UEFA validated various changes to the format of the Euro and World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday. The League of Nations is also evolving.
” Give all teams an equal chance to qualify for major tournaments », such is the reflection carried out by Aleksander Ceferin, the President of UEFA, to review and correct the current format of the qualifying campaigns for the European Championships and World Cups. With already a certainty: the next Euro, in 2024, will be played with 24 teams like the previous ones.
No more groups of six selections in the playoffs. From September 2024, the qualifying groups for the continental final phase, 12 in number, will be made up of four or five formations. With a guaranteed sesame only for the first and some second. The other second being called upon to go through play-offs with drafts from the League of Nations.
Nations League quarter-finals
The next World Cup will be played with 48, including 16 European nations. The Eurozone qualifiers will see the only group leaders directly qualified when the second will necessarily go through play-offs. Finally, the League of Nations innovates with consecutive quarter-finals in the first phase, between the first and second groups. The fourth in the group remain relegated to the lower level, in favor of the leaders of the lower division. As for the thirds, they will have to play a maintenance/promotion barrage against a second from League B, C or D.