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What’s next for Malta after their UEFA Women’s Nations League promotion?

Malta will be one of the 16 teams in the upcoming League B edition. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Team to compete against Europe’s top 32 women’s football teams.

The Malta women’s national football team made local sporting history by sealing promotion in the UEFA Nations League on Tuesday. 

Here’s what comes next for the team. 

An eye on Euro 2025 qualification 

Malta were promoted to League B of the UEFA Women’s Nations League.

In European women’s football, the UEFA Women’s Nations League also doubles up as the qualifying round for its flagship competition, the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025 championship to be held in Switzerland. 

That means Maltese women will be playing for two simultaneous objectives: promotion to League A of the UEFA Women’s Nations League, as well as qualification to the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025.

Neither of those two targets will be easy, as the level of the opposition they will face will be considerably higher than they faced in League C. 

The team, coached by Manuela Tesse, will also have to watch their backs: poor performances in League B will mean they will end up relegated back to League C.

Who will they play against?

The official list of opponents Malta will face will only be known in March 2024, when UEFA holds its draw.

Matches will begin the following month. 

We already have eight confirmed League B teams. 

Four were relegated from League A: Scotland (FIFA ranking 23), Portugal (19), Wales (23), Switzerland (21).

Four were promoted from League C: Malta (86), Turkey (64), Azerbaijan (76), Israel (70), Kosovo (102).

The remaining teams will need to earn their place through playoffs that will be played between February 21 and February 28.

League A/B play-offs:

League A third place: Belgium (18), Iceland (14), Norway (13), Sweden (1).

League B runners-up: Bosnia and Herzegovina (68), Croatia (60), Hungary (42), Serbia (35).

League B/C play-offs:

League B best three third-placed: Northern Ireland (42), Slovakia (48), Ukraine (33).

League C best three runners-up: Bulgaria (90), Latvia (119), Montenegro (91).

UEFA will then hold its draw, to sort the various League B teams into four separate groups.   

Each group will feature four teams that will play against each other twice.

What does Malta stand to win or lose?

If Malta comes first in its group, it will be automatically promoted to League A of the UEFA Women’s Nations League and go into a playoff series to compete for a UEFA Women’s Euro 2025 spot. 

If Malta comes second in its group, it will enter a playoff series to be promoted to League A of the UEFA Women’s Nations League while also contending for a spot in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025.

If Malta comes third in its group, it will enter a play-off series to be promoted to League A of the UEFA Women’s Nations League while also contending for a spot in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2025. 

If Malta places fourth in its group, it will be automatically relegated back into League C of the UEFA Nations League.  

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