UEFA to hold third-tier club competition

UEFA-Cropped

UEFA confirmed on Sunday the creation of a third European club competition from the 2021/22 season created to offer more clubs and associations the chance to play European football.

However, the new competition is created to appease those further down the food chain unhappy at changes to guarantee English, Spanish, German and Italian clubs 16 of the 32 places available in the Champions League.

However, it is not yet clear how teams will qualify for the competition. The teams will then follow the traditional route towards the final of the competition via the round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals.

Games will be played on Thursday alongside Europa League fixtures, with the Champions League continuing as usual on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The competition itself - as stated above - will see the 32 teams involved split into eight separate groups of four.

There will also be a third time slot created for fixtures, kicking off at 16:30.

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At least 34 countries will have teams in a group stage, compared to 26 at the moment.

Manchester City's final group match against Hoffenheim next week is to be used by Uefa as its final non-live trial of VAR, with the system introduced from the first knockout round in February.

"UEFA's new club competitions makes UEFA's club competitions more inclusive than ever", Ceferin explained. "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 achieved a strategic focus and will lead to higher quality and inclusion in our competitions".

UEFA originally opted against using VAR this season despite it being used by most major European leagues and Federation Internationale de Football Association at the World Cup in Russia, but hinted earlier this month it could be introduced ahead of schedule.

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