Mon. May 16th, 2022

Sky Sports

The UEFA Europa Conference League is the third UEFA club competition and runs alongside both the Champions League and Europa League.

The idea behind the Europa Conference League is to give more clubs a taste of European football, particularly sides from countries that struggle to qualify for the other two UEFA competitions. But there’s a spot up for grabs for English clubs, too.

The seventh-placed Premier League team qualifies for the competition.

Spurs secured qualification for the inaugural campaign with seventh place on 62 points. Arsenal were set to enter the competition with three minutes left on the clock, but substitute Gareth Bale scored a late double to secure the win at Leicester – sending Spurs one point clear of their north London rivals.

The Europa League and Europa Conference League fixtures will both take place on Thursdays, with kick-offs at 5.45pm and 8pm UK time.

The competition is set to get under way in 2021/22 and run throughout the 2021/24 cycle at least.

There will be a First Qualifying Round, Second Qualifying Round, Third Qualifying Round and then a Play-Off round before the Group Stage.

The English team will enter at the Play-Off round, a two-legged affair on August 19 and August 26. The Premier League season starts on the weekend of August 14.

The eight group winners automatically go through to the last 16. Additional knockout round play-offs will then be played before the round of 16 between the eight group runners-up and the third-ranked teams of the Europa League groups.

Qualifying round dates

PhaseFirst legSecond leg
First QualifyingJuly 8July 15
Second Qualifying (Scottish teams enter)July 22July 29
Third QualifyingAugust 5August 12
Play-offs (English team enters)August 19August 26

This means if an English team reaches the Europa Conference League final, they will play an additional 15 games, or 17 games if they finish second in their group.

Group stage dates

Matchday 1September 16
Matchday 2September 30
Matchday 3October 21
Matchday 4November 4
Matchday 5November 25
Matchday 6December 9

The final will take place on May 25 in Tirana, Albania.

Knockout phase dates

PhaseFirst legSecond leg
Knockout play-offsFebruary 17February 24
Round of 16March 10March 17
Quarter-finalsApril 7April 14
Semi-finalsApril 28May 5
Final:May 25

The new structure for UEFA club competitions will ensure at least 34 UEFA national associations are represented in the group stage of one or more competitions.

Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France all get one team, while Scotland, Portugal, Netherlands, Russia and Belgium get two.

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is a soccer lover and writer. He is a graduate of Biological Sciences, presently teaching in a secondary in Lagos.

Leave a Reply