More spots up for grabs in Champions League as UEFA ratifies new format

Two Champions League spots will to go associations with the best collective performance by their clubs in the previous season from 2024-25 onwards after UEFA’s Executive Committee approved the final format and access list for European club competitions.

UEFA changed the criteria to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition, removing access based on club co-efficient. The number of matches in the new opening league stage will also be reduced from 10 to eight per team.

If the rule were applied this season, England and Netherlands would get an extra spot, meaning the team that finishes fifth in the Premier League would qualify apart from the top four teams.

With the number of teams increasing from 32 to 36, UEFA said one place will go to the “club ranked third in the championship of the association in fifth position in the UEFA national association ranking.”

Currently, France’s Ligue 1 are ranked fifth and only the top two teams qualify for the opening stage, with the third-placed team going through qualifying rounds.

Another spot will be awarded to another domestic champion in the ‘Champions Path’. The final format was approved in Vienna on Tuesday.

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