sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd BrandArena: UEFA launches third-tier club competition, redesigns Nations League structure

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

UEFA launches third-tier club competition, redesigns Nations League structure

UEFA have announced they will launch a third club competition in 2021, sitting below the Champions League and Europa League levels.

The UEFA Europa Conference League will be a third-tier competition sitting below the Champions League and Europa League, and will kick off in 2021. Games will be played on Thursdays, with kick-off times at 18:45 and 21:00 Central European Time, similar to the Europa League. The qualification rules for the competition have not yet been confirmed.

The UEFA Nations League will from 2020-21 have 16 teams in Leagues A, B and C, and seven teams in League D. The current structure has 12 teams in Leagues A, B and C and 16 in League D. The Nations League Finals structure remains the same, being contested by the four group winners of League A.

In December 2018, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “The new UEFA club 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 borne out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association.

“There was a widespread demand by all clubs to increase their chances of participating more regularly in European competition. This has been achieved with a strategic approach and in accordance with UEFA’s objective of having both more quality and more inclusivity in our club competitions.”

In a press release, UEFA said the Nations League changes followed a consultation process with its 55 member associations, which showed the associations wanted to further reduce the number of friendlies they play. The confederation said the changes would also “enhance sporting fairness” because teams in the same group would now play their last matches on the same day and at the same time.

Several media reports have said the Nations League changes mean that Germany, Croatia, Poland and Iceland will avoid being relegated from League A as they would have been under the current structure.

The draw for the 2020-21 Nations League will take place in Amsterdam on March 3, 2020, the same day as the UEFA Congress.

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