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Monday 04 Mar 2024
NI Women’s potential opponents revealed

Northern Ireland Women could face either Scotland or Wales in the league phase of qualifiers for UEFA Women’s Euro 2025.

The Women’s European Qualifiers league stage draw is due to be held in Switzerland tomorrow (at noon UK time).

Northern Ireland will be in Pot 3 for the League B draw after winning their promotion/relegation play-off against Montenegro last week.

They will not be playing Slovakia, Ukraine or Turkiye in the Euro qualifiers league phase as those countries are also in Pot 3 for the B draw.

However, they will face either Portugal, Switzerland, Scotland or Wales, who are the Pot 1 sides in the B section.

Potential opponents from Pot 2 are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary, whom they competed against in the UEFA Women’s Nations League back in the autumn.

The Pot 4 teams for the League B draw are Malta, Israel, Kosovo and Azerbaijan.

In qualifying, as per the league stage of the Nations League, teams will compete in groups of four or three teams (League C only) and over six matchdays between April and July, with each team playing one home match and one away match against all the other teams in their group.

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.

The first round of the play-offs is split into two paths.

In one path the teams finishing third and fourth in League A will play the five group winners and three best-ranked runners-up in League C. The eight winners progress to the second round.

In the other first round path the four group winners and two best-ranked runners-up in League B will be drawn into six ties against the remaining two runners-up and four third-placed teams in League B. The six winners progress to the second round.

In the second round the teams from both paths come together and will be drawn into seven ties, with seeding for the seven highest-ranked teams based on the European Qualifiers overall league rankings. The seven winners progress to the final tournament.