A third European club competition is set to start in 2021 and will be known as the UEFA Europa Conference League, UEFA confirmed after an Executive Committee meeting in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.
The competition will add as a third tier to the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, designed to offer more clubs in more countries a chance to participate in European football.
This means that the Europa League is set to cut down the number of teams involved from 64 to 32 each year, and this new tournament offers teams the opportunity to still play European football.
The format of the tournament will see 32 teams enter the Group Stages into eight groups of four. The top two teams will then progress through to the round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and then the final.
Europa Conference League matches will take place on a Thursday, just like the Europa League.
The winners of the Europa Conference League will earn a guaranteed spot in the Europa League the next season, just as the winners of the Europa League do for Champions League competition.
The winners of the Carabao Cup in 2020/21, or the side who finishes 6th or 7th in the Premier League, will be the Premier League’s sole representative in the inaugural competition.
The venues for the next three Champions League finals were also revealed. The 2021 UEFA Champions League final will be played in Saint Petersburg, with Munich being awarded the 2022 showpiece and the 2023 final being given to Wembley.
The 2021 European Super Cup will be held in Belfast, with Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan hosting that year’s Europa League final.
It was also confirmed that video assistant referees (VAR) will be used in the Europa League from the beginning of the knockout stages in February.