Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Have Manchester United Been Given European Lifeline? UEFA Announce Brand New Competition!

Have Manchester United Been Given European Lifeline? UEFA Announce Brand New Competition!

The plans were approved by the UEFA executive committee on Sunday, three years after the initial discussions were first revealed by The Associated Press.

The absence of VAR in the Champions League was also highlighted when Raheem Sterling was awarded a penalty for Manchester City against Shakhtar Donetsk despite replays showing that he had stubbed his foot in the turf.

In a similar format to the Europa League, there will be an additional knock-out round before the round of 16 between teams ranked second in their groups and the third-ranked teams of the Europa League groups.

The teams will then follow the traditional route towards the final of the competition via the round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals.

UEL2 games will be played on Thursday nights - like the Europa League - with the intention of giving more countries the chance to be represented in European club competitions.

Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used in this season's Champions League from the last-16 stage, Sky Sports News understands.

The Europa League will mirror the new competition, so the group stage will be streamlined from 48 to 32 teams.

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The seventh-placed teams in Europe's top four leagues will qualify for the new competition, and they will be joined by a host of clubs from smaller associations.

"There was a big demand from clubs to increase the possibility of participating more regularly in European competitions".

"There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages", said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

"Inclusive competition means more matches for more clubs and more associations".

UEFA originally opted against using VAR this season despite it being used by most major European leagues and Federation Internationale de Football Association at the World Cup in Russia, but hinted earlier this month it could be introduced ahead of schedule.

"No changes will be made to the format and access list of the UEFA Champions League", said UEFA.

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