Ireland placed in second tier for inaugural UEFA Nations League

The Republic of Ireland have been been placed in League B for the inaugural UEFA Nations League, writes Stephen Barry.

Ireland's victory over Wales has dragged their Celtic rivals into the second tier of teams, too, with Holland grabbing the last League A spot based on their UEFA ranking.

Northern Ireland are also in League B, alongside a number of Ireland's recent opponents, Austria, Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The 12 teams will be split into four groups of three, with the top teams promoted and bottom teams relegated at the end of the six games.

The competition, which UEFA says will replace most international friendlies, will be played in September, October and November 2018, with a group stage draw scheduled for next January.

A four-game finals tournament for the League A teams will be held in June 2019.

It will also provide Ireland with a second chance to qualify for Euro 2020, if needed, with the four highest-ranked non-qualifying League B teams entering play-offs for one finals place in March 2020.

League A

Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Croatia, Netherlands

League B

Austria, Wales, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Turkey

League C

Hungary, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia, Albania, Norway, Montenegro, Israel, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania

League D

Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino, Gibraltar


By Stephen Barry

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