2015–16 UEFA Europa League

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2015–16 UEFA Europa League
Tournament details
Dates Provisional dates:
2 July – 27 August 2015 (qualifying)
17 September 2015 – 18 May 2016 (competition proper)
Teams 48+8 (competition proper)
159+33 (total) (from 54 associations)

The 2015–16 UEFA Europa League will be the 45th season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 7th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.

Format changes[edit]

The UEFA Executive Committee held in May and September 2013 approved the following changes to the UEFA Europa League starting from the 2015–16 season (for the three-year cycle until the 2017–18 season):[1]

  • The title holders of the UEFA Europa League will qualify for the UEFA Champions League, and therefore no Europa League berth will be reserved for them (however it is still possible for them to defend their title if they drop down to the Europa League after Champions League elimination).
  • All associations will have a maximum of three teams entering the Europa League (previously associations 7–9 have four entrants)
  • The number of teams directly qualifying for the group stage will be increased to 16 teams from the top 12 associations (from the previous six teams from the top six associations)
  • Should the domestic cup winners qualify for the Champions League, the cup runners-up will no longer be granted a spot in the Europa League, and the spot will be given to the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions.[2]

Association team allocation[edit]

A total of 192 teams from all 54 UEFA member associations are expected to participate in the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League. The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:[3]

  • Associations 1–51 (except Liechtenstein) each have three teams qualify.
  • Associations 52–53 each have two teams qualify.
  • Liechtenstein and Gibraltar each have one team qualify (Liechtenstein organises only a domestic cup and no domestic league; Gibraltar as per decision by the UEFA Executive Committee)[2]
  • The top three associations of the 2014–15 UEFA Respect Fair Play ranking each gain an additional berth.
  • Moreover, 33 teams eliminated from the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League are transferred to the Europa League.

Association ranking[edit]

For the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2014 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2009–10 to 2013–14.[5][6]

Rank Association Coeff. Teams
1 Spain Spain 97.713 3
2 England England 84.748
3 Germany Germany 81.641
4 Italy Italy 66.938
5 Portugal Portugal 62.299
6 France France 56.500
7 Russia Russia 46.998
8 Netherlands Netherlands 44.312
9 Ukraine Ukraine 40.966
10 Belgium Belgium 36.300
11 Turkey Turkey 34.200
12 Greece Greece 33.600
13 Switzerland Switzerland 33.225
14 Austria Austria 30.925
15 Czech Republic Czech Republic 29.350
16 Romania Romania 27.257
17 Israel Israel 26.875
18 Cyprus Cyprus 23.250
Rank Association Coeff. Teams
19 Denmark Denmark 21.300 3
20 Croatia Croatia 19.625
21 Poland Poland 18.875
22 Belarus Belarus 18.625
23 Scotland Scotland 16.566
24 Sweden Sweden 16.325
25 Bulgaria Bulgaria 15.625
26 Norway Norway 14.275
27 Serbia Serbia 14.125
28 Hungary Hungary 11.625
29 Slovenia Slovenia 11.000
30 Slovakia Slovakia 11.000
31 Moldova Moldova 10.375
32 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 10.375
33 Georgia (country) Georgia 9.875
34 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 8.250
35 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.500
36 Finland Finland 7.175
Rank Association Coeff. Teams
37 Iceland Iceland 6.750 3
38 Latvia Latvia 6.250
39 Montenegro Montenegro 6.000
40 Albania Albania 5.500
41 Lithuania Lithuania 5.250
42 Republic of Macedonia Macedonia 5.250
43 Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 5.125
44 Luxembourg Luxembourg 4.875
45 Malta Malta 4.833
46 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 4.500 1
47 Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 3.625 3
48 Wales Wales 3.000
49 Armenia Armenia 2.875
50 Estonia Estonia 2.875
51 Faroe Islands Faroe Islands 2.125
52 San Marino San Marino 0.999 2
53 Andorra Andorra 0.833
54 Gibraltar Gibraltar 0.000 1

Distribution[edit]

The table below shows the default access list.[4] Changes will need to be made in the following cases:

  • If any of the teams which have qualified for the Europa League through domestic performance win the Champions League or Europa League, they will qualify for the Champions League instead. As a result, their berth is vacated, and cup winners of the highest-ranked associations are promoted accordingly.
  • Depending on whether the Champions League title holders and the Europa League title holders have qualified for the Champions League through domestic performance, the access list of the Champions League will need to be changed (see here). In some cases, this will cause the number of losers from the Champions League third qualifying round to increase to 16 or decrease to 14 from the default 15. In either case, changes to the access list will have to be made by moving cup winners of the lowest-ranked associations to an earlier round or cup winners of the highest-ranked associations to a later round.
Teams entering in this round Teams advancing from previous round Teams transferred from Champions League
First qualifying round
(104 teams)
  • 31 domestic cup winners from associations 24–54
  • 35 domestic league runners-up from associations 18–53 (except Liechtenstein)
  • 35 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 16–51 (except Liechtenstein)
  • 3 teams which qualified via Fair Play ranking
Second qualifying round
(66 teams)
  • 6 domestic cup winners from associations 18–23
  • 2 domestic league runners-up from associations 16–17
  • 6 domestic league fourth-placed teams from associations 10–15
  • 52 winners from the first qualifying round
Third qualifying round
(58 teams)
  • 5 domestic cup winners from associations 13–17
  • 9 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 7–15
  • 5 domestic league fourth-placed teams from associations 5–9
  • 3 domestic league fifth-placed teams from associations 4–6 (League Cup winners for France)
  • 3 domestic league sixth-placed teams from associations 1–3 (League Cup winners for England)
  • 33 winners from the second qualifying round
Play-off round
(44 teams)
  • 29 winners from the third qualifying round
  • 15 losers from the Champions League third qualifying round
Group stage
(48 teams)
  • 12 domestic cup winners from associations 1–12
  • 1 domestic league fourth-placed teams from associations 4
  • 3 domestic league fifth-placed teams from associations 1–3
  • 22 winners from the play-off round
  • 10 losers from the Champions League play-off round
Knockout phase
(32 teams)
  • 12 group winners from the group stage
  • 12 group runners-up from the group stage
  • 8 third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage

Redistribution rules[edit]

A Europa League place is vacated when a team qualifies for both the Champions League and the Europa League, or qualifies for the Europa League by more than one method. When a place is vacated, it is redistributed within the national association by the following rules:

  • When the domestic cup winners (considered as the "highest-placed" qualifier within the national association with the latest starting round) also qualify for the Champions League, their Europa League place is vacated. As a result, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place" (the 2015–16 season will be the first with this particular arrangement where the domestic cup runners-up are no longer guaranteed a place in the Europa League in this scenario).
  • When the domestic cup winners also qualify for the Europa League through league position, their place through the league position is vacated. As a result, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place" if possible.
  • For associations where a Europa League place is reserved for the League Cup winners, they always qualify for the Europa League as the "lowest-placed" qualifier. If the League Cup winners have already qualified for European competitions through other methods, this reserved Europa League place is taken by the highest-placed league team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions.
  • A Fair Play place is taken by the highest-ranked team in the domestic Fair Play table which have not yet qualified for European competitions.

Teams[edit]

The labels in the parentheses show how each team qualified for the place of its starting round:

  • CW: Cup winners
  • LC: League Cup winners
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.: League position
  • P-W: End-of-season European competition play-offs winners
  • FP: Fair Play
  • UCL: Transferred from the Champions League
    • GS: Third-placed teams from the group stage
    • PO: Losers from the play-off round
    • Q3: Losers from the third qualifying round
Round of 32
(UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS)
(UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS)
Group stage
Spain (CW) Italy (4th) Turkey (CW) (UCL PO)
Spain (5th) Portugal (CW) Greece (CW) (UCL PO)
England (CW) France (CW) (UCL PO) (UCL PO)
England (5th) Russia (CW) (UCL PO) (UCL PO)
Germany (CW) Netherlands (CW) (UCL PO) (UCL PO)
Germany (5th) Ukraine (CW) (UCL PO)
Italy (CW) Belgium (CW) (UCL PO)
Play-off round
(UCL Q3) (UCL Q3) (UCL Q3) (UCL Q3)
(UCL Q3) (UCL Q3) (UCL Q3) (UCL Q3)
(UCL Q3) (UCL Q3) (UCL Q3) (UCL Q3)
(UCL Q3) (UCL Q3) (UCL Q3)
Third qualifying round
Spain (6th) France (LC) Belgium (3rd) Czech Republic (CW)
England (LC) Russia (3rd) Turkey (3rd) Czech Republic (3rd)
Germany (6th) Russia (4th) Greece (3rd) Romania (CW)
Italy (5th) Netherlands (3rd) Switzerland (CW) Israel (CW)
Portugal (4th) Netherlands (P-W) Switzerland (3rd)
Portugal (5th) Ukraine (3rd) Austria CW
France (4th) Ukraine (4th) Austria (3rd)
Second qualifying round
Belgium (P-W) Austria (4th) Cyprus (CW) Belarus (CW)
Turkey (4th) Czech Republic (4th) Denmark (CW) Scotland (CW)
Greece (4th) Romania (2nd) Croatia (CW)
Switzerland (4th) Israel (2nd) Poland (CW)
First qualifying round
Romania (3rd) Hungary (CW) Finland (3rd) Malta (2nd)
Israel (3rd) Hungary (2nd) Iceland (CW) Malta (3rd)
Cyprus (2nd) Hungary (3rd) Iceland (2nd) Liechtenstein (CW)
Cyprus (3rd) Slovenia (CW) Iceland (3rd) Northern Ireland (CW)
Denmark (2nd) Slovenia (2nd) Latvia (CW) Northern Ireland (2nd)
Denmark (3rd) Slovenia (3rd) Latvia (2nd) Northern Ireland (3rd)
Croatia (2nd) Slovakia (CW) Latvia (3rd) Wales (CW)
Croatia (3rd) Slovakia (2nd) Montenegro (CW) Wales (2nd)
Poland (2nd) Slovakia (3rd) Montenegro (2nd) Wales (P-W)
Poland (3rd) Moldova (CW) Montenegro (3rd) Armenia (CW)
Belarus (2nd) Moldova (2nd) Albania (CW) Armenia (3rd)
Belarus (3rd) Moldova (3rd) Albania (2nd) Armenia (2nd)
Scotland (2nd) Azerbaijan (CW) Albania (3rd) Estonia (CW)
Scotland (3rd) Azerbaijan (2nd) Lithuania (CW) Estonia (2nd)
Sweden (CW) Azerbaijan (3rd) Lithuania (2nd) Estonia (3rd)
Sweden (2nd) Georgia (country) (CW) Lithuania (3rd) Faroe Islands (CW)
Sweden (3rd) Georgia (country) (2nd) Republic of Macedonia (CW) Faroe Islands (2nd)
Bulgaria (CW) Georgia (country) (3rd) Republic of Macedonia (2nd) Faroe Islands (3rd)
Bulgaria (2nd) Kazakhstan (CW) Republic of Macedonia (3rd) San Marino (CW)
Bulgaria (3rd) Kazakhstan (2nd) Republic of Ireland (CW) San Marino (2nd)
Norway (CW) Kazakhstan (3rd) Republic of Ireland (2nd) Andorra (CW)
Norway (2nd) Bosnia and Herzegovina (CW) Republic of Ireland (3rd) Andorra (2nd)
Norway (3rd) Bosnia and Herzegovina (2nd) Luxembourg (CW) Gibraltar (CW)
Serbia (CW) Bosnia and Herzegovina (3rd) Luxembourg (2nd) (FP)
Serbia (2nd) Finland (CW) Luxembourg (3rd) (FP)
Serbia (3rd) Finland (2nd) Malta (CW) (FP)

Round and draw dates[edit]

The tentative schedule of the competition, to be officially confirmed, is as follows (all draws held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).[4]

NOTE: Draft version, to be confirmed.

Phase Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Qualifying First qualifying round 22 June 2015 2 July 2015 9 July 2015
Second qualifying round 16 July 2015 23 July 2015
Third qualifying round 17 July 2015 30 July 2015 6 August 2015
Play-off Play-off round 7 August 2015 20 August 2015 27 August 2015
Group stage Matchday 1 28 August 2015
(Monaco)
17 September 2015
Matchday 2 1 October 2015
Matchday 3 22 October 2015
Matchday 4 5 November 2015
Matchday 5 26 November 2015
Matchday 6 10 December 2015
Knockout phase Round of 32 14 December 2015 18 February 2016 25 February 2016
Round of 16 10 March 2016 17 March 2016
Quarter-finals 18 March 2016 7 April 2016 14 April 2016
Semi-finals 15 April 2016 28 April 2016 5 May 2016
Final 18 May 2016 at venue TBA

Matches in the qualifying, play-off, and knockout rounds may also be played on Tuesdays or Wednesdays instead of the regular Thursdays due to scheduling conflicts.

Qualifying rounds[edit]

In the qualifying rounds and the play-off round, teams are divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients,[7][8] and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

First qualifying round[edit]

A total of 104 teams play in the first qualifying round.

Second qualifying round[edit]

A total of 66 teams play in the second qualifying round: 14 teams which enter in this round, and the 52 winners of the first qualifying round.

Third qualifying round[edit]

A total of 58 teams play in the second qualifying round: 25 teams which enter in this round, and the 33 winners of the second qualifying round.

Play-off round[edit]

A total of 44 teams play in the play-off round: the 29 winners of the third qualifying round, and the 15 losers of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

Group stage[edit]

A total of 48 teams play in the group stage: 16 teams which enter in this stage, the 22 winners of the play-off round, and the 10 losers of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League play-off round.

The 48 teams are allocated into four pots based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients.[7][8] They are drawn into twelve groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

In each group, teams play against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The group winners and runners-up advance to the round of 32, where they are joined by the eight third-placed teams of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Knockout phase[edit]

In the knockout phase, teams play against each other over two legs on a home-and-away basis, except for the one-match final. The mechanism of the draws for each round is as follows:

  • In the draw for the round of 32, the twelve group winners and the four third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage with the better group records are seeded, and the twelve group runners-up and the other four third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage are unseeded. The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
  • In the draws for the round of 16 onwards, there are no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association can be drawn against each other.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Added bonus for UEFA Europa League winners". UEFA.org. 24 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Strategic talks in Dubrovnik". UEFA.org. 20 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Regulations of the UEFA Europa League 2014/15 Season". UEFA.com. 1 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Preliminary Access List 2015/16". Bert Kassies. 
  5. ^ "Country coefficients 2013/14". UEFA.com. 
  6. ^ "UEFA Country Ranking 2014". Bert Kassies. 
  7. ^ a b "Club coefficients 2014/15". UEFA.com. 
  8. ^ a b "UEFA Team Ranking 2015". Bert Kassies. 

External links[edit]