LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Germany will face old rivals France and the Netherlands after the trio were drawn together in the same three-team group for the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday.
The three will feature in Group One of League A, the top division of the four-tier tournament which UEFA has introduced to replace international friendlies.
Italy, who failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, will face European champions Portugal and Poland in Group Three while Spain take on England and Croatia in Group Four. Belgium will meet Switzerland and Iceland in Group Two.
The winners of each group qualify for the semi-finals which will be played in June 2019, followed by the final.
The Nations League features all 55 of Europe’s national teams divided into four divisions — themselves split into four groups — which UEFA says will provide more competitive internationals.
It also provides a back door to Euro 2020 with one team from each league earning a place at UEFA’s flagship tournament.
League B, the second tier, produced a clash between neighbours Czech Republic and Slovakia in Group One while Ireland must face Denmark, who beat them in last year’s World Cup playoffs, in Group Four which also features Wales. (Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)