Euro winners England face Netherlands in new UEFA Women's Nations League


Euro winners England face Netherlands in new UEFA Women's Nations League

Reigning European champions England were drawn on Monday to play 2019 World Cup runners-up the Netherlands in the new UEFA Women's Nations League, which will also serve as qualifiers for next year's Paris Olympics.

The new competition, with three tiers, promotion and relegation, mirrors the men's Nations League which was launched in 2018 and is introduced at the same time as a new qualifying system for the 2025 Women's Euro in Switzerland.

Current England coach Sarina Wiegman is from the Netherlands and was in charge of the Dutch side that lost to the United States in the World Cup final in France four years ago.

England and the Netherlands are joined in League A, Group 1 by Belgium and Scotland, while Germany, ranked second in the world behind the United States and runners-up at last year's Euro, will face Denmark, Iceland and Wales in Group A3.

Sweden, silver medallists at the Tokyo Olympics, will face Spain, Italy and Euro hosts Switzerland in Group A4, with France, Norway, Austria and Portugal together in Group A2.

The group stage will be played from September to December this year, following the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July and August.

The winners of each group in League A will advance to a four-team final tournament in February next year, with the two finalists qualifying for the Olympics.

If France -- already qualified for the Olympics as hosts -- reach the final, then Europe's other place at the Olympics will go to the team finishing third.

The Nations League ranking at the end of the inaugural tournament will then serve as the basis for a new qualifying format starting next year for Euro 2025 in Switzerland.

The 16 teams in League A will be split into four groups of four with the top two in each qualifying for the Euro.

The remaining slots will be contested over play-offs involving the other teams from League A as well as those from Leagues B and C.

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