As from 2015/16 season, winners of the Europa Cup will qualify for the following season’s Champions League.
In a move designed by UEFA to boost the profile of European football’s secondary tournament, winners of Europa Cups and Champions League will no longer take a place from their respective domestic leagues in case they finish outside the Champions League qualifying spot.
Last season, Chelsea won the Champions League but finished 6th in the league, and booked a Champions League slot by taking up Tottenham Hotspur’s- after finishing 4th. Such scenario, according to UEFA’s new ruling will now require both Spurs and Chelsea to make up the five teams qualifying for Europe’s primary competition from that country.
This means a country can now be allowed to have a maximum of five clubs in the Champions League, when a club wins the Champions or Europa League, but finished outside the top four in the Domestic League.
Meanwhile, if the Champions/ Europa League winners finish inside the top four of their domestic league, it won’t allow runners- up or the fifth- placed club in the league to take the ‘spare’ qualification place. In such scenario, there will only be four clubs qualifying.
As it stands, Wigan, Swansea and Tottenham will represent England in the Europa League, while Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal (play- off) represents England in the Champions League next season.
At the UEFA’s executive committee meeting held in London on Friday, the body ratified the proposal to impose a 10- match European ban for players and officials found guilty of racism.
Racism by fans will be punished by partial closure of stadium for first offence, while a second offence will attract full stadium closure.
Last week the English Football Association (FA) announced its own five- match minimum ban for racial offenders, but UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said individual associations could still decide on their own sanctions.
“An association should adopt the same or similar measure,” Infantino told a news conference. “UEFA has always acted in a way to try to convince people rather than impose.
“I don’t think you measure the way of fighting against racism in one simple measure and sanction.
“It’s their decision but it doesn’t mean they do more or less than us. Everyone has to do what they can do in this field,” Infantino added.
UEFA also announced tougher sanctions for insulting and assaulting match officials.
The ban for insulting officials was raised from two to three matches and for assaulting match officials from 10 to 15 matches.
As earlier published by Information Nigeria, UEFA has announced that the Champions League final in 2015 will take place in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and the Europa League final in Warsaw.