Romania, in the League of Nations. Fire duel with Kosovo and how we can reach the World Cup

Romania will meet again with Kosovo in the League of Nations, the national team that gave us a fork in the Euro 2024 preliminaries (0-0, away and 2-0 at the National Arena). Along with the two teams, the group also includes Cyprus and the winner between Lithuania and Gibraltar, teams that will meet in a play-off match next month.

The Romanian national team plays in the League of Nations after Euro 2024. Photo by Sportpictures

The draw for the Nations League groups took place in Paris and marked a first in the short history of the competition: Romania was in the third echelon, in “C”. But even if we will meet the “dwarfs” of the continent, the matches have an important stake for the “tricolors”.

If we manage to win the group, then we will get two important advantages. First of all, we will promote to League B, 2026-2027 edition. With the specification that, including a ranking in 2nd place, it would send us to the barrier for promotion to League B. However, the main stake remains the first place in the group of which we will be a part. Because this performance would become a “lifeline” for us in order to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

We win the group, we go to the play-offs for the World Cup

At the next edition of the World Cup, Europe will have 16 teams. 12 of them will qualify through the traditional preliminaries, winning 1st place in the group. 4 other teams will get the tickets for USA, Mexico and Canada through play-off matches. And here will be the next 12 national teams that will finish the World Cup qualifiers in 2nd place in their groups, plus the best 4 group winners from the Nations League, who will not be ranked in one of the first two positions in their groups in the preliminaries for WC 2026.

Down with a strong flu, the selector Edi Iordănescu could not participate live in the drawing of lots in Paris. Mihai Stoichiță (head of the Technical Commission) and Ionel Gane (second coach) were part of the delegation sent by Romania to Paris.

Nations League Groups, League C:

Group C1: Sweden, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Estonia

Group C2: Romania, Kosovo, Cyprus, Lithuania/Gibraltar*

Group C3: Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Northern Ireland, Belarus

Group C4: Armenia, Faroe Islands, North Macedonia, Latvia

*In March, there will be a play-off between Lithuania and Gibraltar. The winner will stay in League C, while the loser will go to League D and join Romania's group.

When will the matches be played?

Stage 1: September 5-7

Stage 2: September 8-10

Stage 3: October 10-12

Stage 4: October 13-15

Stage 5: November 14-16

Romania results in the League of Nations

2022-2023 B3 Place 4 of 4

2020-2021 B1 Place 3 out of 4

2018-2019 C4 Place 2 of 4

The other League of Nations groups

League A:

  • Group A1: Croatia, Portugal, Poland, Scotland
  • Group A2: Italy, Belgium, France, Israel
  • Group A3: Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Bosnia
  • Group A4: Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Serbia

League B:

  • Group B1: Czech Republic, Ukraine, Albania, Georgia
  • Group B2: England, Finland, Ireland, Greece
  • Group B3: Austria, Norway, Slovenia, Kazakhstan
  • Group B4: Wales, Iceland, Montenegro, Turkey

League D:

  • Group D1: Lithuania/Gibraltar, San Marino, Liechtenstein
  • Group D2: Moldova, Malta, Andorra