The European qualifying phase is also changed to “more attractive” without increasing the number of matches


UEFA announced on Wednesday new formats for the men’s national team competitions, a League of Nations and a European qualifying phase “more attractive to increase the excitement without increasing the number of matches.”

The UEFA Executive Committee met this Wednesday at the House of European Football in Nyon (Switzerland) and approved new formats that will come into force in September 2024.

Thus, the League of Nations will be expanded with a new knockout round to be played in March, thus creating continuity between the group phase that ends in November and the final phase that is played in June.

The group winners and group runners-up from League A will participate in a round-trip quarterfinal, and the winners of these qualifiers will qualify for the ‘Final Four’. The third place in League A and the second place in League B, as well as the third place in League B and the second place in League C will play a round trip promotion/relegation play-off.

Meanwhile, the new format of the European qualifiers for the EURO or the FIFA World Cup will be more established, with teams drawn in 12 groups of four and five combined, “thus revitalizing the competition by making it less predictable and more dynamic,” he says. UEFA.

The teams drawn in groups of five will begin qualifying in March, or in June if they are still competing in the Nations League quarter-finals or involved in promotion/relegation matches. The teams from the groups of four will begin their campaigns in September.

The group winners will qualify for the tournaments, while the runners-up will qualify directly or participate in play-off matches (along with the Nations League teams for EURO qualification).

“The introduction of the UEFA Nations League was a success story, replacing friendly matches with more competitive matches. And now, with the introduction of the new knockout phase, teams will have even more opportunities to progress while maintaining the same number of matches,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

“The predictability of the European qualifiers has also been addressed, with a new format that will offer all teams an equal chance to qualify for major tournaments. The new format promises to bring more excitement to European national team football competitions, which continue to grow unstoppably,” he added.

On the other hand, the UEFA Executive Committee has decided to move the 2023 UEFA Super Cup from Kazan (Russia) to Athens (Greece). The match will be played at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in the Greek capital on Wednesday, August 16 at 9:00 p.m.