Nations League: Who's up, who's down - and World Cup 2022 Qualifying pots confirmed

Italy, France, Belgium and Spain will battle out UEFA Nations League finals next October; England will be in Pot 1 for World Cup qualifying draw; Wales in Pot 2; Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in Pot 3

The Nations League culminates this week in the final round of fixtures
Image: The Nations League group stages culminated this week with the finals in October

The UEFA Nations League group stages has come to an end - so what happens next?

The finals of the second edition of the competition will take place next October with Italy, France, Belgium and Spain looking to be crowned champions.

This week saw nations secure promotion, while others were consigned to relegation, and results have also had a bearing on the World Cup 2022 draw qualifying pots, as Sky Sports explains.

How is the Nations League linked to 2022 World Cup?

The world cup trophy, designed by Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, is pictured during the CAF draw, for the second round of Confederation of African Football (CAF) matches for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, in the Egyptian capital Cairo on January 21, 2020.
Image: France and Italy are back among seeds for UEFA World Cup qualifying draw

The World Cup qualifying draw takes place on December 7. Results in the UEFA Nations League go towards FIFA World Ranking coefficient points and therefore have contributed to the seedings.

Wales secured top spot in Group B4, and with it a place in Pot 2, along with their promotion to League A of the next edition of the Nations League - and a potential 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off if required.

Ahead of next month's draw, here are the Pots in full:

  • Pot 1: Belgium, France, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands
  • Pot 2: Switzerland, Wales, Poland, Sweden, Austria, Ukraine, Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania
  • Pot 3: Russia, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Greece, Finland
  • Pot 4: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Belarus, Georgia, Luxembourg
  • Pot 5: Armenia, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Latvia, Andorra
  • Pot 6: Malta, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, San Marino

How did the Nations League groups end?

Group A1

preview image 3:28
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League A1 group match between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Italy

Italy secured a semi-final berth with a win away to Bosnia & Herzegovina.

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Netherlands won in Poland but it was not enough to reach the final four for the second successive edition.

Bosnia and Herzegovina had already been relegated to League B, but a fourth Nations League meant they dropped into Pot 4 for the World Cup qualifying draw.

preview image 4:09
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League A1 group match between Poland and Netherlands

Nations League Group A1

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Italy 6 +5 12
Netherlands 6 +3 11
Poland 6 0 7
Bosnia & Herzegovina 6 -8 2

Group A2

preview image 4:48
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League A2 match between England and Iceland

Belgium finished top after beating Denmark 4-2 in Leuven to secure their place at the finals.

England thrashed Iceland 4-0 at Wembley having already sealed third spot. Iceland will be playing in League B in the next edition having been relegated.

preview image 3:51
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League A2 group match between Belgium and Denmark

Nations League Group A2

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Belgium 6 +10 15
Denmark 6 +1 10
England 6 +2 10
Iceland 6 -14 0

Group A3

Portugal won the inaugural Nations League but won't be in the finals
Image: Portugal won the inaugural Nations League but won't be in the finals

France, who finish top of Group A3, became the first nation to reach the finals after victory over Portugal in Lisbon on matchday five.

It means holders Portugal will not be at next year's showpiece event and will finish in second place in the group.

Despite a 3-2 defeat to Portugal on matchday six, Croatia avoided the drop with Sweden relegated to League B after a 4-2 loss in France.

Nations League Group A3

Team Games played Goal difference Points
France 6 +7 16
Portugal 6 +8 13
Croatia 6 -7 3
Sweden 6 -8 3

Group A4

Remaining fixture

  • Switzerland vs Ukraine - Match called off.

Spain's stunning 6-0 victory against Germany on matchday six ensured they finished top of Group A4 and booked them a place in next autumn's semi-finals.

Relegation is still to be decided after Switzerland's clash with Ukraine was called off.

Nations League Group A4

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Spain 6 +10 11
Germany 6 -3 9
Ukraine 5 -5 6
Switzerland 5 -2 3

Group B1

Northern Ireland v Romania 3:57
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League group B1 match between Northern Ireland and Romania

Austria were promoted to League A after drawing 1-1 with Norway, who finish in second place.

Romania vs Norway was postponed on Sunday as a result of the Norwegian squad not being allowed to travel following a positive coronavirus test.

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A UEFA panel has since awarded Romania a 3-0 win for the postponed game meaning Northern Ireland have been relegated from to League C.

The Norwegian FA is yet to decide if they will appeal the decision. They have five days to appeal.

Romania's forfeit win couple with their 1-1 draw in Northern Ireland means they will be in Pot 2 for World Cup qualifying.

Nations League Group B1

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Austria 6 +3 13
Norway 6 +5 10
Romania 6 -1 8
Northern Ireland 6 -7 2

Group B2

preview image 4:32
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League B2 group match between Israel and Scotland

Scotland missed out on promotion to League A after suffering defeat in Israel.

Czech Republic finished top following victory over Slovakia in Plzen, with the visitors relegated.

Nations League Group B2

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Czech Republic 6 +4 12
Scotland 6 +3 10
Israel 6 0 8
Slovakia 6 -3 4

Group B3

A dramatic end to Group B3 where Russia lost out on top spot following a 5-0 hammering in Serbia on the final night.

The defeat also meant they slipped into Pot 3 for the World Cup qualifying draw.

Hungary bettered Russia's result against Turkey - winning 2-0 to finish top and earn promotion.

Serbia stay in League B as Turkey are relegated.

Nations League Group B3

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Hungary 6 +3 11
Russia 6 -3 8
Serbia 6 +2 6
Turkey 6 -2 6

Group B4

preview image 3:45
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League B4 group match between Wales and Finland

Wales overcame Finland to top the group and earn promotion to League A.

Republic of Ireland earned the point needed to stay in League B courtesy of a 0-0 draw with Bulgaria - who are relegated.

Stephen Kenny's men needed three points if they were to stay in contention for World Cup qualifying draw Pot 2 - but they will now be in Pot 3.

Ireland 0-0 Bulgaria 4:04
Highlights of the UEFA Nations League group B4 match between Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria

Nations League Group B4

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Wales 6 +7 16
Finland 6 +2 12
Republic of Ireland 6 -3 3
Bulgaria 6 -5 2

Group C1

Victory for Montenegro against Cyprus ensured promotion to League B above Luxembourg, who drew 0-0 with Azerbaijan on matchday six.

The big defeat at the hands of Montenegro condemned Cyprus to relegation to League D.

Nations League Group C1

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Montenegro 6 +8 13
Luxembourg 6 +2 10
Azerbaijan 6 -2 6
Cyprus 6 -8 4

Group C2

North Macedonia were beaten away to Armenia to be pipped to top spot and promotion to League B.

Georgia finished third having been held to a 0-0 draw by Estonia and will be in the relegation play-outs.

Nations League Group C2

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Armenia 6 +3 11
North Macedonia 6 +1 9
Georgia 6 0 7
Estonia 6 -4 3

Group C3

Slovenia finished top of the group after holding Greece to a 0-0 draw on the final night.

The stalemate meant Greece - European champions in 2004 - drop into Pot 4 of the World Cup qualifying draw.

Kosovo overcame Moldova 1-0 to guarantee their League C status, with their opponents now consigned to a relegation play-out.

Nations League Group C3

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Slovenia 6 +7 14
Greece 6 +5 12
Kosovo 6 -2 5
Moldova 6 -10 1

Group C4

Albania pipped Belarus to promotion after beating them in Tirana on Wednesday.

At the other end, Kazakhstan were beaten 2-1 at home to Lithuania to be consigned to the relegation play-outs.

Nations League Group C4

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Albania 6 +4 11
Belarus 6 +2 10
Lithuania 6 -2 8
Kazakhstan 6 -3 4

Group D1

Faroe Islands drew 1-1 with Malta on matchday six to seal top spot in Group D1.

They are promoted to League B, while Andorra finish bottom of the group after 5-0 defeat at home to Latvia.

Nations League Group D1

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Faroe Islands 6 +4 12
Malta 6 +2 9
Latvia 6 +4 7
Andorra 6 -10 2

Group D2

Gibraltar sealed promotion to League C after a 1-1 draw with Liechtenstein on matchday six.

San Marino finish bottom of the group despite keeping two clean sheets.

Nations League Group D2

Team Games played Goal difference Points
Gibraltar 4 +2 8
Liechtenstein 4 +1 5
San Marino 4 -3 2

When are the relegation play-outs?

League C nations have a second chance to avoid relegation to League D during the two-legged relegation play-outs in March 2022, live on Sky Sports.

  • Moldova vs Kazakhstan
  • Estonia vs Cyprus

When are the Nations League finals?

With the four qualifying nations from League A now known, the host of the Nations League Finals will be announced from among the countries involved, as was the case last year with Portugal.

The semi-finals will be determined by an open draw, with games to take place next autumn. The semi-finals will be on October 6 and 7 with the third-place play-off and final occurring on October 10.

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