Uefa to hold third-tier club competition under Champions, Europa Leagues

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Just in case you thought the Europa League wasn't bad enough, UEFA have announced the introduction of another club competition, with the working title of "Europa League 2".

An additional knockout round will be played before the round of 16 between teams ranked second in their groups and the third-ranked teams in the groups of the Europa League, which will run concurrently. Games will be played on Thursdays and the goal is to involve more teams from Europe's top divisions who might otherwise not have the chances to compete in global club tournaments.

The format will see eight groups of four teams, followed by the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA's club competitions more inclusive than ever before". After the match, the president of the Italian referees' association issued a statement admitting an error had been made.

European football's governing body had already committed to using VAR in its competitions from 2019-20 onwards.

"There was a widespread demand by all clubs to increase their chances of participating more regularly in European competition".

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The victor of the new contest, to encourage clubs from smaller countries, will be qualify for the following season's Europa League.

The new competition will feature 141 matches over 15 match weeks, exactly like the Europa League.

As revealed by SPORT a few days ago, UEFA have planned an intensive course to prepare the 17 referees who are now working in leagues which don't use the technology.

This was in spite of the technology being employed by major European leagues in Europe and the FIFA World Cup finals in Russian Federation this year.

VAR will also be used next year at the Nations Leagues finals and in the finals of the European Under-21 Championship.

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