Guide: Everything before the new major tournament

+ What exactly is the Nations League?

On the men’s side, the European football confederation Uefa started the Nations League in 2018 and the tournament then replaced the lion’s share of sportingly insignificant training matches for the European national teams. For the ladies, this is the first time the tournament has been organized.

+ How does the ladies’ tournament work?

The Nations League consists of three divisions, A to C, where the highest ranked countries – including Sweden – play in the A division. The A and B divisions consist of 16 countries that will be drawn into four different groups. In the C division there are 18 countries.

Home and away matches await in the group stage. The group winners in the A division will go to the playoffs, while the group winners in the B and C divisions will move up one division. The countries that finish last in their respective groups are moved down a division, while the third-placed countries in each group get to play qualifying games.

In the C division there is also the possibility of promotion via qualifying games.

Every four years, the Nations League will also serve as a qualifying game for the Olympics, where the countries in the A division will settle for two places.

The result in the Nations League will also be the basis for the seeding in the upcoming EC qualifiers, which will begin in the spring of 2024.

+ When are the matches played?

First round: 20–22 September

Second round: 23–26 September

Third round: 25–27 October

Fourth round: 28–31 October

Fifth round: November 29–December 1

The semi-finals, the third prize match and the final, as well as the qualifiers, will be played sometime in 2024.

+ What does the seeding look like?

The seeding is based on Uefa’s national ranking and Sweden will play in the A division. Sweden will be in pot 1 of the draw. Pot 2 includes Spain, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark. In pot 3 we find Italy, Belgium, Austria and Iceland. Pot 4 consists of Switzerland, Wales, Portugal and Scotland. One team from each pot is drawn into each group.

A Division: England, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Iceland, Switzerland, Wales, Portugal, Scotland, France.

B Division: Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Serbia, Slovenia, Northern Ireland, Romania, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Croatia, Belarus, Albania.

Division C: Malta, Israel, Azerbaijan, Turkey, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Luxembourg, Moldova, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Armenia, Andorra.

+ When is the draw?

On Tuesday at 1 p.m. at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

+ What does Sweden’s national team captain think?

“It’s a new form of competition for us, it’s just important games. You can look at this in different ways, but I like that it’s competitive games. Somehow it’s easier to match the best team, when the games matter” , says Peter Gerhardsson to TT.

+ The criticism

Just like on the men’s side, the big clubs around Europe are grumbling as they are forced to see their key players play more competitive matches with the national teams. More national team matches means more wear and tear and a greater risk of injury.

“I understand the clubs. It is important to handle this issue of the load on the players in the right way,” says Peter Gerhardsson.

+ Can Russia join?

No, Uefa and Fifa (International Football Federation), have stopped Russia from playing competitive matches, due to the war in Ukraine. However, Belarus is allowed to participate, the country has sanctions against it in many other sports but not in football.