England face reunion with Italy in Nations League
England face a reunion with European champions Italy in next year’s Nations League and another grudge match with Germany.
Gareth Southgate’s side were also drawn to face Hungary, who were hit with a one-match stadium ban by FIFA after their fans racially abused England players Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham in a World Cup qualifier in September.
England’s first home match in the competition, which starts next June, will be played behind closed doors after UEFA sanctioned the Football Association over the disorder at the Euro 2020 final against Italy in July.
Wales, promoted to League A following the 2020-21 Nations League competition, face tough opposition in the shape of Belgium, Holland and Poland.
The Belgians are familiar opponents for Wales. The sides faced each other in qualification for next year’s World Cup, with Belgium topping Group E and Wales finishing second to earn a play-off tie next March.
Scotland and the Republic of Ireland were drawn together in League B, having last played each other during qualification for Euro 2016. Scotland won 1-0 at home, while the return match in Dublin finished 1-1.
The other teams alongside them in Group B1 are Euro 2020 quarter-finalists Ukraine and Armenia.
Northern Ireland, who were relegated to League C in the 2020-21 competition, face 2004 European champions Greece in Group C2. They also face Kosovo and the winner of the playout tie between Cyprus and Estonia, which will be played in March next year.
Northern Ireland won their two most recent competitive meetings with Greece, en route to qualification for Euro 2016.
Group matches will be played in June and September next year, with the four group winners in League A competing in the finals in June 2023.
A decision on whether, and how, the 2022-23 Nations League will slot into qualifying for Euro 2024 will be taken when the regulations for that tournament are fixed next June.
UEFA and FIFA faced criticism over the fact that a two-match stadium ban imposed on the Hungarian federation by the European confederation over homophobic and racist behaviour by the country’s fans at all three of their Euro 2020 matches was not applied for the World Cup qualifiers, a FIFA competition.
The UEFA sanction will apply for Hungary’s first two Nations League matches.
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