Third UEFA club competition that lasts the entire season, the Europa League Conference, launched this season.
With just a few days to go into the group stage, we’ll tell you exactly what it is and everything you need to know.
What is the Europa League Conference?
The Europa Conference League is another UEFA club competition that will run alongside the Champions League and Europa League of this season.
It was introduced so that clubs from more national associations are involved in UEFA competitions. The new structure means that at least 34 nations will be represented in the group stage of all three competitions, with 12 national champions set to feature in the Europa Conference Conference.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: “The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA club competitions more inclusive than ever. There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages.
How will it work?
There will be eight groups of four teams in which each team will compete twice. The group winners automatically qualify for the last 16.
Before the first knockout round, an additional play-off round will be played between the eight runners-up in a group and the teams that finished third in the Europa League groups. The winners will advance to the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League.
What are the groups?
Group A: LASK, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Alashkert, HJK Helsinki
Group B: Ghent, Partizan, Flora, Anorthose
Group C: Rome, Zorya Luhansk, CSKA-Sofia, Bodø / Glimt
Group D: AZ Alkmaar, CFR Cluj, Jablonec, Randers
Group E: Slavia Praha, Feyenoord, Union Berlin, Maccabi Haifa
Group F: Copenhagen, PAOK, Slovan Bratislava, Lincoln Red Imps
Group G: Tottenham, Rennes, Vitesse, Mura
Group H: Basel, Qarabağ, Kairat Almaty, Omonia
Who qualified for the Premier League?
The seventh Premier League team qualify for the competition.
Tottenham are the first representatives of England after having dethroned rivals from North London Arsenal in seventh on the final matchday of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
Gareth Bale’s late brace earned Spurs victory Leicester to earn them a place in the inaugural new competition.
They still had to qualify, however. Following a 1-0 away defeat to Portuguese club Paços de Ferreira, Harry Kane scored twice on a historic night after hitting his future for the club in a 3-0 win.
Who qualified for the Scottish Premiership?
There will be no Scottish clubs in the competition after Aberdeen and St Johnstone were both knocked out in the final round of qualifying.
The Dons were outscored by Azerbaijani Qarabag, losing 3-1 on aggregate, while St Johnstone was beaten by Austrian team LASK.
How can I watch the games?
BT Sport will broadcast all Europa Conference League matches this season, with each match being available on btsport.com and the award-winning BT Sport app.
When are the games?
The matches will take place on Thursdays, with kick-offs at 5:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. They will be played on the same days as the Europa League matches.
The group stage will run from Thursday September 16 to Thursday December 9.
Where will the final be played?
The 2022 final will be played at the Arena Kombëtare in Tirana, Albania.
The national stadium, with a capacity of 22,500 seats, will host the centerpiece on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
What do the winners get?
The winners of the first Europa Conference League will earn a place in the Europa League group stage the following season if they have not qualified for the Champions League through the league.
Will this have an impact on the Champions League and the Europa League?
The introduction of the Europa Conference League means that the number of teams participating in the group stages of the Europa League will increase from 48 to 32.
As in the Europa Conference League, the eight finalists from the Europa League groups will face the eight third-placed teams from the Champions League groups for a place in the round of 16.