UEFA to introduce third European club competition from 2021-22 season

The Ligue 1 club had been given a ban from playing in the next European competition for which they qualified, deferred for two years, after they were found guilty of breaching UEFA rules in four Europa League matches last season.

Andrea Agnelli, stated at the general assembly of the ECA that pending approval, the "green light" has been given to introduce a third competition.

Uefa are set to introduce a third European club competition in 2021.

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Agnelli (42), who is also president of Italian champions Juventus and sits on the UEFA Executive Committee, added that the introduction of the new competition would bring the total number of clubs competing internationally to 96 as of the 2012-22 season.

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The Cup Winners' Cup had acted as Europe's third club competition until it was scrapped in 1999, with domestic cup winners now entering the Europa League.

Uefa confirmed last month that it was "constantly reviewing the format of its competitions and is looking at a variety of options in this respect".

"They are just discussions, is it better to have 64 in the Europa League or 32 and 32?"

The 32-team format of the Champions League is to remain unchanged.

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All three subjects are part of FIFA-led talks to agree on a new worldwide calendar beyond 2024 - the year when widespread changes to soccer can take effect, Agnelli has said.

But concerns about diluting the Europa League's quality made the idea of a third competition more attractive, particularly if it was reserved for teams from smaller leagues.

It means smaller clubs from smaller nations will have the chance to compete in Europe, although there's undoubtedly a financial aspect behind the proposals. Europe used to have a third competition for winners of domestic cup competitions, known as the Cup Winners' Cup, but it was abolished in 1999.

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