The European Football Association (UEFA) said after the Executive Committee meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, yesterday, Wednesday, that the European Nations League will be expanded to add a knockout stage to it after 2024.
He plays the knockout role in March, and will be the link between the group stage, which will end in November, and the finals, which will be played in June.
The leader and runner-up of each group will primarily participate in the quarter-final matches, which will be played on a home-and-away basis, and the winner will qualify for the semi-finals.
The third-place finisher in the first-division groups will play with the runner-up of the second-division groups, just as the third-place finishers in the second-division groups will play with each runner-up of a group in the third division two matches, with a home-and-return system, for promotion and relegation between the ranks.
“By introducing a new knockout stage, teams will have more chances to qualify while maintaining the same number of international matches,” said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.
Among other changes, the European qualifiers for the European Championship and the World Cup will be more linked, and the teams will be divided into 12 groups, with 4 or 5 teams in each group.--
“The predictability (of results) in European qualifiers has been dealt with in a new way, giving all teams an equal chance to qualify for major tournaments,” Ceferin added.-
UEFA said, in a statement, that the new format approved for these competitions will enter into force in September 2024.
Russia, which sent officials from its local football federation to Switzerland to meet with officials from UEFA a day before the executive committee meeting, was banned from participating in competitions hosted by the European Union and the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) after the war against Ukraine last year.
UEFA decided that Russia, which hosted the men’s World Cup in 2018, will not participate in the 2024 European Championship qualifiers, which will start in March.
The European Super Cup match was transferred in 2023 from Kazan, Russia, to Athens, Greece.