UEFA announces the expansion of the European Nations League after 2024 | Football

UEFA announces the expansion of the European Nations League after 2024 | Football
UEFA announces the expansion of the European Nations League after 2024 | Football
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The European Football Association (UEFA) announced, after the Executive Committee meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, on Wednesday, that it will expand the European Nations League, to add a knockout stage to it after 2024.

The knockout round will be played in March and will be the link between the group stage, which ends in November, and the finals, which will be played in June.

The leader and runner-up of each group in the first division will 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.

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“The predictability (of results) in the European qualifiers has been dealt with in a new way, giving all teams an equal chance to qualify for major tournaments,” Ceferin added.

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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 UEFA officials the day before the executive committee meeting, has been banned from participating in competitions hosted by UEFA and FIFA, after its invasion of Ukraine last year.

UEFA decided that Russia, which will host the 2018 Men’s World Cup, will not participate in the 2024 European Championship qualifiers, which will start in March.

The 2023 UEFA Super Cup match was moved from Kazan, Russia, to Athens, Greece.

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