European Champions League increases four teams to 36: UEFA

15 May 2022 | 08:39 | Football

UEFA said the Champions League will have four teams increased to 36 and the current group stage will be replaced with a single competition from the 2024/25 season, UEFA said on Tuesday.

The reshuffle of European football’s top club competition will see each team play eight league games – four home and four away – as opposed to six in the group stage.

The top eight teams in the tournament will automatically qualify for the knockout stages, while the 9th through 24th place teams will play a two-legged play-off to secure their way to the final round of 16. of the tournament.

UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, said: “We believe that the chosen format strikes the right balance and it will improve the competitive balance and generate solid revenue that can be distributed to the clubs. clubs, leagues and for grassroots football across our continent,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

Ceferin and UEFA will be hoping the reforms – approved unanimously by their executive boards – will kill once and for all any thoughts of a rebellious Super League resurfacing.

Twelve of Europe’s biggest clubs signed up for the proposed new competition in April last year but it collapsed within days following a backlash from players and their fans, also such as the government and football governing bodies.

Nine clubs have distanced themselves from the project but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have continued with the concept.

UEFA has stepped back after consulting various parties – including supporters – from hosting 10 league matches and allocating two of the four new slots to teams based on on the club coefficient.

Four places will go to the third-placed club in the association championship in fifth place in UEFA’s national association rankings.

Another prize will be awarded to the domestic champion by expanding from four to five the number of eligible clubs through the so-called ‘Champions Path’.

The last two places will go to the associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season (total points obtained divided by the number of participating clubs).

Those two associations, if judged this season based on the overall performance of their clubs, would be England and the Netherlands.

The same format changes will also apply to the UEFA Europa League (8 matches in the tournament) and the UEFA Europa Conference League (6 matches in the tournament) and both will also include 36 teams. during the tournament period.

Ceferin raved about his moment of success in pushing for reform.

“I’m really pleased because it was a unanimous decision by the UEFA Executive Committee,” Ceferin said.

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“Another proof that European football is more united than ever.

“Eligibility will therefore remain purely based on sporting merit and the dream of participation will remain for all clubs.”

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