• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

36 teams to feature in new UEFA Champions League format

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The UEFA Champions League is set to undergo a transformative change for the 2024/25 season, with an expanded format featuring 36 teams, as announced by UEFA.

In this new arrangement, the traditional group stage format with 32 teams split into eight groups of four will be replaced by a single league phase. Teams will now engage in eight matches, facing off against eight different opponents, with half of the matches played at home and the other half away.

Determining the opponents will involve ranking teams into four seeding pots, from which each team will be drawn to play two opponents from each pot. This will result in a more varied and dynamic fixture list for each club.

Qualification for the tournament will still depend on a club’s performance in their domestic league, as well as their association’s standing in the club coefficient ranking. Additionally, four additional slots will be allocated, with criteria outlined for each.

Following the league phase, the top eight teams will advance directly to the knockout rounds. Teams ranked 9th to 24th will compete in two-legged playoffs for a chance to secure a spot in the round of 16. From there, the competition will proceed in its traditional knockout format leading to the final.

Teams finishing 25th or lower in the league phase will be eliminated, with no avenue to access the UEFA Europa League.

This revamp aims to inject new energy and excitement into the Champions League while ensuring a fair and competitive pathway for clubs across Europe.