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Friday, January 31, 2014

EURO 2016: Minimum travel groups

Remember the EURO 2016 regulations leaked by the Romanian FA?

There were some principles no longer found in the latest regulations:

b) Venues with climate risk

 - Stadiums belonging to FAs from countries with cold winters are in this category
 - In a group there will be at most 3 teams from countries with cold winters. There are two subcategories: Very cold winter (Finland, Faroe Islands, Norway and Russia) and Cold winter (Andorra, Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden and Ukraine).


c) Transportation

 - The objective is to avoid long distances when playing two matches in the same FIFA window.
 - Based on the distances between the capitals of the countries involved, the transport links can be: conditioned ( flight time > 8 hours), semi-conditioned (between 6 and 8 hours) and unconditioned (less than 6 hours).
 - In a group there will be at most 3 teams from countries that involve long distances


I was curious to see what groups would come out if minimum travel would be the main condition while also sticking to the other rules (TV, political situation).

Two groups (C and I) came close to breaking the cold winter rule:

Group A: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Norway, Wales, Northern Ireland, France
Group B: Greece, Croatia, Israel, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta
Group C: Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, Azerbaijan, San Marino
Group D: Germany, Hungary, Romania, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan
Group E: England, Republic of Ireland, Austria, Scotland, Iceland, Faroe Islands
Group F: Portugal, Switzerland, Slovenia, Montenegro, Albania, Gibraltar
Group G: Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, FYR Macedonia, Andorra
Group H: Italy, Denmark, Serbia, Estonia, Moldova, Liechtenstein
Group I: Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Luxembourg

1 comment:

  1. Maybe these principles can be recycled for the UEFA Nations League? Unsure if they'll use top-seeds in each division and draw the other NTs from pots or completely at random.

    Here's a mock-up of possible UNL divisions based on the same UEFA national team coefficient rankings that were used in the draw for UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying (December 2013 edition):

    Tier 1 (12 NTs)

    Group A: Spain, Russia, Bosnia
    Group B: Germany, Greece, Ukraine
    Group C: Holland, Portugal, France
    Group D: Italy, England, Croatia

    Tier 2 (13 NTs)

    Group A: Sweden, Serbia, Turkey
    Group B: Denmark, Ireland, Slovenia
    Group C: Switzerland, Hungary, Israel
    Group D: Belgium, Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia

    Tier 3 (13 NTs)

    Group A: Romania, Latvia, Wales
    Group B: Austria, Finland, Bulgaria
    Group C: Poland, Scotland, Estonia
    Group D: Montenegro, Armenia, Belarus, Iceland

    Tier 4 (16 NTs)

    Group A: Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Gibraltar
    Group B: Albania, Georgia, Kazakhstan, San Marino
    Group C: Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein, Andorra
    Group D: Moldova, Macedonia, Faroe Islands, Malta

    => NTs play each other home and away between September and December (UEFA likes to schedule double headers)
    => the 4 bottom teams of each tier face relegation (except in tier 4) and the 4 group winners of each tier are promoted (except in tier 1)
    => 4 group winners of tier 1 qualify for a final four competition (maybe the same for lower tiers?)
    => 1 NT from each tier can land a EURO2020 berth (TBD after play-offs in March 2020 between NTs that haven't qualified yet)
    => the format still has to be finalized and it looks as if ULN trnys will also take place ahead of WCs ... maybe the one ahead of Qatar2022 will be the first with promoted/relegated NTs?

    PS I haven't found a trustworthy source containing an indication of how the divisions will be constructed ... it could very well be that the lowest tier division contains 12 NTs while the top 3 divisions contain 14 NTs each ... no mention of seeding either.

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