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Revolution in European club football: how the new format of the Champions League will look like

By Guest - March 21, 2024 - Last updated on Mar 21, 2024 01:54 AM
Revolution in European club football: how the new format of the Champions League will look like

UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious club competition in European football, is on the verge of a massive transformation. According to UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, the newly approved format by the organization's executive committee will fundamentally change the principles of qualification and distribution of participants. From now on, team qualification will be based solely on "sporting merits."

New group stage format

According to the updated regulations, starting from the 2024/25 season, the familiar format with 32 teams divided into 8 groups of 4 participants each will become a thing of the past. In its place, a unified league of 36 clubs will emerge. All teams will play 8 matches against different opponents, with 4 home and 4 away games. The distribution of pairs will be based on 4 drawing pots, depending on the clubs' ratings. Each participant will face 2 opponents from each pot for home and away matches.

New intrigue and more top matches

The UEFA's intention behind this format is to allow clubs to test their strengths against a broader range of opponents. Additionally, organizers expect that top teams will encounter each other more frequently at the beginning of the tournament, increasing the intrigue and the status of the matches. This is undoubtedly set to attract more public attention, increase broadcasts, and provide more betting opportunities for Champions League matches. For quality betting India, Melbet bookmaker offers a wide variety of bets and high odds.

Formation of the playoffs

At the end of the league stage, the top 8 teams will automatically advance to the playoffs. Clubs ranking from 9th to 24th will compete for the remaining 8 spots in knockout matches. Meanwhile, teams finishing below the 24th place will exit the tournament immediately without the possibility of transferring to a lower-status Europa League, as was the case before.

Unchanged final stage

The final playoff stage of the Champions League will essentially remain the same. The 16 teams successfully navigating the knockout games will proceed to the classic playoffs with 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 finals. The final match, as before, will be contested in a single decisive match on a neutral field. In 2025, the hosting venue for the Champions League final will be the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Qualification criteria

To ensure fairness in the matter of team admission to the competition, UEFA has revised the qualification criteria. National associations with the highest coefficient ratings, calculated based on the cumulative results of clubs in European competitions, will have expanded quotas for participant nominations. Currently, Italian and German clubs hold the top positions in the coefficient table.

In addition, two more teams will secure direct representation in the Champions League. One of them will be a club from the country ranked 5th in the coefficient list (currently France). The second one will be the reigning champion of the national championship, whose status automatically guarantees a place in the main European club tournament.

Changes in lower-tier European competitions

A similar new format with a unified league awaits the second most significant European club competition, the Europa League, in the coming season. As for the third-tier tournament, the Conference League will be renamed the UEFA Conference League and undergo some changes: teams will play 6 matches against different opponents in the group stage.

Calendar of changes

The testing of the updated regulations in the Champions League and Europa League will begin in September 2024 and last until January 2025. As for the Conference League, its league stage will take place from September to December 2024. Match days will remain the same - midweek from Tuesday to Thursday. Each tournament will have a dedicated game week, avoiding calendar overlaps.

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