Europa Conference League: How does it work and what do winners get?


The Europa Conference League marks an opportunity for more teams around Europe to play one another.

It is essentially a third-tier European Competition, behind the Champions League and Europa League.

How does it work?

The Europa Conference League follows the existing formats of the Champions League and Europa League.

It begins with a group stage, which is followed by two-legged knockout rounds and a single-legged final.

Teams can qualify for the Europa Conference League through a number of different routes. In England, the Carabao Cup winners qualify, but Tottenham earned their spot in the competition as the highest finishers in the Premier League who didn’t already have a place in the Champions League or Europa League. This was because Carabao Cup winners Manchester City – who beat Spurs in the final – had already qualified for the Champions League. Some clubs enter the tournament after losing in the Europa League qualifying play-offs.

The eight groups contain four teams each, and no side can play another club from their country in the first round.

To progress to the first knockout rounds of the Europa Conference League – the last 16 – a team must finish top of their group, or finish second and then win a play-off tie against a side that finished third in their Europa League pool.

Which teams are in the competition?

Tottenham striker Harry Kane

Group A: Maccabi Tel-Aviv, LASK, HJK Helsinki, Alashkert FC

Group B: Gent, Partizan, Flora Tallinn, Anorthosis

Group C: Roma, FC Zorya Luhansk, CSKA-Sofia, Bodo/Glimt

Group D: AZ Alkmaar, CFR Cluj, Jablonec, Randers FC

Group E: Feyenoord, Maccabi Haifa, Slavia Prague, Union Berlin

Group F: Copenhagen, PAOK, SK Slovan Bratislava, Lincoln Red Imps

Group G: Tottenham, Stade Rennais, Vitesse, NS Mura

Group H: Basel, Qarabag, Kairat Almaty, Omonoia FC

What do the winners get?

The winners of the final, which takes place on 25 May at the Arena Kombetare in Albania, will qualify for next season’s Europa League – much like the Europa League winners climb into the Champions League.

How can I watch it?

BT Sport will be airing all the action live. As well as showing the matches on TV, the broadcaster will stream games for their subscribers on the BT Sport website and app.

Europa Conference League fixtures will be played at the same time as Europa League matches; on Thursday nights, with kick-offs at 5.45pm and 8pm BST.

Jose Mourinho will lead Roma in the Europa Conference League this season

When are the matches?

Group stage

Matchday 1 – 16 September

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Matchday 2 – 30 September

Matchday 3 – 21 October

Matchday 4 – 4 November

Matchday 5 – 25 November

Matchday 6 – 9 December

Knockout stages

Knockout play-offs – 17 and 24 February

Last 16 – 10 and 17 March

Quarter-finals – 7 and 14 April

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Semi-finals – 28 April and 5 May

Final – 25 May

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