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UEFA’s New Format for Champions League 2024/25

The UEFA Executive Committee has announced major changes, notably departing from the current group stage system of the Champions League. In the present format, 32 participants are divided into eight groups of four. However, starting in the 2024–25 season, 36 clubs will partake in the league phase, giving four additional sides the chance to compete among Europe’s finest.

Under the new arrangement, teams will engage in eight matches during the league phase, encountering eight different opponents, with half of these matches at home and the other half away. This change allows clubs to face a broader range of opponents, increasing the likelihood of top teams meeting earlier in the competition and ensuring more competitive matches across the board.

The allocation of the four extra Champions League group stage spots will depend on a club’s final position in the domestic league competition and each association’s position in the association club coefficient ranking. The top eight sides in the league phase will qualify automatically for the round of 16, while teams finishing from 9th to 24th place will compete in a two-legged knockout phase play-off to secure their path to the last 16.

In the knockout phase, teams between 9th and 16th place will be put in to face teams placed 17th to 24th. The competition will retain its existing format of knockout rounds leading to the final stage at a neutral venue selected by UEFA.

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Furthermore The reforms extend to the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Conference League (formerly the Europa Conference League), both featuring 36 teams in the league phase. Matches for these competitions will occur between September and January, with each having an exclusive match week to avoid scheduling conflicts.

The new format benefits fans by involving more European teams, showcasing top matches earlier, and ensuring better competitive balance among teams. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for every game to have a significant impact on a team’s position.

These changes aim to secure the future of European football, ensuring open competition and sporting merit while sustaining domestic leagues. UEFA reaffirms its financial commitment to European football, guaranteeing solidarity to clubs not participating in UEFA club competitions.

Overall as football evolves, the UEFA Champions League reforms for the 2024/25 season holds a new era of European football, characterized by expanded opportunities, heightened competitiveness, and enhanced fan engagement. UEFA remains committed to adapting its competitions to meet the needs of stakeholders while upholding the principles of competition and excellence. The changes reflect a progressive approach towards ensuring the continued success and growth of European football.

Source: Pinterest

By: Hilary Nwachukwu

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