2020–21 UEFA Nations League

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Template:Infobox international football competition The 2020–21 UEFA Nations League is the second season of the UEFA Nations League, an international association football competition involving the men's national teams of the 55 member associations of UEFA.[1] The competition is being held from September to November 2020 (league phase), October 2021 (Nations League Finals) and March 2022 (relegation play-outs).[2]

Portugal were the defending champions, having won the inaugural 2019 finals. However, they failed to qualify for the 2021 finals after finishing second in their group behind France.[3] None of the teams that had qualified for the previous UEFA Nations League Finals qualified for the 2021 event.

Format[edit source | edit]

On 24 September 2019, UEFA announced that a revised format would be used for the 2020–21 edition, the second season of the competition.[4] The 55 UEFA national teams were divided into four leagues, with Leagues A, B and C featuring 16 teams each, divided into four groups of four teams. League D featured 7 teams divided into two groups, with one containing four teams and the other containing three. The teams were allocated to leagues based on the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League overall ranking. Each team now played six matches within their group, except for one group in League D that played four, using the home-and-away round-robin format on double matchdays in September, October and November 2020. This format ensured that for almost all groups, teams in the same group played their last matches at the same time. It also increased the number of total league phase matches from 138 to 162, and minimised the number of friendly matches.[5][6]

In the top division, League A, teams compete to become the UEFA Nations League champions. The four group winners of League A qualified for the Nations League Finals, which is played in a knockout format consisting of the semi-finals, third place play-off, and final. The semi-final pairings will be determined by means of an open draw. Host country Italy was selected among the four qualified teams by the UEFA Executive Committee, with the winners of the final crowned as the Nations League champions. The video assistant referee (VAR) system will be used in the Nations League Finals.[7]

Teams also compete for promotion and relegation to a higher or lower league. In Leagues B, C and D, the group winners were promoted, while the last-placed teams of each group in Leagues A and B were relegated. As League C had four groups while League D had only two, the two League C teams that are to be relegated will be determined by play-outs in March 2022. Based on the Nations League overall ranking of the fourth-placed teams, the first-ranked team will face the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face the third-ranked team. Two ties will be played over two legs, with each team playing one leg at home (the higher-ranked team will host the second leg). The team that scores more goals on aggregate over the two legs will remain in League C, while the loser will be relegated to League D. If the aggregate score is level, the away goals rule is applied, with extra time played if away goals are also equal. The away goals rule is again applied after extra time, with a penalty shoot-out used to decide the winner if no goals are scored during extra time.[2]

Tiebreakers for group ranking[edit source | edit]

If two or more teams in the same group were equal on points on completion of the league phase, the following tie-breaking criteria were applied:[2]

  1. Higher number of points obtained in the matches played among the teams in question;
  2. Superior goal difference in matches played among the teams in question;
  3. Higher number of goals scored in the matches played among the teams in question;
  4. Higher number of goals scored away from home in the matches played among the teams in question;
  5. If, after having applied criteria 1 to 4, teams still had an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 4 were reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings.[lower-alpha 1] If this procedure did not lead to a decision, criteria 6 to 10 applied;
  6. Superior goal difference in all group matches;
  7. Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
  8. Higher number of away goals scored in all group matches;
  9. Higher number of wins in all group matches;
  10. Higher number of away wins in all group matches;
  11. Lower disciplinary points total in all group matches (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card).
  12. Position in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League access list.

Notes

  1. When there were two or more teams tied in points, criteria 1 to 4 were applied. After these criteria were applied, they may have defined the position of some of the teams involved, but not all of them. For example, if there was a three-way tie on points, the application of the first four criteria may only have broken the tie for one of the teams, leaving the other two teams still tied. In this case, the tiebreaking procedure was resumed, from the beginning, for those teams that were still tied.

Criteria for league ranking[edit source | edit]

Individual league rankings were established according to the following criteria:[2]

  1. Position in the group;
  2. Higher number of points;
  3. Superior goal difference;
  4. Higher number of goals scored;
  5. Higher number of goals scored away from home;
  6. Higher number of wins;
  7. Higher number of wins away from home;
  8. Lower disciplinary points total (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card).
  9. Position in the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League access list.

In order to rank teams in League D, which was composed of different sized groups, the results against the fourth-placed team in Group D1 were not taken into account for the purposes of comparing teams placed first, second and third in their respective groups.[2]

The ranking of the top four teams in League A will be determined by their finish in the Nations League Finals (first to fourth).[2]

Criteria for overall ranking[edit source | edit]

The overall UEFA Nations League rankings were established as follows:[2]

  1. The 16 League A teams were ranked 1st to 16th according to their league rankings.
  2. The 16 League B teams were ranked 17th to 32nd according to their league rankings.
  3. The 16 League C teams were ranked 33rd to 48th according to their league rankings.
  4. The 7 League D teams were ranked 49th to 55th according to their league rankings.

2022 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit source | edit]

The Nations League will be partially linked with European qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with the format confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 December 2019.[8][9] The qualifying structure will depend on results from the Nations League, although to a lesser degree than the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs. The ten group winners after the first round (group stage) will qualify directly for the World Cup. Then, the second round (play-offs) will be contested by the ten group runners-up, along with the best two Nations League group winners, based on the Nations League overall ranking, that finished outside the top two of their qualifying group.[10] The play-offs will be split into three play-off paths, played in two single-match knockout rounds (semi-finals and finals, with the home teams to be drawn), from which an additional three teams will also qualify.[2]

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic[edit source | edit]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the UEFA Executive Committee approved on 28 August 2020 the following principles for the league phase of the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League:[11]

  • If a team could not field the minimum required number of players (at least 13 players including at least one goalkeeper) due to positive SARS-CoV-2 tests and the match could not be rescheduled, the team responsible for the match not taking place were considered to have forfeited the match and lost 0–3.
  • If UEFA came to the conclusion that both or none of the teams were responsible for the match not taking place, the outcome of the match was decided by drawing of lots, either home win 1–0, home loss 0–1 or draw 0–0, carried out by the UEFA administration.

On 24 September 2020, UEFA announced that five substitutions would be permitted in Nations League matches during the October and November 2020 international windows. However, each team was only given three opportunities to make substitutions during matches, excluding substitutions made at half-time, before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time. During the September 2020 window, only three substitutions had been permitted.[12]

All matches played in September 2020 were required by UEFA to be held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.[13][14] On 1 October 2020, UEFA announced the partial return of spectators to matches beginning in October 2020, restricted to a maximum of 30 percent of the respective stadium capacity. However, the return of spectators was subject to the decision of local authorities, with regional limits taking precedence over UEFA's maximum allowed capacity. Away supporters were not allowed at the venues. Social distancing was mandatory for spectators, and additional precautionary measures (such as face masks) were implemented in accordance with local regulations.[15]

Schedule[edit source | edit]

Below is the schedule of the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League.[16][2]

The Nations League Finals, originally scheduled for 2–6 June 2021, were moved to October 2021 following the rescheduling of UEFA Euro 2020 to June and July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[17][18][12] The scheduling of the league phase was reviewed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting on 17 June 2020.[19] At the meeting, UEFA decided to adjust the match schedule for October and November 2020 in order for an additional match to be played in each window.[20] This allowed for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs, along with the postponed March 2020 international friendlies, to be played on 7–8 October and 11–12 November 2020. Therefore, matchdays 3–6, which originally would spread over three days each during 8–13 October and 12–17 November 2020, would now spread over only two days.[21] The changes to the International Match Calendar for October and November 2020, which extended each window by one day, were approved by the FIFA Council on 25 June 2020.[22]

Stage Round Dates
League phase Matchday 1 3–5 September 2020
Matchday 2 6–8 September 2020
Matchday 3 10–11 October 2020
Matchday 4 13–14 October 2020
Matchday 5 14–15 November 2020
Matchday 6 17–18 November 2020
Finals Semi-finals 6–7 October 2021
Third place play-off 10 October 2021
Final
Relegation play-outs First leg 24–25 March 2022
Second leg 28–29 March 2022

The original fixture list was confirmed by UEFA on 3 March 2020 following the draw.[23] However, due to the change of the league phase calendar, a revised schedule for the October and November 2020 fixtures was released by UEFA on 26 June 2020.[24][25]

The relegation play-outs of League C are scheduled on the same dates as the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-offs. If one or more of the teams due to participate in the relegation play-outs also qualifies for the World Cup qualifying play-offs, the relegation play-outs will be cancelled and the teams in League C ranked 47th and 48th in the Nations League overall ranking will be automatically relegated.[2]

Seeding[edit source | edit]

Map showing the leagues each national team is participating in.
  League A
  League B
  League C
  League D

All 55 UEFA national teams entered the competition. Due to the format change of the competition, no teams were actually relegated from the 2018–19 season. In addition to the group winners, the second-placed teams in Leagues C and D, along with the best-ranked third-placed team of League D, were also promoted.[16]

In the 2020–21 access list, UEFA ranked teams based on the 2018–19 Nations League overall ranking, with a slight modification: teams that were originally relegated in the previous season were ranked immediately below teams promoted prior to the format change.[26] The seeding pots for the league phase were based on the access list ranking.[2] The seeding pots, draw procedure and fixture list procedures were confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 December 2019.[8][27]

Key
Template:Rise Originally promoted in previous season (prior to format change)
dagger Originally relegated in previous season (spared after format change)
Template:Rise* Promoted after format change
League A
Pot Team Prv Rank
1 Template:Fb (title holders) 1
Template:Fb 2
Template:Fb 3
Template:Fb 4
2 Template:Fb 5
Template:Fb 6
Template:Fb 7
Template:Fb 8
3 Template:Fb Template:Rise 9
Template:Fb Template:Rise 10
Template:Fb Template:Rise 11
Template:Fb Template:Rise 12
4 Template:Fb dagger 13
Template:Fb dagger 14
Template:Fb dagger 15
Template:Fb dagger 16
League B
Pot Team Prv Rank
1 Template:Fb 17
Template:Fb 18
Template:Fb 19
Template:Fb 20
2 Template:Fb Template:Rise 21
Template:Fb Template:Rise 22
Template:Fb Template:Rise 23
Template:Fb Template:Rise 24
3 Template:Fb dagger 25
Template:Fb dagger 26
Template:Fb dagger 27
Template:Fb dagger 28
4 Template:Fb Template:Rise* 29
Template:Fb Template:Rise* 30
Template:Fb Template:Rise* 31
Template:Fb Template:Rise* 32
League C
Pot Team Prv Rank
1 Template:Fb 33
Template:Fb 34
Template:Fb 35
Template:Fb Template:Rise 36
2 Template:Fb Template:Rise 37
Template:Fb Template:Rise 38
Template:Fb Template:Rise 39
Template:Fb dagger 40
3 Template:Fb dagger 41
Template:Fb dagger 42
Template:Fb dagger 43
Template:Fb Template:Rise* 44
4 Template:Fb Template:Rise* 45
Template:Fb Template:Rise* 46
Template:Fb Template:Rise* 47
Template:Fb Template:Rise* 48
League D
Pot Team Rank
1 Template:Fb 49
Template:Fb 50
Template:Fb 51
Template:Fb 52
2 Template:Fb 53
Template:Fb 54
Template:Fb 55

The draw for the league phase took place at the Beurs van Berlage Conference Centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 3 March 2020, 18:00 CET.[28][29][30][31] While the draw typically had restrictions for prohibited clashes, winter venues and excessive travel, no conditions applied to the draw given the allocation of the teams to both leagues and pots.[27]

League A[edit source | edit]

Group A1[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League A tables

Group A2[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League A tables

Group A3[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League A tables

Group A4[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League A tables

Nations League Finals[edit source | edit]

2020–21 UEFA Nations League A

Bracket[edit source | edit]

2021 UEFA Nations League Finals

Semi-finals[edit source | edit]

2021 UEFA Nations League Finals


2021 UEFA Nations League Finals

Third place play-off[edit source | edit]

2021 UEFA Nations League Finals

Final[edit source | edit]

2021 UEFA Nations League Finals

League B[edit source | edit]

Group B1[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League B tables

Group B2[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League B tables

Group B3[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League B tables

Group B4[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League B tables

League C[edit source | edit]

Group C1[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League C tables

Group C2[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League C tables

Group C3[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League C tables

Group C4[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League C tables

Relegation play-outs[edit source | edit]

2020–21 UEFA Nations League C

League D[edit source | edit]

Group D1[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League D tables

Group D2[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League D tables

Goalscorers[edit source | edit]

Script error: No such module "Goalscorers".

Overall ranking[edit source | edit]

The results of each team are used to calculate the overall ranking of the competition.[32]

League A League B
Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League A tables Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League B tables
League C League D
Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League C tables Template:2020–21 UEFA Nations League D tables

2022 World Cup qualification play-offs[edit source | edit]

The best two Nations League group winners based on the overall ranking that finished outside the top two of their World Cup qualifying group will join the ten group runners-up in the World Cup qualification second round (play-offs).[29] 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Second Round

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "UEFA Nations League receives associations' green light". UEFA. 27 March 2014.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 "Regulations of the UEFA Nations League, 2020/21" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 13 October 2019. Archived from the original on 16 November 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  3. "Portugal 0–1 France: N'Golo Kante winner sends Blues into finals". BBC Sport. 14 November 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  4. "Format change for 2020/21 UEFA Nations League". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  5. "UEFA Nations League: all you need to know". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  6. "What is the UEFA Nations League?". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  7. "VAR to be introduced in 2019/20 UEFA Champions League". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "UEFA Executive Committee agenda for Nyon meeting". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  9. "UEFA Nations League format and schedule approved". UEFA.com. 4 December 2014.
  10. "2020/21 UEFA Nations League: All you need to know". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  11. "UEFA Executive Committee approves new principles for upcoming national team matches". UEFA.com. 31 August 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Two triple-headers approved for 2021 March and September national team windows". UEFA. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  13. "UEFA meets general secretaries of member associations". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 19 August 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  14. "UEFA Super Cup to test partial return of spectators". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  15. "UEFA allows return of fans at maximum 30% of capacity pending approval of local authorities". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "How the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League will line up". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  17. "Resolution of the European football family on a coordinated response to the impact of the COVID-19 on competitions". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  18. "European Qualifiers: FIFA World Cup – Qualifying draw procedure" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 18 June 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  19. "UEFA Executive Committee agenda for June meeting". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 11 June 2020. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  20. "Nations League group stage in September, October and November". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  21. "UEFA competitions to resume in August". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  22. "FIFA Council unanimously approves COVID-19 Relief Plan". FIFA. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  23. "2020–21 UEFA Nations League fixture list" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  24. "Nations League group stage in September, October and November". UEFA.com. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  25. "2020/21 Nations League: All the confirmed fixtures". UEFA.com. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  26. "UEFA Nations League 2020/21 overall ranking" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 24 September 2019. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "2020/21 UEFA Nations League – league phase draw procedure" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  28. "League Phase Draw". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Game changer: group stage for UEFA Women's Champions League". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  30. "2020/21 UEFA Nations League: League Phase draw". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  31. "44th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Amsterdam". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  32. "Overall ranking of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League" (PDF). UEFA. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.

External links[edit source | edit]

Template:UEFA Nations League Template:2020–21 in European football (UEFA) Template:2021–22 in European football (UEFA)

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