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Little-known UEFA rule meant England could not be drawn against one nation in the Nations League

Little-known UEFA rule meant England could not be drawn against one nation in the Nations League

England couldn't draw one team.

England were barred from being drawn against one nation in the Nations League draw - because of a little-known UEFA rule.

The draw for the upcoming Nations League group stage, which took place in Paris, saw Gareth Southgate's Three Lions drawn against Finland, Greece and rivals Republic of Ireland.

The league phase will take place between September 5 and November 19, with the quarter-finals, play-offs and finals being staged across the first three months of 2025.

England were relegated from League A in the 2022/23 edition of the tournament, meaning they were placed in League B2 this time around.

As a result of the opening stages of the draw, though, the Three Lions were unable to draw one nation out of pot four.

They drew Finland and Republic of Ireland first, with one team left to be drawn.

Kazakhstan were then the next team out of the pot - but were moved into a different group.

That is because a UEFA rule limits the distance in which Kazakhstan have to travel in the federation's competitions, meaning an agreement was put in place that meant they could only draw one nation out of Wales, England and Republic of Ireland.

As the latter two of those nations had already been drawn in the same group, it meant Kazakhstan had to be placed elsewhere.

They were instead added to League B3 alongside Austria, Norway and Slovenia, with Greece going into B2.

Speaking after the draw was made in Paris, Southgate said (via BBC Sport): "There's some teams we haven't played for a while. There's going to be some difficult games for us.

"I think everybody in England will think it was a big disappointment to drop down to League B, but you still have some difficult games.

"Obviously our objective will be, we have to win the group to get back up into League A."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: England, UEFA Nations League, Football