Soccer

UEFA confirms Euro 2024 24-team format plus expanded Nations League

UEFA has confirmed that Euro 2024 will remain a 24-team tournament, but announced an expanded Nations League competition.

The governing body had been considering a 32-team European Championship but said on Wednesday that “no change” had been proposed for the tournament in Germany.

UEFA said a new format would be implemented after Euro 2024, however.

It was too confirmed that the Nations League tournament will be extended beyond September 2024.

That competition will offer a new knock-out round to be played in March, with UEFA aiming to “create continuity” between the group stage, which ends in November, and the semi-finals and final stage in June.

The League A group winners and runners-up will take part in a two-legged home-and-away quarter-final, with the winners qualifying for the last four.

Teams finishing third in Liga A and second in Liga B play a promotion/relegation play-off. This will be the same format for the team that finished third in Liga B and second in Liga C.

In other changes, the European qualifiers for the EC and WC will be more consolidated, with teams drawn into 12 groups of four and five teams.

Teams drawn in groups of five will start the qualifiers in March or in June if they are still competing in the UEFA Nations League quarter-finals or are involved in promotion/relegation matches. Teams drawn in groups of four will start their campaigns in September.

UEFA says that “the extension of the UEFA Nations League to the international match calendar window in March will only concern a selected number of teams and the remaining teams will already be available to start the European qualifiers.”

A statement added: “A new meaningful knock-out UEFA Nations League round combined with a more compact format of European qualifiers results in more compelling ties without any increase in the overall number of matches.”

It has also been confirmed that the 2023 UEFA Super Cup has changed its destination to Athens, Greece. It will take place on Wednesday 16 August.

The game was originally due to be played in Kazan, Russia, but due to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, there has been no working group set up by UEFA to discuss their return to the European fold, nor is it taking part in one.

Russia’s national team and clubs have been banned from UEFA and FIFA competitions since the end of last February due to the conflict.

GO DEEPER

Russian football teams remain banned from UEFA competitions

(Photo: Getty Images)

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