Sports Desk, Apr 19 (EFE).- UEFA’s executive committee on Monday decided to expand the Champions League by three teams to 36 as of the 2024-2025 season.
The new format will comprise of a league stage involving all the participants, with the top-8 automatically qualifying for the round of 16 and the teams placed between the ninth and 14th spots playing a two-match playoff.
The rest of the clubs will be automatically eliminated from the tournament. Then the tournament will follow the existing two-match tie format.
This implies that the finalists will play at least 17 matches, instead of 13, or even 19 if they had to go through a playoff.
The European’s top-ranked leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A) will have their four spots each intact while Ligue 1’s top-3 will qualify for the tournament.
The previous season’s Europa League champion have their Champions League berth secured, while the number of league champions qualifying for the tournament will increase from four to five.
The last two places will be for the clubs with the highest coefficient of the last five years that have not qualified for the group stage of the Champions League but have made it to the qualifiers of the Champions League, the Europa League or Conference League.
“This new format supports the status and future of the domestic game throughout Europe as well,” UEFA President Aleskander Ceferin said in a statement.
“It retains the principle that domestic performance should be the key to qualification and reconfirms the principles of solidarity right through the game and of open competition,” he added. EFE