On Thursday, UEFA will publish all the information about the new tournament, which will primarily benefit teams from smaller football countries. Austria could also benefit from the Europa Conference League.
LAOLA1 summarizes what you need to know about the UEFA Conference League:
Who can participate from the Bundesliga?
As twelfth in the 2019/20 UEFA five-year ranking, Austria will again have five representatives in the coming season, spread across the three European competitions. Austria’s champions 2020/21 will certainly take part in the playoff for the Champions League and end up in the Europa League, which has been reduced from 48 to 32 teams if they are eliminated.
The runner-up is allowed to run in round 2 of the qualification for the Champions League in the league path and would also be represented in at least the Europa League if they progressed. If you are eliminated, however, it continues in round 3 of qualifying for the Europa League. If this round were to be survived, Austria’s second would be guaranteed at least one start in the group stage of the Europa Conference League. If they were eliminated in round 3 of the Europa League qualification, there would still be a chance to reach the Europa Conference League via the playoff.
Austria’s Cup winners begin their European season 2021/22 in the playoff for the Europa League and can therefore already plan to participate in the Europa Conference League. If the champion or the Bundesliga runner-up also wins the ÖFB-Cup, this slot is passed on to the third place in the league.
The fourth of the Bundesliga champions’ group will start in round 3 of the qualification for the Europa Conference League, so he would have to survive two rounds for the group phase.
The last European starting place goes to the winner of the duel master group fifth against the winner of the match between the first and second of the lower Bundesliga playoffs. This club is entitled to a ticket for round 2 of qualifying for the Europa Conference League.
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As in the Champions League and the Europa League, which will be downsized from 2021/22 onwards, 32 teams will compete in eight groups in the Europa Conference League. All group winners are automatically in the round of 16. All eight group runners-up have to duel with the eight group thirds of the Europa League in an intermediate round for the round of 16 ticket.
As in the Europa League, the game is played exclusively on Thursdays, and the kick-off times are identical at 6:55 pm and 9:00 pm. Only the final will take place on May 25, 2022, a week later than that of the Europa League. UEFA has announced the Albanies National Stadium, which can hold almost 22,000 visitors, as the first final location. The modern and extremely chic Arena Kombetare was only opened in Tirana in November 2019.
There is also a special treat for the winner of the Europa Conference League: He’s guaranteed a fixed ticket in the Europa League group stage of the following season. With a simultaneous Champions League qualification via the championship, participation in the “premier class” will of course be ranked higher. UEFA still leaves open what happens to the Europa League fixed seat if it is not needed.
Effects on Europa League and Champions League
In addition to the most obvious impact of the new competition on the Europa League with the downsizing to 32 teams, there are also changes in the tournament mode.
The group winners of the Europa League will in future have a ticket to the round of 16 and will no longer have to go through the round of 32. However, the intermediate round remains, in which the eight group runners-up in the Europa League will meet the eight group thirds in the Champions League. As already mentioned, the group third of the Europa League continue in the intermediate round of the Europa Conference League.
UEFA has not yet revealed anything about the distribution of the prize money. However, one can assume that the Europa League will be more lucrative in the future and that the Europa Conference League will move at the previous level of the Europa League.
The idea behind it
UEFA explains the introduction of the new competition by ensuring that at least 34 different national associations are represented in the three club competitions. For teams from smaller football nations, for whom participation in the European competition was virtually impossible before, an international group stage should be made more realistic.
There should be at least 14 national champions in the Champions League, between eight and eleven in the Europa League and between nine and twelve in the Europa Conference League.
“The new UEFA club competition makes all UEFA club competitions more inclusive than ever before. There are more games for more clubs. More national associations will be represented in the group phases in future,” said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.
What we don’t know yet
UEFA has saved some information. For example, when it comes to the 5-year rating.
One can only guess how the points will be awarded. It seems most likely that all three competitions will maintain that two points will be awarded for a win and one point for a draw. That would be 0.4 points for a success in the group and 0.2 for a draw for Austria, which will probably also be represented five times over the next few years. In the qualification phase everything should be halved in the future.
So that there is a difference between the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League and a victory is not worth the same everywhere, an increase in the bonus points for participating in the respective competition is conceivable. In the Champions League there are currently four bonus points (0.8 points for Austria), in the Europa League they have so far received nothing in this regard. In the “premier class” you could increase these bonus points and at the same time introduce bonus points for reaching the Europa League group stage.
Even in knockout mode, where you currently have five points in the Champions League for reaching the round of 16 (one point for Austria) and in both the Champions League and the Europa League for advancement to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final so far received one point (0.2 points for Austria), an adaptation is conceivable.
It is also still unclear how European club football will continue after the 2021/22 to 2023/24 cycle. Again and again there is talk of a so-called “Super League”, only recently discussions about adapting the Champions League to a “Swiss system” have been loud (all information >>>).
The future of the Europa Conference League in particular beyond the 2023/24 season will only be revealed and will depend above all on audience interest and the TV money generated from it.
Text which: © LAOLA1.at
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