The ultimate guide to the new UEFA conference league


September 17 (THEWILL) – On Thursday, as reported by THEWILL, the Bundesliga Union Berlin of Taiwo Awoniyi lost to Slavia Prague of Ubong Ekpai of the Czech Premier League in the opening match of the first edition of the new club competition for men’s football teams across Europe, the UEFA Europa Conference League.

According to information from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the Conference League is the third UEFA men’s club competition of the season.

UEFA has introduced the new club competition structure to ensure that at least 34 UEFA national associations are represented in the group stage of one or more competitions, which they could otherwise have lost with just the two previous European football standard club competitions.

There will be at least 14 domestic champions in the UEFA Champions League group stage, between eight and 11 domestic champions in the UEFA Europa League group stage and between nine and 12 domestic champions in the UEFA group stage Europa Conference League.

With the new UEFA Conference League format, all UEFA member associations will have access to the three club competitions, while the quotas allocated to each association will remain unchanged.

Speaking on the benefits, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin 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.

This will be the first time in more than 20 years that the format of European competitions will change from its two-tier competition class, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, with its familiar set of qualifying standards and almost regular set. qualification teams.

The Conference League has been structured to have 184 teams involved during the season. Of that number, there is at least one from each of the 55 associations under UEFA, with Tottenham Hotspur making the English Premier League cup last season and Union Berlin making the Bundesliga.

The remainder of the 46 clubs that will make up the total 184 will be transferred from the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League to the UEFA Europa Conference League in the 2021/2022 club competitions across Europe.

All teams that reached the Conference League group stages and played matches on Thursday had to qualify through a series of matches. For example, as THEWILL reported, Tottenham Hotspurs played against Pacos de Ferreira away (lost 1-0) and at home (won 3-0) to advance to the group stage with a total of 3- 1.

These qualifiers produced a final cast of 32 teams for the group stages, comprising 17 teams from the main UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying path, five teams from the UEFA Europa Conference League champions path and 10 teams. eliminated in the UEFA Europa League. off.

There are eight groups, labeled A through H, each made up of four teams. Thursday’s match kicked off group competitions where each team will compete for the group winner position for a chance to make it to the knockout stages: round of 16, quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final.

At the end of the first round of the group matches, the eight group managers automatically advance to the round of 16. Before the start of the round of 16, there will be additional play-offs between the eight second group and the third. classified teams of the UEFA Europa League groups.

The teams which emerge victorious continue until the round of 16. The quarter-finals follow this round until the conclusion of the tournament.

The Executive Committee also announced that the UEFA Conference League final will take place in the National Arena (Arena Kombëtare) with a capacity of 21,690 seats, in Tirana, the capital of Albania. The stadium opened in November 2019 with a European qualifying match between Albania and France.

As was evident in Thursday’s matches, all UEFA Europa Conference League matches will take place on Thursday alongside the UEFA Europa League matches. The group stages which started on Thursday September 16 will continue until Thursday December 9.

The teams that qualify for the knockout stages of the round of 16 will be in the running for the draw scheduled for Monday, December 13. The knockout stages for the round of 16 will take place on February 17 and 24 next year. The winning teams will compete in the round of 16 draws on February 25.

Based on the draw, the remaining teams will face off in the round of 16 on March 10 and 17, before the draw for the quarter and semi-finals on March 18. After the quarter-finals on April 7 and 14, with the semi-finals to follow closely on April 28 and May 5, two teams will remain to play for a winner at the National Arena in Tirana on May 25.

It becomes immediately clear that, like the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, Conference League competition will run throughout the football calendar for this season and, at the very least, the will remain for the 2021-2024 cycle, as announced.

For UEFA Conference League winners a guaranteed place in the UEFA Europa League group stage the following season is promised, but this will be the case if they have not already qualified for the UEFA Champions League. via their national competition, during the same season.

In its current structure, the introduction of the UEFA Europa Conference League will have no impact on the UEFA Champions League. However, there are a few changes to keep in mind as play-offs will take place between the Conference League teams and other UCL and UEL teams.

First, the group stage of the UEFA Europa League will drop from 48 to 32 teams, or eight groups of four. In addition, the eight group winners of the UEFA Europa League automatically advance to the round of 16. There will also be an additional round of 16 ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16. These will be played between the eight group finalists of the UEFA Europa League. and the eight third-ranked teams in the UEFA Champions League groups.

The competition also has its own logo, which was used for Thursday’s first round of group matches. The logo has been designed to be bold and iconic, ensuring it stands out on all applications and differs from the logos of its other two UEFA club competitions. The design features the new tournament trophy, which is placed between two semicircles, in accordance with the UEFA Europa League logo.

However, the UEFA Europa Conference League trophy and brand identity for the competition will be unveiled in due course.

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