In its bid to ensure better inclusiveness for UEFA-member nations, the Union of European of Football Associations has decided to start a second Europa League.
UEFA President, Aleksandr Ceferin in a joint meeting between UEFA and the European Clubs Association, ECA reached a conclusion that having another version of the Europa League will be in the best interests of lesser ranked countries.
Ceferin, and Andrea Agnelli, Juventus CEO, and ECA President were chief decision makers at the meeting.
The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA’s club competitions more inclusive than ever before.
“There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages. This competition was borne out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association.”
UEFA said the third tournament has a working title of ‘UEL2’ would mirror those two tournaments, with 32 teams split into eight groups of four breaking into a last 16, eight, four and then two.
Quarter-finals and semi-finals will then follow, before a 141st game, the final.
Ceferin added: “There was a widespread demand by all clubs to increase their chances of participating more regularly in European competition.
“This has been achieved with a strategic approach, and in accordance with UEFA’s objective of having both more quality and more inclusivity in our club competitions.”
The UEFA Europa League, previously known as the UEFA Cup was a competition orgamised to give lesser ranked countries an opportunity to engage in more continental matches.