Drastic changes made to the UEFA Nations League
UEFA have confirmed that widescale changes have been made to the structure of the UEFA Nations League with immediate effect.
The tournament, of which Portugal were the inaugural winners in the summer of 2019 after triumphing against The Netherlands, will still consist of four Leagues - spanning from League A to League D - though the number of teams in each league has now changed dramatically.
Previously, both League A and League B consisted of 12 teams each, while League C contained 15 nations. League D was then made up of the remaining 16 European countries, the lowest ranked 16 sides across the continent according to the UEFA national coefficient.
However, UEFA have now decided to retrospectively reshape the entire competition, with each of League A, League B and League C to now be made up of 16 teams, while League D will only be made up of 7.
It means that none of the teams that were previously believed to be relegated in the 2018-19 edition will now suffer the drop, and the number of promoted teams has increased considerably.
In League A, for example, despite Germany, Croatia, Poland and Iceland all finishing last in their respective groups, none will now be relegated, with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark and Sweden all still being promoted from League B as winners of their respective groups, bringing the total number of nations in the highest league to 16.
Meanwhile in League B, while the aforementioned four sides will all be promoted into League A, no sides will be relegated into or from League B, and instead a huge 8 sides have now been promoted from League C into the second tier of the competition.
Before the tournament began, it was established that only the four League C group winners - Scotland, Norway, Serbia and Finland - would be promoted to League B. Now, however, UEFA have decided that the four runners-up from each group will also be promoted, meaning that Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary and Romania will also be in League B for the 2020-21 tournament.
Leagues C and D are the two that have seen the most drastic changes, though, with no fewer than 9 teams now being promoted into League C from League D. It means that only 7 teams - Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Malta and San Marino - will play in the bottom division of the Nations League next year, seeing it much more underrepresented than any of the other 3 leagues.