Prince William to address Uefa ahead of Champions League final

The Duke of Cambridge will open the Uefa congress

Prince William will address UEFA's Congress in London today in his role as president of the Football Association.

The Duke of Cambridge will officially open the Congress after a meeting with UEFA president Michel Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

It is the first meeting between Blatter and the prince since William felt he was misled by FIFA members over their voting intentions during England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup.

One source of potential embarrassment has been averted, however, after UEFA said it had no issues with the FA's new minimum five-match ban for racism on the pitch despite announcing its own 10-game sanction.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: "An association should adopt the same or similar measures. UEFA has always acted in a way to try to convince people rather than impose.

"The way I read the FA's decision is that it could be five matches and it could also be 15. The FA are sure their way of regulating is more correct for England."

UEFA also announced tougher sanctions for insulting and assaulting match officials. The ban for insulting officials has been raised from two to three matches and for assaulting match officials from 10 to 15 matches.

In other decisions, UEFA has announced that the Champions League final in 2015 will take place in Berlin's Olympic Stadium and the Europa League final in Warsaw.

The Congress will also be presented with rules changes that could see Europe's top nations including England having up to five teams in the Champions League.

From 2015, the Europa League winners as well as the European champions will qualify automatically for the following season's Champions League, UEFA sources have confirmed to Press Association Sport.

But they will no longer take a place from the Premier League if they finish outside of the top four - as happened controversially with Tottenham last season when Chelsea won the Champions League but finished sixth.

The principle was agreed by UEFA's executive committee yesterday and is to be formally announced today.

Five clubs will be a maximum however. In the unlikely event of two clubs from the same country winning the Champions League and Europa League and both finishing outside of the domestic qualifying places, then those would still qualify for the Champions League but the side finishing fourth would miss out.

Under the changes the Europa League winner will usually qualify directly for the group phase of the Champions League although under some circumstances they may have to go into the final qualifying round.

Meanwhile, Manchester United's outgoing chief executive David Gill is expected to win election to UEFA's executive committee, replacing England's longstanding vice-president Geoff Thompson.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment