Uefa Nations League will be expanded with a new knockout round after 2024, European soccer’s governing body said on Wednesday following its executive committee’s meeting in Nyon, Switzerland.
The knockout round will be played in March and create continuity between the group phase ending in November and the Finals in June.
League A group winners and runners-up will participate in home-and-away format quarter-finals, with the winners qualifying for the final four.
The third-ranked team in League A and the runners-up in League B, as well as the third-ranked League B side and the League C runners-up will play a home-and-away promotion and relegation playoff.
“By introducing the new knock-out phase, teams will be given even more opportunities to progress while keeping the same number of games within the international match calendar,” said Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.
In other changes, the European qualifiers for the European Championship and World Cup will be more consolidated, with teams being drawn in 12 groups of four and five teams.
"The predictability of the European qualifiers has also been addressed and tackled, with a fresh new format that will offer all the teams an equal chance to qualify for major tournaments," Ceferin added.
"The new format promises to bring more excitement to Europe’s national team football competitions that continue to grow from strength to strength."
The new formats for these competitions will come into effect in September, 2024, Uefa said in a statement.
The 2023 Uefa Super Cup has been moved from Kazan, Russia to Athens, Greece.
Ireland will be in League B for the 2024/25 Nations League.
Meanwhile, World Cup bronze medallists Croatia were drawn against hosts the Netherlands in the Nations League semi-finals while Italy and Spain will reprise their rivalry in the competition in the other semi.
Nations League semi-finals:
June 14th: Netherlands v Croatia, Rotterdam. June 15th: Spain v Italy, Enschede
Third place play-off: June 17th in Enschede
Final: June 18th in Rotterdam