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Malta to feature in three-team group in next men’s Nations League

Draw for the upcoming edition scheduled for February 8.

A three-team group awaits Malta in the upcoming edition of the UEFA Nations League after the draw and fixture list procedure for the 2024/2025 competition were approved by the European football’s governing body on Saturday.

Michele Marcolini’s team will discover its opponents during the February 8 draw, in Paris.

Malta will be one of the six teams that will form the two three-team groups in League D and will be drawn from Pot 2 which will include Andorra, San Marino, and Liechtenstein as well.

Lithuania or Gibraltar – who will play in the relegation play-outs in March, and Moldova will be the teams composing Pot 1.

The Nations League is expected to start between September 5 and September 7 and finish off between November 17 and November 19.

Also, since teams in League D will be playing four matches instead of six, they will play two friendly matches on the dates that remain free of competition matches.

The Maltese national team is still looking to secure their first ever promotion into League C after failing in the previous two editions, finishing twice runners-up behind the Faroe Islands and Estonia.

UEFA Announce New Women’s Champions League Format

In other news, the UEFA Women’s Champions League will be expanded and have a new format from the 2025/26 season.

The new format will see the group stage turned into an 18-team league phase in which each team plays three home and three away matches, followed by knockout rounds.

No further details were confirmed, but it is a move along the same lines as the planned new format for the men’s Champions League which will be introduced from next season and will see 36 teams organised into one league with each playing eight matches.

The Women’s Champions League was a straight knockout competition until a group stage was created starting in 2021, featuring 16 teams split into four groups of four.

Barcelona are the reigning champions, having defeated Wolfsburg of Germany in last season’s final, inspired by Spain World Cup-winning star Aitana Bonmati.

In this year’s edition, Malta was represented by Birkirkara who made history by becoming the first Maltese side to win a home game in this competition.

Last season, the Stripes had already written a memorable chapter after securing Malta’s first ever win in European women’s football.

UEFA also said it would create a second competition for women’s clubs from 2025/26.

The Champions League is currently the only UEFA competition for women’s teams, while there are three men’s tournaments, with the second-tier Europa League and the recently-introduced Europa Conference League.

Photo: Domenic Aquilina.

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