegation and promotion to international football, but the UEFA Nations League also gives some teams the chance to break into the 2020 European Championships.
The main reason for the creation of the Nations League was to provide a platform for teams to compete on a more professional level, compared to the friendly games that were played previously. Officials hope that adding the element of professional competition will bring more fans out to watch, as Germany’s hosted game from last year saw a huge number of empty seats, and many feel it was due to the friendly nature of the game.
UEFA also believes that many of the smaller nations don’t have the ability to organise friendly games amongst themselves, and the hope is that the Nations League will provide that chance.
Qualifiers are still set to take place for the 2020 European Championship, and will be held from March to November 2019. The qualifiers will not be the only way to grab a spot, however, as UEFA hopes to provide the 20 teams that will be playing at the 2020 Euro through various avenues.
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