UEFA announce third European club competition to be introduced in 2021 2 years ago

UEFA announce third European club competition to be introduced in 2021

No, not the super league

Just in case you thought the Europa League wasn't bad enough, UEFA have announced the introduction of another club competition, with the working title of 'Europa League 2'. It will be introduced at the start of the 2021/22 season.

Advertisement

The tournament's birth will mean a reshuffle among Europa League sides. The second tier European club competition will be split in half, from 64 teams to 32, with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16.

The new Europa League 2 competition would see one English team enter the play-offs, while Scottish sides may be confined to the new Europa League 2, dropping down from the Europa League.

The new competition will be played on Thursday nights alongside the Europa League.

Every country's champions will still enter the Champions League, but only teams from the 15 top-ranked countries will go into the Europa League group stages or qualifiers.

That means teams from leagues below that level - which at the moment would include Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, excluding their champions - would go straight into 'UEL2' qualifying rounds.

The UEL2 and the Europa League will follow the same format: eight groups of four teams, with the group winners entering the last 16.

Advertisement

There will be a play-off before that round for the teams who finish second in their UEL2 group and sides who finish third in the groups of the higher tournament.

UEL2 winners will qualify for the following season's Europa League. The introduction of the new tournament does not affect the Champions League's format at all.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said: "The new competition makes Uefa's club competitions more inclusive than ever before. There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages.

"This competition was born out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association."

At least 34 countries will have teams in a group stage, compared to 26 at the moment.

Advertisement