UEL2: Uefa announce new European club competition

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There will be a third European club competition from 2021, UEFA has announced.

Last month though, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin had given the hint that VAR could be introduced as early as this season after the trails were successful.

"This competition was born out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association".

There will be eight groups each featuring four teams, with only the winners advancing automatically.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be introduced from the round of 16 in this season's Champions League, tournament organisers UEFA has confirmed.

However, the new competition is created to appease those further down the food chain unhappy at changes to guarantee English, Spanish, German and Italian clubs 16 of the 32 places available in the Champions League. Games will be played on Thursdays and the objective is to involve more teams from Europe's top divisions who might otherwise not have the chances to compete in global club tournaments.

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Every country's champions will still enter the Champions League, but only teams from the 15 top-ranked countries will go into the Europa League group stages or qualifiers. After the match, the president of the Italian referees' association issued a statement admitting an error had been made.

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.

Europa League will also have a taste of VAR this season but unlike the Champions League, the second tier of European football will only get this benefit during the final.

"The new competition makes Uefa's club competitions more inclusive than ever before".

"The UEFA Executive Committee has decided today in Dublin to use Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in the UEFA Champions League as from the Round of 16 in February 2019".

At least 34 countries will have teams in a group stage, compared to 26 at the moment.

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