The Scottish Football Association has welcomed the added opportunity to qualify for European Championships through UEFA's new Nations League.

Europe's 54 football nations have agreed a new competition structure which will be held on dates normally reserved for international friendlies.

UEFA members will be ranked into four divisions from autumn 2018 and each team will play two or three other nations on a home-and-away basis with the winner of each mini-league going to a climax of semi-finals and final at a neutral venue.

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The four division champions will qualify for the European finals while the other 20 qualifiers will come from more orthodox qualification groups.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan told Sky Sports News: "It's a great piece of news, particularly for some of the smaller countries across UEFA.

"It will be a better use of the friendly dates, potentially greater financial rewards and, probably more importantly for some of the smaller countries, it's an opportunity for extra play-off and qualification places for the European finals themselves."

There will be some friendly dates kept after the Nations League is introduced and the SFA is looking to utilise their upcoming opportunities to play challenge matches in the meantime - with an Auld Enemy clash at Hampden in the pipeline.

Regan said: "We are trying to put our own fixtures together for the next couple of years and we remain focused on putting good quality matches against as high-profile opposition as possible.

"We remain hopeful and are in discussions with England about a return fixture of the one we had not too long ago."