The draw for the semi-finals of the first edition of the League of Nations, December 3, 2018. - Paul FAITH / AFP

League of Nations, second. After the success of the inaugural edition, won at home by Portugal by Cristiano Ronaldo in the spring of 2019, the new competition imagined by UEFA to replace the tasteless friendly matches leaves for a round on Tuesday, with the group draw to be held in Amsterdam.

The format has hardly changed. Only the number of participants increased, which required some adjustments. Fifty-five nations are in the running, still divided into four “leagues”, divisions of close level. In each League, several groups, whose teams compete in round-trip matches. The last of each group is relegated to the lower division for the next edition, the first are promoted to the upper echelon. The group winners of the first division will compete for the trophy in a final phase scheduled for June 2021.

A group from Portugal, France, Sweden, Germany?

Who are the potential opponents for the French team? Well as at the Euro, the Blues will certainly have a lot to do. Present in hat 2 with Belgium, Spain and Italy, they will face a team of hat 1, which includes Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland and England (the four semi-finalists of the first editing).

Hat 3 will offer a playable opponent, between Bosnia, Denmark and Sweden. But in 4 hide two scarecrows, Germany and Croatia, which accompany Poland and Iceland. Clearly, the level of the hen will depend greatly on what comes out of this last pot.

This is what the best and worst print could give on paper:

  • The most open: Switzerland, France, Bosnia, Poland
  • The most full-bodied: Portugal, France, Sweden, Germany

A quick word on the issue, finally. Note that in 2020, the League of Nations sets up a repechage system for the 2022 World Cup: two nations not qualified through the traditional eliminations will be drafted and then returned to the play-offs in the Europe zone.


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