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Thread: Nations League Rules Discussion

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    Nations League Rules Discussion

    OK, I was doing some more thinking about this while out running!

    At end of the 2019 NL all participating teams will have a ranking determined by clearly specified criteria (above) to determine overall ranking, 1-55.

    These rankings determine your main qualification seeding and we can be no lower than 24th seed.

    It’s also clear that these rankings determine - in some way - the semi finals of each of the 4 A, B, C and D Euro play offs in 2020.

    It’s the “in some way” I’m not fully clear on.

    Sammy, I actually don’t think it matters whether you fill up the Euro 2020 play off semi final spots from League D up, or League A down. Won’t you arrive at the same outcome?

    As I now think I understand it, for the Euro 2020 play off semi finals League A's playoff may not contain any A teams - if all 12 qualify outright. If that’s the case all four League A playoffs will be B teams.

    And if 8 B teams qualify automatically (so all 12 As and 8 Bs qualify, exactly as the seeding would predict) that means the League B playoff will contain 4 C teams, and the C playoff will also be 4 C teams.

    There is no realistic chance of there not being enough D teams for a pair of D semi finals.

    So C teams are the big winners in all likelihood? 8 of them might well have a shot at 2 spots, so have the most chances of qualifying via the NL if the main qualifying seedlings go 100% to plan.

    And although a bad NL now for Ireland would relegate us and make us a 3rd seed for qualifying, it might actually be a touch easier for 2024 European qualifying, in theory. So maybe we should hope to be 20th seed but relegated to League C!

    For me the only vague thing left is if, say, there are 3 A teams who make a ****** of qualifying, which B team then makes up the 4th place in the A play off? It says it’s based on ranking but lowest ranked or highest ranked? Either way it’s unfair on the highest ranked B team I think: they either have to play an A team (bad) or don’t play the weakest B team in their semi final (a bit unfair, but not as unfair as playing an A team) only the second weakest.
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 15/09/2018 at 5:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    OK, I was doing some more thinking about this while out running!

    At end of the 2019 NL all participating teams will have a ranking determined by clearly specified criteria (above) to determine overall ranking, 1-55.

    These rankings determine your main qualification seeding and we can be no lower than 24th seed.

    It’s also clear that these rankings determine - in some way - the semi finals of each of the 4 A, B, C and D Euro play offs in 2020.

    It’s the “in some way” I’m not fully clear on.

    Sammy, I actually don’t think it matters whether you fill up the Euro 2020 play off semi final spots from League D up, or League A down. Won’t you arrive at the same outcome?

    As I now think I understand it, for the Euro 2020 play off semi finals League A's playoff may not contain any A teams - if all 12 qualify outright. If that’s the case all four League A playoffs will be B teams.

    And if 8 B teams qualify automatically (so all 12 As and 8 Bs qualify, exactly as the seeding would predict) that means the League B playoff will contain 4 C teams, and the C playoff will also be 4 C teams.

    There is no realistic chance of there not being enough D teams for a pair of D semi finals.

    So C teams are the big winners in all likelihood? 8 of them might well have a shot at 2 spots, so have the most chances of qualifying via the NL if the main qualifying seedlings go 100% to plan.

    And although a bad NL now for Ireland would relegate us and make us a 3rd seed for qualifying, it might actually be a touch easier for 2024 European qualifying, in theory. So maybe we should hope to be 20th seed but relegated to League C!

    For me the only vague thing left is if, say, there are 3 A teams who make a ****** of qualifying, which B team then makes up the 4th place in the A play off? It says it’s based on ranking but lowest ranked or highest ranked? Either way it’s unfair on the highest ranked B team I think: they either have to play an A team (bad) or don’t play the weakest B team in their semi final (a bit unfair, but not as unfair as playing an A team) only the second weakest.
    Hi Stutts - assigning the League D places first does affect the outcome and would be done exactly to avoid the type of situation you describe in your last paragraph, where the best-ranked not-already-qualified League B team would be the one chosen to fill the leftover League A spot. If you fill the League B spots first based on ranking, that team gets to play other lower-ranked not-already-qualified League B teams and it would be the fifth-best not-already-qualified team (probably ranked 8-12 in League B) that is left exposed to getting dragged up to the League A playoffs.

    Now there are actually scenarios where a poor Nations League campaign could actually give a team an advantage, that could be considered unfair - say, for example that all twelve League A teams qualify the normal way, as do all four second-placed League B teams. In this case the four strongest League B teams would have to play each other in the League B play-offs, while the four weakest League B teams would be put into the League A play-offs, but this wouldn't be much of a "punishment" in this scenario as they wouldn't be facing any League A teams, just other weaker League B teams.

    Of course none of this is as unfair, in a meritocratic sense, as having a Euro 2020 finals place set aside for teams ranked 40-55, as the League D play-offs does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_oshea View Post
    This is what i've said in a couple of sentences above.

    I am convinced its purposely vague. Watch the video as well it makes it even more vague. There is absolutely no mention of a march 2019 or june 2019 playoff as you suggested.

    The more i learn about it, the less i understand

    Edit:just saw sammys post, need to re-read it, think he's missed something.
    Happy to clear up anything, let me know what you think I may have missed. The key, I think, is to understand that the you remove orthodox qualifiers from the play-off equation and then build the four play-off paths starting with League D and ending with League A. Once I saw that, the rationale became clearer. Best way to understand this would be to run a couple of examples through, maybe using current Nations League standings and varying which 20 teams qualify through the regular route.

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    No, that's wrong.

    The Nations League Champions will be crowned in June 2019 after the 4 group winners in League A play off via a semi final / final arrangement. The winner of the Nations League can ONLY come from League A.

    The Euro 2020 playoffs are different, with the League A, B, C and D play offs in 2020 determining the 4 remaining teams to qualify for the Euros, the other 20 having qualified automatically via the groups

    In all likelihood there will be no, or maybe only one or two, A teams not qualifying automatically. Iceland probably most at risk, maybe Netherlands again.

    The 4 best ranked teams in League D (assuming none qualifies directly) will play off for a spot at the finals. Same in League C. If one or more League C teams have qualified automatically the next 4 ranked C teams make up the C play off semi finals.

    Same with League B. The best 4 ranked remaining B teams will contest the B play offs. However, it's highly likely several Bs will have qualified so it's the next 4 that contest the B playoffs.

    Where it gets a bit silly is if an A team doesn't qualify, it will contest the A play off with the 3 highest ranked B teams below the 4 contesting the B playoff. This could easily even be 4 B teams, all ranked lower than the B playoff final.

    I think.
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 17/09/2018 at 10:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_oshea View Post
    So the league works on an exclusive basis, like a league should do, not affected by other outside influences. Thats good. But what happens if some teams are equal will it then go to UEFA National co-efficient if say they were both in Group C(along with a couple from B).

    Sammy is that your opinion about the makeup of the play-offs, or have you evidence, around the weaker v the higher in a scenario where b and c are in a "mixed" play-off.

    Its clearer now, if not 100%.
    It's nice to know that when I go to the trouble of spelling things out, Paul still ignores me! On the previous page I wrote:

    18.01 Individual league rankings are established according to the following criteria, in
    the order given:

    a. position in the group;
    b. higher number of points;
    c. superior goal difference;
    d. higher number of goals scored;
    II – Competition System 15
    e. higher number of away goals scored;
    f. higher number of wins;
    g. higher number of away wins;
    h. lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received
    (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
    i. position in the UEFA national team coefficient rankings (see Annex D.1.2).
    18.02 In order to rank teams in leagues composed of different sized groups, the following procedure applies:
    a. The results against fourth-placed teams are not taken into account for the purposes of comparing teams placed first, second and third in their respective groups.
    b. All results are taken into account for the purposes of comparing teams placed fourth in their respective groups.

    18.03 For the purposes of the European Qualifiers group stage draw and the European Qualifiers play-offs (see Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship), overall UEFA Nations League rankings are established as follows (see Annex C):
    a. The 12 League A teams are ranked 1st to 12th according to their league
    rankings.
    b. The 12 League B teams are ranked 13th to 24th according to their league rankings.
    c. The 15 League C teams are ranked 25th to 39th according to their league rankings.
    d. The 16 League D teams are ranked 40th to 55th according to their league rankings.

    In summary:

    Teams are ranked based on their NL placing in the Group stages. The League A teams will be ranked 1-12. Each winner will be 1-4, each second place 5-8, each 3rd place 9-12, and so on all the way down to 55. So that's the starting point, as you know.

    So let's say the second placed team in A1 finishes with 5 points and so does the second placed team in A2. Second place in A3 and A4 are only 4 points. So which of A1 and A2 is 5th and which is 6th?

    They are then separated by GD, then GS, then away GS, then number of wins, then number of away wins, and then all the way down to yellows and reds. And after that, it's UEFA Co-efficient at the start of the tournament.
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 17/09/2018 at 1:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_oshea View Post
    Sammy is that your opinion about the makeup of the play-offs, or have you evidence, around the weaker v the higher in a scenario where b and c are in a "mixed" play-off.
    Actually, I have now found the Qualification Regulations and it spells it out clearly:

    https://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles...5_DOWNLOAD.pdf

    Article 16 Path formation – play-offs
    16.01 Sixteen teams enter the play-offs, which are played in four separate paths of four teams each, to determine the remaining four teams that qualify for the final tournament.
    16.02 To determine the 16 teams that enter the play-offs, the following principles apply in the order given:

    a. Four play-off slots are allocated to each league from UEFA Nations League D to UEFA Nations League A, i.e. in reverse alphabetical order.

    14 II – Competition System

    b. The UEFA Nations League group winners enter the play-offs unless they have qualified for the final tournament directly from the qualifying group stage.
    c. If a UEFA Nations League group winner has directly qualified for the final tournament, the next best-ranked team in the relevant league ranking (see Regulations of the UEFA Nations League) which has not directly qualified will enter the play-offs. d. If fewer than four teams from one league enter the play-offs, the remaining slots are allocated on the basis of the overall UEFA Nations League rankings (see Regulations of the UEFA Nations League) to the best-ranked of the teams that have not already qualified for the final tournament, subject to the restriction that group winners cannot be in a play-off path with higher-ranked teams.
    16.03 The UEFA administration conducts a draw to allocate teams to the different playoffs path, starting with UEFA Nations League D, subject to the following conditions:
    a. A group winner cannot form a path with a team from a higher-ranked league in the overall UEFA Nations League rankings.
    b. If four or more teams from a league enter the play-offs, a path with four teams from the league in question must be formed.
    c. Additional conditions may be applied, subject to approval by the UEFA Executive Committee, including seeding principles and the possibility of final tournament host associations having to be drawn into different paths.

    Article 17 Match system – play-offs 17.01 The play-offs are played in single-leg knockout matches.
    17.02 Once the teams constituting one play-off path have been determined as per Article 16, the four teams are ranked 1st to 4th based on the overall UEFA Nations League rankings.
    17.03 The semi-finals of each play-off path are played as follows:
    a. The team ranked 1st plays at home against the team ranked 4th.
    b. The team ranked 2nd plays at home against the team ranked 3rd.

    17.04 For each play-off final, a draw is conducted in advance to determine which semi-final winner will play at home.
    17.05 The winners of the four play-off finals qualify for the final tournament.



    So now, every last thing is 100% and there is no room for UEFA cloak and daggers re seedings etc. That's actually a big disappointment for me!
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 17/09/2018 at 2:28 PM.

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    OK, thinking out loud.

    What if:
    No complications in Leagues C and D, none has qualified directly and the 4 D winners and 4 C winners all enter their respective play off as scheduled.
    11 Bs qualify outright with 9 As
    But the 1 B that didn't qualify outright actually won its NL Group
    There are 3 remaining A teams so they are short one for a semi-final, but the only remaining B team can't get bumped up because it was a group winner.

    What happens then?

    The B play offs are made up of 1 B and then the best remaining Cs outside the C group winners? So would this be the best ranked 2nd placed C teams or the worst ranked? i.e., where does the best ranked 2nd C go?

    And League A play off with 3 As and another second-placed C team? And if yes, which C team?
    Last edited by Stuttgart88; 17/09/2018 at 3:49 PM.

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    thread bumped
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    thread bumped
    Have been reading a little more about this, this morning and from the Wiki page, it looks like I may have been reading it slightly wrong up to now, and also that some teams might have issues with it when the play offs roll out.

    This is the paragraph that would have me calling in the barristers if I were involved...

    "The 16 teams will be selected based on their performance in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League. These teams will be divided into four paths, each containing four teams, with one team from each path qualifying for the final tournament.[6]

    Each league will have its own play-off path if at least four teams are available. The Nations League group winners will automatically qualify for the play-off path of their league.

    If a group winner has already qualified through the conventional qualifying group stage, they will be replaced by the next best-ranked team in the same league. However, if there are not enough teams in the same league, then the spot will go to the next best team in the overall ranking. However, group winners cannot face teams from a higher league."


    Looking at that paragraph, it looks like the only team in Group A that will not qualify directly is Iceland. But this also means that they will automatically become team 1 in the Group A play off. (as the best ranking team in Group A after all others are qualified)

    So, there still needs to be 4 teams to create a qualifying path for Group A, and the rules state that if they are not available from Group A, the following applies

    "However, if there are not enough teams in the same league, then the spot will go to the next best team in the overall ranking. However, group winners cannot face teams from a higher league."

    So Bosnia, as the highest ranked finishing team that does not qualify automatically cannot be bumped up to the Group A play off.. but the next 3 highest ranked unqualified teams in Group B can.

    Currently these teams are likely to be

    Austria, Wales/Slovakia, Ireland

    Austria are still well in their group, so if they do manage to qualify automatically, the Group A pathway would then be made up of

    Iceland, Wales/Slovakia, Ireland, Northern Ireland

    The argument will arise in my opinion at this point

    If Wales, Ireland, N Ireland are bumped up to play in the A pathway from the B pathway, then the B pathway will be made up of

    Bosnia, Bulgaria, Isreal, Hungary, with three teams having to be promoted from the C division

    But Wales/Ireland/N Ireland will legitimately claim that they are being forced to play a higher ranked team, than Bulgaria/Isreal/Hungary, and should be allowed stay in their Group B path

    On the other hand, maybe UEFA will decree that even if there is only one team in Group A (Iceland), the Group B pathway must be completed first from Group B teams before you start bringing up teams from Group C to make up the Group A pathway

    In this case, the play offs would look like this

    Group A, Iceland, Isreal, Hungary, Romania

    Group B, Bosnia, Wales/Slovakia, Ireland, N Ireland

    Group C, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Bulgaria

    Group D, Georgia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus

    Simple really


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    Assuming you guys are correct, Sky Sports seem to be well wide of the mark here - https://www.skysports.com/football/n...-qualification


    Republic of Ireland in a sticky situation

    Republic of Ireland were also relegated from Nations League B, meaning the are also likely to have to rely on their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

    The good news is they are currently top of Group D with three games to play against rivals Switzerland and old foes Denmark following a tricky trip to Georgia.

    It won't be easy but automatic qualification is in their hands. However, there probably will not be the safety net of a play-off should they fail.

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    Where have Uefa being hiding the genius that worked this stuff out .

    This guy could solve ; the theory of everything ( quantum mechanics etc etc ) All Ireland Politics , Brexit and last but not least Women !

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    Nevermind
    Last edited by Kingdom; 11/09/2019 at 12:45 PM. Reason: **** me I'm stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanfhear View Post
    Where have Uefa being hiding the genius that worked this stuff out .

    This guy could solve ; the theory of everything ( quantum mechanics etc etc ) All Ireland Politics , Brexit and last but not least Women !
    You always go one step too far.

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    The sky report seems to be totally wrong. The Irelandís finished bottom of League B, yes relegated (for next NL) but still rank bottom of League B currently. So itís very likely they will have a playoff to fall back on.

    If Iím wrong I wasted an entire morning writing a pointless blog!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidatrb View Post
    The sky report seems to be totally wrong. The Ireland’s finished bottom of League B, yes relegated (for next NL) but still rank bottom of League B currently. So it’s very likely they will have a playoff to fall back on.

    If I’m wrong I wasted an entire morning writing a pointless blog!
    Sky have got it upside down. Relegation is not a factor in the play offs. The most precise explanation about Euro 2020 playoffs is on the Football seedings website.
    Just scroll down to Play Offs

    But what if there will be less than 4 non-qualified teams in given League? There are two possible replacing methods:
    1) If this League has at least 1 non-qualified group winner, than the free spots in this League will be filled by best non-qualified teams from LOWER League.

    2) If this League doesn't have any non-qualified group winner, than the free spots in this League will be filled by overall best non-qualified teams - from ANY League.



    I see that Uefa are considering expanding the nations league groups to 4 teams. Imo, that's a good move.
    And for Ireland that means staying in League B, no relegation.
    Last edited by geysir; 11/09/2019 at 1:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Insidetherock View Post
    Group A, Iceland, Isreal, Hungary, Romania

    Group B, Bosnia, Wales/Slovakia, Ireland, N Ireland

    Group C, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Bulgaria

    Group D, Georgia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus

    Simple really

    [/SUP]
    I think you are mostly right but there will be draws to see who the overflow teams are and which path - Bulgaria Romania Israel Hungary Irelandís and Slovakia will be in a series of draws.

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    This document is referenced on wiki and seems to be the process that Wikipedia is describing. Itís dated 2017 I think so not sure if it has been superseded but it has a bunch of scenarios and what ifs from about page 25 describing drawing teams etc.

    http://files.footballseeding.com/200...%20version.pdf

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    That Uefa pdf is the pits. The 2 minute Uefa bouncing balls video was a first class smart effort.

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    But itís the only place Iíve seen that describes doing a draw for over filled Paths. The balls video just implied they were moved up based on rank.

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    Form a path with four teams from the same league.

    If there are more than four teams qualified in a given league, draw which teams will participate in the play-off path of that league.
    This can only mean that if we have BOS/WAL/IRE/NIR the 4 and only 4 playoff teams in League B then they must form Path B. So the overflow of C would go straight into A.

    So in the scenario discussed one of Bulgaria Romania Hungary and Israel would be drawn into Path C and the other 3 into A with Iceland.
    Last edited by davidatrb; 11/09/2019 at 2:30 PM.

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