The objective is to further improve the quality of the Champions League and the Europa League. How would this new competition conform and who will benefit?
European football has the best club competitions in the world, as the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League bring together the best teams in the best leagues in the world. However, UEFA has several plans to improve the quality of these two competitions, being one of the highlights of this drastic change the creation of a third continental competition.
A more inclusive championship
On September 11, at the General Assembly of the European Club Association (ECA), which was attended by representatives of 160 member clubs of the organization, it was announced the approval of a competition that would be inaugurated within 3 years and that would be the third in order of importance in European football, behind only the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. "Pending the approval of the UEFA Executive Committee, the introduction of a third competition has been given the green light, bringing the number of clubs to 96 from the 2021-2022 season, " Andrea Agnelli, president, said in the assembly. of the ECA.
Regarding the future of @UEFA Club Competitions, Andrea Agnelli informed members:— ECA (@ECAEurope) 11 de septiembre de 2018
"Pending approval of the @UEFA ExCo, the 'green light' has been given to introduce a third competition, bringing the overall number of clubs to 96, as of the 2021/22 season" #ECAGeneralAssembly pic.twitter.com/W8tXL1pdsN
Currently, the UEFA Champions League has 32 competing clubs per season, while in the UEFA Europa League there are 48 teams competing per season. According to SportBild, the 48 UEFA Europa League teams will be reduced to 32, so that the new competition, which does not yet have a name, has the same number of participating clubs (32). In this way, the 96 teams participating in European competitions that the European Club Association promises will be achieved.
The origin of this championship arose from the need and demand of several clubs associated with the ECA, which urgently demanded the creation of a competition that allowed the participation and visualization of less powerful clubs and of less monetary and sporting hierarchy. Likewise, and according to the ECA, "a determining factor to achieve this position was the need to improve the overall value of the competitions" .
Several clubs will benefit
The creation of this new championship will facilitate the inclusion of 16 European clubs to the continental soccer scene. According to SportBild, clubs from smaller countries, especially the Scandinavians and those from Eastern Europe, will benefit most from the creation of the new continental championship, since they are currently the most excluded.
In the current season, no Scandinavian teams will participate in the UEFA Champions League and only five teams from Eastern Europe will be present (Viktoria Plzen of the Czech Republic, CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow of Russia, Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine and Star Red of Serbia).
On the other hand, the 2018/19 season of the UEFA Europa League will have just four Scandinavian teams (the Copenhagen of Denmark, the Malmö FF of Sweden and the Rosenborg and the Sarpsborg of Norway) and 13 Eastern European teams (the Zenit Saint Petersburg, Krasnodar and Spartak of Moscow of Russia, Dynamo of Kiev and Vorskla Poltava of Ukraine, Ludogorest Razgrad of Bulgaria, Astana of Kazakhstan, Qarabag of Azerbaijan, BATE Borisov of Belarus, Slavia Prague and Jablonec of Czech Republic, Videoton of Hungary and Spartak Trnava of Slovakia). It is a really low number of participating teams if one takes into account that there are currently 48 teams participating in this competition.
It is with the creation of the new competition as teams from these areas of the world, that they do not usually qualify for the Champions League or the Europa League, or that they are simply eliminated in qualifying rounds, they will have the opportunity to be part of a continental tournament.
According to SportBild, these teams will also achieve economic recognition thanks to the commercialization and transmission of the sporting event, which would be mainly through internet platforms.
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from: '¡Más cambios! La UEFA reformará el fútbol europeo con un tercer campeonato'
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