Wednesday 21 March 2018

Not sure what the Nations League is all about? You’re not the only one…

Finally, a chance to see your national team relegated.

England manager Gareth Southgate (Mike Egerton/PA)
England manager Gareth Southgate (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Max McLean, Press Association

The draw for the inaugural Uefa Nations League in Lausanne, Switzerland left fans baffled by the new tournament.

It is hoped that the league will inject some much-needed meaning into friendlies on the international stage, but during the draw it became clear that fans around the world were more than a little confused.

Uefa were excited to get things under way…

… and while there was certainly a strong level of interest in proceedings from football supporters, many struggled to come to terms with, or comprehend, the intricacies of the tournament.

Teams are separated into four tiers (A, B, C and D) based on rankings, with each tier comprised of four groups.

And while teams are able to be promoted and relegated from each tier, much like the English football league system, there are also ramifications for European Championship qualification.

The four group winners from each tier will get the chance to play-off for one of four spots at the Euros, but if a team has already qualified for the competition, the next highest ranked team from their tier, or another tier, will take their place.

It’s all a bit Alan Partridge, in more ways than one.

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Once the draw began things were sure to get interesting though, weren’t they?

Not everybody was convinced.

Even some of the finest teams in the tournament seemed bored.

Football Manager had the answer to Germany and Portugal’s problems, however.

And while some people were keen to voice their support of the tournament, which should add a little excitement to lacklustre friendlies…

… sometimes, you just have to laugh.

The big groups do have a tasty look about them.

But will the tournament deliver?

Press Association

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