UEFA has made crucial amendments by increasing the number of teams to 36 in the Champions League and simultaneously reducing league phase matches to 8. The introduction of the ‘Swiss system’ is another major change made by Europe’s top football governing body. The decisions were made public post-meeting with the stakeholders on Tuesday.
UEFA has also decided to not introduce the controversial access of quality for the UCL via club coefficient. The governing body has also upgraded the number of teams from 32 to 36 in the UEFA Champions League. In the released statement, the UEFA President stated that an increasing number of teams will see a positive transformation from the traditional ground stage to a single league phase.
“Every club will now get a minimum of 8 league stage games against eight different opponents (four home games, four away) rather than the previous six matches against three teams, played on a home-and-away basis,” the statement stated.
Check out the official statement here:
⚽ The #UEFAExCo has approved the final format and access list for UEFA club competitions from the 2024/25 season.
✅ No more access granted based on club coefficients.
✅ Eight matches instead of ten in the new league phase.
— UEFA (@UEFA) May 10, 2022
Post-announcement, the governing body claimed, “By not introducing access of quality for the UCL will help in facilitating open competition on the basis of sporting merit and help protect domestic leagues.”
As per the development, the eight matches of the UEFA Champions League will be played over the ten European weeks. Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League will all enjoy a week on the calendar exclusively.
The top eight sides in the league will qualify automatically for the knockout stage, while the teams finishing in ninth to 24th place will compete in a two-legged playoff to secure their path to the last 16 of the competition.
UEFA President Aleksander Cefering was quoted in a released statement saying, “The decision concluded during a meeting in Vienna followed an extensive consultation process, and all the ideas of fans, players, coaches, national associations, clubs and leagues were heard and analysed to get the best solution for the development and success of the European football”.