The first phase of the biennial UEFA Nations League has just been finished.
For those that don’t know, the Nations League consists of the national teams of all 55 members of the Union of European Football Associations. The teams are split into four leagues (A, B, C, D) and then groups of three or four teams based by their national team coefficients.
Bottom line, it keeps the big teams fresh by playing equally qualified teams (for example; Germany, Netherlands and France all played in League A Group 1) and the smaller teams play more games than the standard calendar allows them. The Faroe Islands, who were in League D Group 3 played only three meaningful games in 2017, two in 2016 and only one 2015. In 2018, they played six (only winning one though).
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association (CONCACAF) is already looking at this model in hopes to strengthen and grow the 41 members of the league (except Guatemala, who have been suspended by FIFA). It is also linked to the Gold Cup, which is CONCACAF’s equivalent to the Euros.
It is set to begin in 2019.
The CONCACAF Nations League is a little different though. Canada and 33 other countries have to play four games to determine which of the three leagues (A, B, C) the teams will be sorted into. Six teams have already been sorted into League A due to their qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup. Another six teams will join them depending on how the qualification goes.
League B will be made up of 16 teams and League C will be 12 teams.
For the qualification stage, each team will play four games (three have already been played) to determine their spot. As it stands as of Nov. 21, Curacao, Haiti, Canada Cuba, Jamaica and Martinique will join League A with Mexico, the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Panama and Hondorus. However, that could change with the final games being played on March 21-26, 2019. Canada fans don’t have much to worry though due to their opponent being French Guiana. At the end of qualification, the top ten teams will also qualify for the Gold Cup. So including the aforementioned teams who could be in League A, they could be joined by Bermuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.