2015–16 UEFA Europa League
The St. Jakob-Park in Basel will host the final.
|Dates||2 July – 27 August 2015 (qualifying)
17 September 2015 – 18 May 2016 (competition proper)
|Teams||48+8 (competition proper)
158+33 (expected) (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.
Sevilla are the two-time defending champions. As they automatically qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League group stage as the Europa League title holders, they will not be able to defend their title unless they finish third in the group stage.
- 1 Format changes
- 2 Association team allocation
- 3 Round and draw dates
- 4 Qualifying rounds
- 5 Play-off round
- 6 Group stage
- 7 Knockout phase
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
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):
- 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 each had four entrants.
- The number of teams directly qualifying for the group stage will be increased to 16 teams (from the top 12 associations); previously six teams (from the top six associations) directly qualified for the group stage.
- 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.
Association team allocation
A total of 191 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:
- 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).
- The top three associations of the 2014–15 UEFA Respect Fair Play ranking each gain an additional berth (the 2015–16 season will be the last where Fair Play berths are allocated to the Europa League).
- Moreover, 33 teams eliminated from the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League are transferred to the Europa League.
- Since Sevilla, the winners of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League which automatically qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League, also qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League as the fifth-placed team of the 2014–15 La Liga, their berth in the Europa League is vacated and not replaced by any other team.
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.
Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Europa League, as noted below:
- (FP) – Additional berth via Fair Play ranking (Netherlands, England, Republic of Ireland)
- (UCL) – Additional teams transferred from the Champions League
- (EL) – Vacated berth due to Europa League title holders playing in the Champions League
|Teams entering in this round||Teams advancing from previous round||Teams transferred from Champions League|
|First qualifying round
|Second qualifying round
|Third qualifying round
The access list above is provisional, as changes will need to be made in the following cases:
- If the Champions League title holders or the Europa League title holders have qualified for the Europa League through domestic performance, their berth in the Europa League is vacated (not replaced by another team from the same association), and cup winners of the highest-ranked associations are moved to a later round accordingly.
- In some cases where changes to the access list of the Champions League are made, the number of losers of the Champions League third qualifying round which are transferred to the Europa League is increased or decreased from the default number of 15, which means changes to the access list of the Europa League will also need to be made.
- Because a maximum of five teams from one association can enter the UEFA Champions League, if both the Champions League title holders and the Europa League title holders are from the same top three ranked association and finish outside the top four of their domestic league, the fourth-placed team of their association will be moved to the Europa League and enter the group stage, which means changes to the access list of the Europa League may also need to be made.
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 (regulations Articles 3.03 and 3.04):
- 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 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.
The labels in the parentheses show how each team qualified for the place of its starting round:
- CW: Cup winners
- 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.: League position
- LC: League Cup winners
- P-W: End-of-season Europa League play-off 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
Note: Teams in italics may still qualify for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League through domestic performance.
|NOTE: The following list of qualified teams is provisional, subject to final confirmation by UEFA in June 2015, as each participating team must obtain a UEFA club license. All qualified teams are included in this list as long as they have not been banned by UEFA or have not failed their final appeal with their football association on obtaining a license.|
- ^ Austria (AUT): Sturm Graz will enter the third qualifying round instead of the second qualifying round if Red Bull Salzburg win the 2014–15 Austrian Cup.
- ^ Bulgaria (BUL): Lokomotiv Sofia, the third-placed team of the 2014–15 A PFG, would have qualified for the Europa League first qualifying round, but failed to obtain a UEFA licence. As a result, the berth was given to Litex Lovech, the fourth-placed team of the league. An appeal was denied on 1 June 2015.
- ^ Greece (GRE): Asteras Tripoli, PAOK and Atromitos have qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League as they will finish third, fourth or fifth in the 2014–15 Superleague Greece.
- ^ Italy (ITA): Genoa, the sixth-placed team of the 2014–15 Serie A, would have qualified for the Europa League third qualifying round, but failed to obtain a UEFA licence. As a result, the berth was given to Sampdoria, the seventh-placed team of the league. A final appeal by Genoa will be heard on 3 June 2015.
- ^ Latvia (LVA): Liepāja, the fourth-placed team of the 2014 Latvian Higher League, would have qualified for the Europa League first qualifying round, but failed to obtain a UEFA licence as they were affiliated with the Latvian Football Federation for less than three years after reforming from the dissolved Liepājas Metalurgs. As a result, the berth was given to Spartaks Jūrmala, the sixth-placed team of the league, as Daugava Daugavpils, the fifth-placed team, also failed to obtain a UEFA licence.
- ^ Moldova (MDA): Tiraspol, the fourth-placed team of the 2014–15 Moldovan National Division, would have qualified for the Europa League first qualifying round, but were dissolved at the end of the 2014–15 season. As a result, the berth was given to Saxan, the fifth-placed team of the league.
- ^ Poland (POL): Legia Warsaw have qualified for the 2015–16 European competitions by winning the 2014–15 Polish Cup. They may still qualify for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2014–15 Ekstraklasa.
- ^ Romania (ROU): CFR Cluj, the third-placed team of the 2014–15 Liga I, would have qualified for the Europa League second qualifying round, but were banned by UEFA after failing to settle overdue payables. As a result, Astra Giurgiu, the fourth-placed team of the league, entered the second qualifying round instead of the first qualifying round, while the first qualifying round berth was given to Botoșani, the eighth-placed team of the league, as Petrolul Ploiești, CS U Craiova and Dinamo București, the fifth-, sixth- and seventh-placed teams of the league respectively, all failed to obtain UEFA licences.
- ^ Russia (RUS): On 24 April 2015, Dynamo Moscow has been referred to the UEFA's Club Financial Control Body adjudicatory chamber for violating the Financial Fair Play break-even requirements after the club was not able to reach the settlement with UEFA. The meeting regarding the sanctions for the violation (which could include Dynamo's exclusion from the European competitions) will be held on 16 June 2015, and the decision could be made the same day.
- ^ Switzerland (SUI): Zürich will enter the group stage instead of the third qualifying round and Thun will enter the third qualifying round instead of the second qualifying round if Basel win the 2014–15 Swiss Cup.
- ^ Turkey (TUR): Trabzonspor have qualified for the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League, as Bursaspor, which may still win the 2014–15 Turkish Cup are banned by UEFA from competing in the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League even if they qualify.
Round and draw dates
|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
|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||26 February 2016||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 St. Jakob-Park, Basel|
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.
In the qualifying rounds and the play-off round, teams are divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients, and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
First qualifying round
The draw for the first qualifying round will be held on 22 June 2015. The first legs will be played on 2 July, and the second legs will be played on 9 July 2015.
A total of 102 teams are expected to play in the first qualifying round.
- West Ham United Coeff. 16.078
- Sheriff Tiraspol Coeff. 14.500
- Rosenborg Coeff. 11.875
- Elfsborg Coeff. 11.545
- Hajduk Split Coeff. 11.200
- Apollon Limassol Coeff. 10.460
- Omonia Coeff. 10.460
- Slovan Bratislava Coeff. 9.250
- AIK Coeff. 9.045
- Neftchi Baku Coeff. 9.000
- Žilina Coeff. 8.750
- Aktobe Coeff. 8.575
- Go Ahead Eagles Coeff. 8.195
- Red Star Belgrade Coeff. 7.775
- Debrecen Coeff. 7.700
- Brøndby Coeff. 7.460
- Shakhtyor Soligorsk Coeff. 7.150
- Dinamo Tbilisi Coeff. 6.875
- Litex Lovech Coeff. 6.850
- Vojvodina Coeff. 6.275
- Spartak Trnava Coeff. 6.250
- FH Coeff. 6.100
- St. Johnstone Coeff. 6.080
- Željezničar Coeff. 6.000
- Randers Coeff. 5.960
- Strømsgodset Coeff. 5.875
- KR Coeff. 5.600
- Botoșani Coeff. 5.259
- Lokomotiva Coeff. 5.200
- Shamrock Rovers Coeff. 5.150
- F91 Dudelange Coeff. 5.025
- Inter Baku Coeff. 5.000
- Linfield Coeff. 4.975
- Beroe Stara Zagora Coeff. 4.850
- Valletta Coeff. 4.841
- Differdange 03 Coeff. 4.775
- Rabotnički Coeff. 4.675
- Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino Coeff. 4.650
- Aberdeen Coeff. 4.580
- Dacia Chișinău Coeff. 4.500
- Koper Coeff. 4.475
- St Patrick's Athletic Coeff. 4.400
- Beitar Jerusalem Coeff. 4.200
- Zrinjski Mostar Coeff. 4.000
- HB Coeff. 3.950
- Budućnost Podgorica Coeff. 3.875
- Birkirkara Coeff. 3.591
- Domžale Coeff. 3.475
- Vaduz Coeff. 3.450
- Čukarički Coeff. 3.275
- Celje Coeff. 3.225
- Ferencváros Coeff. 3.200
- Nõmme Kalju Coeff. 3.200
- Flora Tallinn Coeff. 3.200
- Sutjeska Nikšić Coeff. 3.125
- Skonto Coeff. 3.100
- Víkingur Gøta Coeff. 2.950
- Renova Coeff. 2.925
- Odd Coeff. 2.875
- Kukësi Coeff. 2.825
- Gabala Coeff. 2.750
- Shkëndija Coeff. 2.675
- Kairat Coeff. 2.575
- Ordabasy Coeff. 2.575
- MTK Budapest Coeff. 2.450
- Shirak Coeff. 2.300
- Mladost Podgorica Coeff. 2.125
- Laçi Coeff. 2.075
- Ulisses Coeff. 2.050
- Saxan Coeff. 2.000
- Glentoran Coeff. 1.975
- VPS Coeff. 1.890
- Dinamo Batumi Coeff. 1.875
- Spartaki Tskhinvali Coeff. 1.875
- Sillamäe Kalev Coeff. 1.700
- Lusitanos Coeff. 1.666
- SJK Coeff. 1.640
- Lahti Coeff. 1.640
- Víkingur Reykjavík Coeff. 1.600
- Jelgava Coeff. 1.600
- Olimpic Coeff. 1.500
- NSÍ Runavík Coeff. 1.450
- Sant Julià Coeff. 1.416
- Atlantas Coeff. 1.400
- Glenavon Coeff. 1.225
- Cork City Coeff. 1.150
- UCD Coeff. 1.150
- Kruoja Pakruojis Coeff. 1.150
- La Fiorita Coeff. 1.099
- Airbus UK Broughton Coeff. 1.075
- Partizani Tirana Coeff. 1.075
- Progrès Niederkorn Coeff. 1.025
- Trakai Coeff. 0.900
- Spartaks Jūrmala Coeff. 0.850
- Balzan Coeff. 0.841
- Bala Town Coeff. 0.825
- Juvenes/Dogana Coeff. 0.599
- Newtown Coeff. 0.575
- Alashkert Coeff. 0.550
- College Europa Coeff. 0.300
- Runners-up or third-placed team of 2014–15 Ekstraklasa
- Fourth-placed team of 2014–15 Ekstraklasa
Second qualifying round
The draw for the second qualifying round will be held on 22 June 2015. The first legs will be played on 16 July, and the second legs will be played on 23 July 2015.
A total of 66 teams are expected to play in the second qualifying round: 15 teams which enter in this round, and the 51 winners of the first qualifying round.
- Copenhagen Coeff. 40.960
- Trabzonspor Coeff. 36.520
- Legia Warsaw Coeff. 24.800
- Rijeka Coeff. 13.700
- Thun Coeff. 10.375
- Astra Giurgiu Coeff. 9.759
- Dinamo Minsk Coeff. 9.650
- Sturm Graz Coeff. 9.135
- Mladá Boleslav Coeff. 8.825
- Charleroi Coeff. 7.440
- IFK Göteborg Coeff. 6.045
- Hapoel Be'er Sheva Coeff. 4.700
- Inverness CT Coeff. 3.580
- Cherno More Varna Coeff. 3.350
- Fifth-placed team of 2014–15 Superleague Greece
Third qualifying round
The draw for the third qualifying round will be held on 17 July 2015. The first legs will be played on 30 July, and the second legs will be played on 6 August 2015.
A total of 58 teams are expected to play in the third qualifying round: 25 teams which enter in this round, and the 33 winners of the second qualifying round.
- Borussia Dortmund Coeff. 99.883
- Athletic Bilbao Coeff. TBD
- AZ Coeff. 46.695
- Dynamo Moscow Coeff. 27.599
- Standard Liège Coeff. 25.440
- Bordeaux Coeff. 24.483
- Sampdoria Coeff. TBD
- Vitória de Guimarães Coeff. 17.776
- Saint-Étienne Coeff. 16.983
- Zürich Coeff. 16.875
- Slovan Liberec Coeff. 16.325
- Southampton Coeff. 16.078
- Krasnodar Coeff. 15.099
- Belenenses Coeff. 12.276
- Vorskla Poltava Coeff. 11.033
- Zorya Luhansk Coeff. 10.533
- Vitesse Coeff. 10.195
- Jablonec Coeff. 9.325
- AEK Larnaca Coeff. 8.460
- Ironi Kiryat Shmona Coeff. 7.200
- İstanbul Başakşehir Coeff. 6.520
- Târgu Mureș Coeff. 5.259
- Rheindorf Altach Coeff. 5.135
- Fourth-placed team of 2014–15 Superleague Greece
- Winners of 2014–15 Austrian Cup
The draw for the play-off round will be held on 7 August 2015. The first legs will be played on 20 August, and the second legs will be played on 27 August 2015.
A total of 44 teams are expected to 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.
The draw for the group stage will be held in Monaco on 28 August 2015. The 48 teams are drawn into twelve groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other. For the draw, the teams are seeded into four pots based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients.
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. The matchdays are 17 September, 1 October, 22 October, 5 November, 26 November, and 10 December 2015.
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.
- Schalke 04 Coeff. 111.883
- Napoli Coeff. TBD
- Tottenham Hotspur Coeff. 84.078
- Villarreal Coeff. TBD
- Marseille Coeff. 55.483
- Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Coeff. 52.033
- Braga Coeff. 51.776
- Fiorentina Coeff. TBD
- Anderlecht Coeff. 47.440
- Liverpool Coeff. 47.078
- Beşiktaş Coeff. 36.520
- Lokomotiv Moscow Coeff. 23.099
- Augsburg Coeff. 15.883
- Groningen Coeff. 8.695
- Third-placed team of 2014–15 Superleague Greece
- Winners of 2014–15 Swiss Cup
|The teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied in the order given to determine the rankings (regulations Article 16.01):
- 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 draw for the round of 16, there are seedings (regulations Article 17.03, although the seeding criteria are unspecified), with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group can be drawn against each other, but teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other (changed from previous seasons where an open draw was used in the round of 16).
- In the draws for the quarter-finals onwards, there are no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association can be drawn against each other.
Round of 32
The draw for the round of 32 will be held on 14 December 2015. The first legs will be played on 18 February 2016, and the second legs will be played on 25 February 2016.
Round of 16
The draw for the round of 16 will be held on 26 February 2016. The first legs will be played on 10 March, and the second legs will be played on 17 March 2016.
The draw for the quarter-finals will be held on 18 March 2016. The first legs will be played on 7 April, and the second legs will be played on 14 April 2016.
The draw for the semi-finals will be held on 15 April 2016. The first legs will be played on 28 April, and the second legs will be played on 5 May 2016.
The final will be played on 18 May 2016 at the St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland. The "home" team (for administrative purposes) will be determined by an additional draw held after the semi-final draw.
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