Changing the format of the League of Nations for men's national teams: what awaits Ukraine
The UEFA Executive Committee, which includes UAF President Andriy Pavelko, on January 25 in Nyon, Switzerland approved several important decisions, in particular, regarding the new formats of the League of Nations and the qualification of the European and World Championships for men's national teams.
The Nations League will be expanded with a new round of play-offs taking place in March, thus creating a sequence between the group stage, which ends in November, and the final, which takes place in June.
The A-League group winners and runners-up will take part in home-and-away quarter-final matches, with the winners of those legs qualifying for the final four.
The third-placed teams in League A, second and third in League B and second in League C will play in the playoffs for promotion/relegation (home and away according to the scheme AZ - B2, B3 - C2).
What does the new format mean for Ukraine?
As you know, according to the results of the League of Nations 2022/2023, the national team of Ukraine, taking second place in their group, remained in League B.
The date of the draw for the next cycle of the Nations League, 2024/2025, will be announced by UEFA at a later date, but the dates for the matches in autumn 2024 are already known: two in each of the windows - from 2 to 10 September, from 7 to 15 October and from 11 th to November 19.
After the format change, a participant in the group tournament in League B, where Ukraine will play, if the following:
- the first place will go up to League A;
- runner-up — will play head-to-head matches with the team that finishes third in League A group;
- third place — will play a tie-breaker with the team that finishes second in the C League group;
- the fourth place will be relegated to League C.
Head-to-head matches are scheduled for March 2025.
The places occupied by the 2024/2025 League of Nations participants will depend on which group, with four or five teams, they will be in for the World Cup 2026 selection.
The teams drawn in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers into groups of five will start the tournament in March or June 2025 if they are still participating in the UEFA Nations League quarter-finals or in the promotion/relegation matches of the LN. The teams, divided into groups of four participants, will begin qualifying for the World Cup in September 2025.
Photo by uefa.com
Waiting for Euro 2024 selection
We will remind that the nearest competition for the national team of Ukraine will be Euro 2024 qualifying tournament. The first match of the blue and yellow team, against England, is scheduled for Sunday, March 26 in London at Wembley Stadium. The meeting starts at 17.00:19.00 p.m. local time (at 23:XNUMX p.m. Kyiv time). This will be the match of the second round, as Ukraine misses the first, on March XNUMX. On this day, Italy will host England and North Macedonia will host Malta.
Tickets to the final tournament with the participation of 24 teams, where Germany will be waiting, will be given to the two best national teams from each of the 10 groups. The fate of three more vacancies will be decided in the Nations League play-offs, which will take place in March 2024.
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