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UEFA’s new club competition launching in 2021/22: All you need to know

There will be a third season-long UEFA men’s football club competition for the first time in more than 20 years next season.

Who enters the UEFA Europa Conference League?

In all, 184 teams will be involved over the course of the season including at least one from each of the 55 associations and 46 clubs transferring from either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League.

Before the group stage there will be three qualifying rounds and a play-off round (split into a main path, and a champions path for those transferring from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League champions path).

No teams qualify directly for the group stage, with the 32 teams consisting of:

• 17 teams from the UEFA Europa Conference League main path
• 5 teams from the UEFA Europa Conference League champions path
• 10 teams eliminated in the UEFA Europa League play-offs

How will it work?

There will be eight groups of four teams, followed by knockout round play-offs, the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

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 UEFA Europa League groups.

First final: Tirana

The 21,690-capacity National Arena (Arena Kombëtare) will stage the first final on 25 May 2022, as announced by the UEFA Executive Committee on 3 December 2020. The stadium opened in November 2019 with a European Qualifier between Albania and France.

Group stage match dates

Matchday 1: 20/21 October
Matchday 2: 27/28 October
Matchday 3: 3/4 November
Matchday 4: 24/25 November
Matchday 5: 1/2 December
Matchday 6: 8/9 December

When are the games?

The UEFA Europa Conference League fixtures will take place on Thursdays along with UEFA Europa League games (though the final in Tirana will be a week after the UEFA Europa League final in Sevilla on 18 May 2020).

First qualifying round: 8 & 15 July
Second qualifying round: 22 & 29 July
Third qualifying round: 5 & 12 August
Play-offs: 19 & 26 August
Group stage: 16 & 30 September, 21 October, 4 & 25 November, 9 December
Knockout round play-offs: 17 & 24 February
Round of 16: 10 & 17 March
Quarter-finals: 7 & 14 April
Semi-finals: 28 April & 5 May
Final: 25 May (National Arena, Tirana)

The competition will run throughout the 2021–2024 cycle at least.

The group stage will start on October 20/21, 2020 with the final taking place in Istanbul on May 29, 2021.

August 8-11:Preliminary round
August 18/19: First qualifying round
August 25/26: Second qualifying round
September 15/16: Third qualifying round
September 22/23 & 29/30: Play-offs
October 20/21: Group stage matchday 1
October 27/28: Group stage matchday 2
November 3/4: Group stage matchday 3
November 24/25: Group stage matchday 4
December 1/2: Group stage matchday 5
December 8/9: Group stage matchday 6
February 16/17, 2021: Round of 16
April 6/14, 2021: Quarter-finals
April 17 & May 5, 2021: Semi-finals
May 29, 2021: Final

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