The scoop for Anderlecht and A.A. Gent. They became the first Belgian representatives in the Conference League – a third European competition. How does it work exactly? Who is participating in it? What can be gained? An answer to all your questions.
Why the third European Championship?
The UEFA Champions League and European League will have a (younger) brother. By creating the tournament, UEFA wants to give teams from smaller federations a taste of football for European clubs.
So don’t get upset if you see a team from Albania or Iceland, for example, in the conference League groups.
At least 34 of UEFA’s 54 federations will have at least one representative in the group stage. Hence, the Big Five countries in football only offer one representative in the conference league.
Due to the introduction of competition, the European League is being reduced. He goes from 48 to 32 teams in the group stage. The first two preliminary rounds are canceled.
The arrival of the conference league also has an impact on the European League.
How it works?
Penalty: At the moment no club is sure of its place in the group stage of the Conference League.
Everyone, even Tottenham, has yet to complete the preliminary rounds. One team is, of course, more than the other. The maximum is four, the minimum is one. Anderlecht would start in the third preliminary round, AA Gent in the 2nd.
Through those preliminary rounds, 22 teams advance to the groups. They were joined by the ten losers in the final qualifying round of the European League.
So the group stage consists of a total of 32 teams – 8 groups of 4. They will complete a total of 6 matches using the familiar principle. All duels will take place on Thursday evening.
The winners of the eighth group qualify for the eighth finals. For the two numbers from each group, an “intermediate round” is scheduled against the teams that finished third in their group in the European League.
This is how a regular conference works
Who is the participant?
Have you ever heard of Sumgayit, Cukaricki or Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino? Well, they are all clubs that will play in the preliminary rounds of the conference league anyway. Although among the participants there were more famous names.
Here’s an overview of the teams that are already sure of their place in the preliminary rounds of the Conference League.
Tottenham is one of the biggest names in the first edition of the Conference League.
What is there to win?
We are still waiting for the pot money amount. For the time being, UEFA has not yet communicated the starting premiums and points for the Conference League.
To give you an idea: Participants in the Europa League groups receive € 2.92 million. Each additional point yields another 190,000 euros. Don’t expect the sums in a league conference to be higher. exactly the contrary.
One thing is for sure. The final conference league winner will automatically secure a place in the group stage of the Europa League the following season. Unless the winner is already sure of his place in the national competition.