Uefa confirm Champions League reward for winning the Europa League

Change will take effect from the 2015/16 season

The Europa League winners will qualify for the Champions League from the 2015-16 season, it was confirmed at UEFA's Congress today.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino announced the rule change which aims to make the second-tier European tournament more attractive to clubs.

Infantino did not confirm the full details, but it is understood that Europa League winners and Champions League winners will no longer take a place from the domestic leagues if they finish outside of the Champions League qualifying spots.

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.

UEFA said the Europa League winners will go into the next season's Champions League at the final qualifying round at least.

A UEFA statement said: "The Europa League winners could even gain direct access to the group stage, should the Champions League title-holders also qualify via their domestic league, thus freeing up a place in the Champions League group stage.

"As an effect of the Europa League winners qualifying for the Champions League, the current limit of a maximum four teams per association will be increased to five.

"Further changes were made to the access list, whereby, in principle, all associations will now have a maximum three teams entering the Europa League."

PA

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