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Malta handed favourable draw in Euro 2025 qualifiers

Malta will face Portugal, Bosnia Herzegovina and Northern Ireland in the Euro 2025 qualifiers. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

The Malta women’s national team were handed a favourable draw for the group stages of the 2025 European Championship qualifiers which were held during a ceremony in Nyon on Tuesday.

Manuela Tesse’s girls rewrote the history books last December when they clinched an unprecedented promotion in the UEFA Nations League after topping their group with an unbeaten record to secure their berth in League B.

The European qualifications for women’s teams work differently than the men’s as the qualified teams are determined through a Nations League format rather than the traditional qualifying system used in their counterparts.

Between April and July, teams are split into three leagues based on their UEFA Women’s Nations League rankings.

The 16 teams ranked 17th to 32nd, including Malta, enter League B.

The Malta national team were drawn in Group B 3 against favourites Portugal, Bosnia Herzegovina and Northern Ireland.

Portugal will no doubt be the team to beat in this group as they are bidding for a third straight qualification to the European Championship finals and look a cut above the other teams in the group.

However, the other opponents for Malta in this group are more or less on the same level of our team.

Bosnia Herzegovina are a familiar opposition for Malta having been in the same group with the Maltese in the Euro 2021 qualifiers and also the 2023 World Cup qualifiers.

In the Euros, the Bosnias completed a double of victories, when clinching a 2-0 win at home and 3-2 victory in Malta.

But in the World Cup qualifiers, the Malta national team were more of a match for the Bosnians when they picked up their first point of the group with a 2-2 draw at the Centenary Stadium.

The scorers on that day for Malta were Stephania Farrugia and Maria Farrugia.

Then they were unlucky to lose the return match away 1-0.

Northern Ireland on the other hand are ranked 27th in Europe, two places above Malta and managed to reach the European Championship Finals that were played in England in 2022.

The Northern Irish boast a prestigious win over Italy in a friendly match in the last two years.

Tesse’s side will be playing a total of six games – three on home soil and the other away.

For qualifying itself, the top two teams in each League A group will gain places in the July 2025 finals alongside hosts Switzerland (who will compete in League B although their automatic qualification is assured).

The remaining seven spots will be decided by two rounds of play-offs in October and November/December.

In the first round of the play-offs, the four group winners and the two best-ranked runners-up in League B will play against the remaining two runners-up and the four third-placed teams of the same tier.

In terms of promotion and relegation ahead of the 2025/2027 UEFA Women’s Nations League cycle, the League B winners will climb into the top tier while the runners-up and three best-ranked third teams of League B will stay in the second tier.

The six winners progress to the second round in which the teams that progressed from League A and/or League C will take on the League B sides in seven ties.

The seven winners will advance to the final tournament.

All fourth-placed teams in League B, as well as the lowest-ranked third-placed team of this division, will be relegated to League C.

Malta’s opening two games are scheduled for April 3 and 9 before they play the rest in May, June, and July.

The draw for the play-off will be then held in July before the actual matches take place between October and December to complete the whole picture of next year’s European Championships which will take place between July 2 and 27 in Switzerland.



Switzerland; Hungary; Turkey; Azerbaijan.


Scotland; Serbia; Slovakia; Israel.


Portugal; Bosnia; N. Ireland; Malta.


Wales; Croatia; Ukraine; Kosovo.

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