L’Equipe: UEFA will create a new competition for top clubs ahead of the Champions League
UEFA has decided to create an annual Champions League tournament featuring top clubs, including the reigning Champions League winner. However, the UEFA Super Cup will be played between the winners of the Europa League and the Conference League
Photo: Claude Paris / AP
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has decided to create an annual mini-tournament that will be held before the start of the Champions League. About it writes L’Equipe, citing documents sent to broadcasters about holding tenders for showing matches.
The “opening tournament” before the Champions League is planned to be held for the first time in the 2024/25 season. It will take place in mid-August. The most likely venue is the United States.
It is planned that the current winner of the Champions League, as well as three other top clubs will take part in it (it is not specified on what basis they will be selected). The tournament will consist of four matches – two semi-finals, a match for third place and a final.
L’Equipe writes that after the appearance of the new tournament, the winner of the Champions League will not play in the match for the UEFA Super Cup, the winners of the Europa League and the Conference League will take part in it.
UEFA has changed the format of the Champions League
In April last year, the UEFA executive committee decided to abandon the current format of the Champions League (there are now 32 clubs in the main Champions League competition, which are divided into eight groups of four teams). From the 2024/25 season, the tournament will be a single league with 36 clubs. It is planned that each team will play at least eight games at the league stage against eight different opponents (four games at home, four away). The top eight teams will automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the clubs ranked 9th to 24th will compete in a two-legged confrontation to advance to the round of 16 of the tournament.
All 36 clubs qualifying for the Champions League will compete for places in the play-offs according to the Swiss system, which pits equal opponents against each other: the strong play against the strong, the average play against the average, and the weak play against the weak. It will be used in team sports for the first time. So far, UEFA has not announced a clear scheme for holding matches.