Malta will be one of seven teams playing in League D of the UEFA Nations League and there will be only two groups – one of four teams and another of three as the competition format was approved in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Tuesday.
The four leagues for the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League have been confirmed following an adjustment to the competition format. The groups within each league will be decided by a draw on 3 March 2020 in Amsterdam.
Malta will therefore be drawn with two or three teams from Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Liechtestein, Andorra and San Marino.
The new league structure comprises 16 teams in Leagues A, B and C and seven teams in League D, as of the 2020/21 edition. The teams are allocated to leagues based on the overall ranking following the 2018/19 inaugural UEFA Nations League.
Portugal (holders), Netherlands, England, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Poland, Germany, Iceland
- Teams will be split into four groups of four, with the group winners then contesting the UEFA Nations League Finals (semi-finals, match for third place and final) in June 2021 to become the second UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed from among the finalist teams.
- Teams who finish bottom of their groups will be relegated to League B.
Russia, Austria, Wales, Czech Republic, Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Finland, Slovakia, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary, Romania
- Teams will be split into four groups of four. The group winners will gain promotion. Teams who finish bottom of their groups will be relegated to League C.
Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova
- Teams will be split into four groups of four. The group winners will gain promotion. Two League C teams will be relegated to League D for the third edition of the competition in 2022/23. Those two teams are determined by play-offs (home and away), to be played between the four fourth-ranked teams from each League C group.
Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Malta, San Marino
- Teams will be split into one group of four and one group of three.
Why the change of format?
This change to the format follows a consultation process which involved all of UEFA’s 55 national associations and reflects upon their desire to further minimise the number of friendly matches. In addition, it enhances sporting fairness as all teams in the same group will play their last match on the same day and at the same time. Moreover, the number of competitive matches during the competition’s league phase will increase from 138 to 162, thereby increasing the commercial value of the competition.
The successful concept of the Finals remains untouched, with the four group winners of League A playing each other to determine the UEFA Nations League winners.
2020/21 UEFA Nations League calendar
League Phase draw: 3 March 2020, Amsterdam
Matchday 1: 3–5 September 2020
Matchday 2: 6–8 September 2020
Matchday 3: 8–10 October 2020
Matchday 4: 11–13 October 2020
Matchday 5: 12–14 November 2020
Matchday 6: 15–17 November 2020
Finals draw: tbc
Finals: 2–6 June 2021