UEFA adjusting Competitions
Qualifying formats improved
Thursday, 10 July 2003
The UEFA Executive Committee has decided to change the formats for the qualifying stages of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008™.
The improved qualification format for the World Cup will see 13 European teams qualifying from 51 participating nations, with Germany qualifying automatically as the host nation. The 51 teams will be drawn into three groups of seven teams and five groups of six teams with the eight group winners and the two best runners-up qualifying automatically. The six other group runners-up will contest play-offs to decide the other three teams to qualify. The new format will be proposed to FIFA for approval.
EURO 2008™ format
The improved format of the qualification for UEFA EURO 2008™ is even more straightforward. With Austria and Switzerland qualifying automatically as hosts, the 50 participating teams will be seeking 14 qualifying slots. The teams will be divided into one group of eight teams and six groups of seven teams with qualification for the seven group winners and seven runners-up.
More competitive matches
UEFA Chief Executive Officer Gerhard Aigner said that the new formats would involve no extra matches but ensure a full use of competitive dates. "The majority of European national associations wanted more games of competitive character," he said. "We have managed to do this while still allowing sufficient dates for friendly matches."
New look for UEFA Cup
Thursday, 10 July 2003
UEFA has decided to make far-reaching changes to the format of Europe's second major club competition, the UEFA Cup, from the 2004/05 season.
At its two-day meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, the UEFA Executive Committee also gave the green light to European qualification format improvements for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which must now be discussed with FIFA, and UEFA EURO 2008™.
From 2004/05, the UEFA Cup format will be based on a first round knockout phase of 80 teams, followed by a group phase involving 40 teams in eight groups of five. The 24 teams who negotiate this stage (the top three from each group) will then be joined by eight teams from the UEFA Champions League for the final knockout phase, which will consist of 32 teams.
UEFA and Europe's major clubs have been involved in an extensive consultation process about the future format of the UEFA Cup. The European body and the clubs decided over several months of discussions that the competition was in need of an enhanced profile, to give it a similar public and commercial appeal to Europe's blue-riband club competition, the Champions League.
We have acted to refresh and develop the competition for the future
'New and exciting element'
The UEFA President Lennart Johansson said: "We have acted to refresh and develop the competition for the future. Today's decision follows an extensive consultation exercise within European football and reflects the consensus for change. We believe that the proposed format will add a new and exciting element to the UEFA Cup, which will boost it as an attractive European club competition."
New group stage format
The new format means that there will be 16 matchdays in the UEFA Cup calendar with a total of 221 matches being played. A significant difference between the UEFA Champions league format and the new UEFA Cup format is that the UEFA Cup group stage will not feature clubs playing each other on a home and away basis. Instead the five clubs in each group will play the other four teams in the group only once.
UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup matches will not necessarily be played on alternative weeks as UEFA is keen to preserve free weeks for players, but the final series of UEFA Cup group matches will be played in a week when there is no UEFA Champions League action. The group stage of the competition will take place in October, November and December.
The Champions League itself has been revamped for the coming season, with the two group-stage system being replaced by one 32-team group stage and an ensuing 16-team knockout phase, with the aim of giving added excitement to the fans and easing the burden on top players by reducing the number of matches in the competition
Strange I didn't hear this before.
How do you guys like the new format , and do you think its better for Bosnia ?