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UEFA presents glitzy new Nations League to replace European friendly internationals

UEFA presents glitzy new Nations League to replace European friendly internationals
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By Robert Hackwill
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Four leagues should ensure fairer competition, with promotion and relegation, and an alternative route to qualify for the European Championships.

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So who will play who in the brave new world of friendly-less European football just unveiled by UEFA, the UEFA Nations League?

It is the first national team competition to adopt a league format which offers the incentive, say organisers, for teams missing out on European Championship qualification in the usual way to get a second bite of the cherry and qualify through the back door.

Europe's strongest teams will play in League A where there are four groups, and from which counties will compete for places in the UEFA Nations League finals.

As in any league there can be relegations from League A, and so logically promotions from the lower leagues can lead to big rewards.

League B is for Europe's second-string nations. In each four-group league each group winner plays each other in two one-leg semi finals, with the league title decided between the two winners.

League C contains the next tier of European football nations, while group D contains the minnows.

The idea is teams will now only play against teams of comparable quality, hopefully making for fairer results.

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