Sport

UEFA confirms that Women's Nations League to begin in 2023

UEFA confirms that Women's Nations League to begin in 2023

UEFA has confirmed its intention to launch a Nations League for the women's national teams.

The competition will be linked to qualifying for the World Cup and European Championship and there are aims for an Autumn 2023 start date.

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As with men's competition, countries will be divided into leagues based on their ranking, with promotion and relegation through the grades.

It has been confirmed that there would be three tiers with teams playing in groups of three or four within those tiers.

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Twenty-nine of the world's top-50 ranking countries are UEFA members, with the Irish ranked 24th, having recently qualified for the World Cup for the very first time.

"I said this summer that we would continue to invest in womenโ€™s football, and we are," said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

"Off the back of a historic UEFA Womenโ€™s EURO, it is now time to further develop womenโ€™s national team football.

"We have built an open, competitive, and continuous system in which every match will matter, a true reflection of the European sports model.

"I am convinced that this format will help all European national associations and keep the dream of qualifying for a major international tournament alive."

Irish football is enjoying an all-time high, with the girls having recently been drawn in Group B for the World Cup.

They'll face joint-hosts Australia on the opening day of the tournament in Sydney, with Olympic medallists Canada and fourth-seed Nigeria completing the group.ย 

The highly-anticipated tournament will be played in Australia and New Zealand across July and August 2023.ย 

Ireland has a win over Australia to their name already, having won 3-2 in a friendly in Dublin just over a year ago.

The Canadians are ranked seventh in the world and saw-off Sweden at the Tokyo Games in 2021 to win gold.

Ireland and Nigeria have never locked horns before, but the African side is considered one of the tougher opposition from pot four.

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