Scotland set to participate in Women's Nations League as friendlies are phased out

Scotland will participate in a new Women's Nations League next year, UEFA has announced.

The competition, which will link into qualification for the European Championship and the World Cup, will start in autumn 2023, European football's governing body said. As with the men's Nations League, countries will be divided into leagues based on their ranking, with promotion and relegation between the leagues. UEFA confirmed there would be three tiers with teams playing in groups of three or four within those tiers.

“I said this summer that we would continue to invest in women's football, and we are," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said. “Off the back of a historic UEFA Women's Euro, it is now time to further develop women'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.”

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Proposals for a revamp of the women's national team competitions, including the introduction of a Nations League, were presented to member associations by a working group in Frankfurt last month ahead of the qualifying draw for the men's Euro in 2024. The new formats were officially ratified by UEFA's ruling executive committee on Wednesday.

The men's Nations League was first played in 2018, with the idea that it would provide more meaningful and competitive matches to replace international friendlies. Scotland are travelling to Cadiz in Spain next week for a training camp that will involve two friendlies against Venezuela and Panama.

It will be the final camp of the year for the squad following September’s World Cup play-off defeat to the Republic of Ireland. “It’s important that we continue to make progress and build on the unity within this squad,” said manager Pedro Martinez Losa. “This camp offers a chance for us to regroup as a team and begin preparations as we look towards our Women’s EURO 2025 qualification campaign next year.”

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Hearts midfielder Rebecca McAllister and Hibs defender Leah Eddie are both in the squad.

Scotland line up before their Women's World Cup play-off match defeat by Ireland at Hampden Park. Picture: Ross MacDonald / SNS