2020–21 UEFA Europa League

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2020–21 UEFA Europa League
PGE Arena Gdańsk (6018955265).jpg
The Stadion Energa Gdańsk in Gdańsk will host the final
Tournament details
DatesQualifying:
20 August 2020 – 2 October 2020
Competition proper:
22 October 2020 – 26 May 2021
TeamsCompetition proper: 48+8
Total (expected): 158+57 (from 55 associations)

The 2020–21 UEFA Europa League will be the 50th season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 12th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.

The final will be played at the Stadion Energa Gdańsk in Gdańsk, Poland. The stadium was originally appointed to host the 2020 UEFA Europa League Final, but this was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.[1] The winners of the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League will automatically qualify for the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League group stage and also earn the right to play against the winners of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League in the 2021 UEFA Super Cup.

Association team allocation[edit]

A total of 215 (expected) teams from all 55 UEFA member associations participate in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League. The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:[2]

  • Associations 1–50 (except Liechtenstein) each have three teams qualify.
  • Associations 51–55 each have two teams qualify (starting from this season, with association 51 losing one spot and association 55 gaining one spot).[3]
  • Liechtenstein have one team qualify (Liechtenstein organises only a domestic cup and no domestic league).
  • Moreover, 57 teams eliminated from the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League are transferred to the Europa League.

Association ranking[edit]

For the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2019 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2014–15 to 2018–19.[4]

Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Champions League, as noted below:

  • (UCL) – Additional teams transferred from the UEFA Champions League
Association ranking for 2020–21 UEFA Europa League
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
1  Spain 103.569 3
2  England 85.462
3  Italy 74.725
4  Germany 71.927
5  France 58.498
6  Russia 50.549
7  Portugal 48.232
8  Belgium 39.900
9  Ukraine 38.900
10  Turkey 34.600
11  Netherlands 32.433
12  Austria 31.250
13  Czech Republic 28.675
14  Greece 27.600
15  Croatia 27.375
16  Denmark 27.025
17   Switzerland 26.900
18  Cyprus 24.925
19  Serbia 22.250
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
20  Scotland 22.125 3
21  Belarus 21.875
22  Sweden 20.900
23  Norway 20.200
24  Kazakhstan 19.250
25  Poland 19.250
26  Azerbaijan 19.000
27  Israel 18.625
28  Bulgaria 17.500
29  Romania 15.950
30  Slovakia 15.625
31  Slovenia 15.000
32  Liechtenstein 13.500 1
33  Hungary 10.500 3
34  North Macedonia 8.000
35  Moldova 7.750
36  Albania 7.500
37  Republic of Ireland 7.450
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
38  Finland 7.275 3
39  Iceland 7.250
40  Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.125
41  Lithuania 6.750
42  Latvia 5.625
43  Luxembourg 5.500
44  Armenia 5.250
45  Malta 5.125
46  Estonia 5.000
47  Georgia 4.750
48  Wales 4.125
49  Montenegro 4.125
50  Faroe Islands 4.000
51  Gibraltar 4.000 2
52  Northern Ireland 3.875
53  Kosovo 2.500
54  Andorra 1.831
55  San Marino 0.666

Distribution[edit]

The following is the default access list.[5]

Access list for 2020–21 UEFA Europa League
Teams entering in this round Teams advancing from previous round Teams transferred from Champions League
Preliminary round
(16 teams)
  • 6 domestic cup winners from associations 50–55
  • 7 domestic league runners-up from associations 49–55
  • 3 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 48–50
First qualifying round
(94 teams)
  • 25 domestic cup winners from associations 25–49
  • 30 domestic league runners-up from associations 18–48 (except Liechtenstein)
  • 31 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 16–47 (except Liechtenstein)
  • 8 winners from preliminary round
Second qualifying round Champions Path
(20 teams)
  • 17 teams eliminated from Champions League first qualifying round
  • 3 teams eliminated from Champions League preliminary round
Main Path
(74 teams)
  • 7 domestic cup winners from associations 18–24
  • 2 domestic league runners-up from associations 16–17
  • 3 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 13–15
  • 9 domestic league fourth-placed teams from associations 7–15
  • 2 domestic league fifth-placed teams from associations 5–6 (League Cup winners for France)
  • 4 domestic league sixth-placed teams from associations 1–4 (League Cup winners for England)
  • 47 winners from first qualifying round
Third qualifying round Champions Path
(20 teams)
  • 10 winners from second qualifying round (Champions Path)
  • 10 teams eliminated from Champions League second qualifying round (Champions Path)
Main Path
(52 teams)
  • 5 domestic cup winners from associations 13–17
  • 6 domestic league third-placed teams from associations 7–12
  • 1 domestic league fourth-placed team from association 6
  • 37 winners from second qualifying round (Main Path)
  • 3 teams eliminated from Champions League second qualifying round (League Path)
Play-off round Champions Path
(16 teams)
  • 10 winners from third qualifying round (Champions Path)
  • 6 teams eliminated from Champions League third qualifying round (Champions Path)
Main Path
(26 teams)
  • 26 winners from third qualifying round (Main Path)
Group stage
(48 teams)
  • 12 domestic cup winners from associations 1–12
  • 1 domestic league fourth-placed team from association 5
  • 4 domestic league fifth-placed teams from associations 1–4
  • 8 winners from play-off round (Champions Path)
  • 13 winners from play-off round (Main Path)
  • 4 teams eliminated from Champions League play-off round (Champions Path)
  • 2 teams eliminated from Champions League play-off round (League Path)
  • 4 teams eliminated from Champions League third qualifying round (League Path)
Knockout phase
(32 teams)
  • 12 group winners from group stage
  • 12 group runners-up from group stage
  • 8 third-placed teams from Champions League group stage

Changes will be made to the access list above, if any of the teams that qualify for the Europa League via their domestic competitions also qualify for the Champions League as the Champions League or Europa League title holders, or if there are fewer teams transferred from the Champions League due to changes in the Champions League access list. In any case where a spot in the Europa League is vacated, cup winners of the highest-ranked associations in earlier rounds will be promoted accordingly.

As a result of schedule delays to both the 2019–20 and 2020–21 European seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020–21 European season will start before the conclusion of the 2019–20 European season. Therefore, the changes to the access list that should be made based on which teams are the Champions League and Europa League title holders may not be certain after matches of the earlier qualifying rounds have been played and/or their draws have been made. UEFA will ensure that "the respective rounds of the qualifying phase that may have already been drawn or played at the moment the titleholder is determined will not be impacted." (Regulations Article 3.07)[2]

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".
  • 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 either the League Cup or end-of-season European competition play-offs 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.

Teams[edit]

In early April 2020, UEFA announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the deadline for entering the tournament had been postponed until further notice.[6] UEFA also sent a letter to all member associations that domestic leagues must be completed in full without ending prematurely in order to qualify for European competitions.[7] After meeting with the 55 UEFA associations on 21 April 2020, UEFA strongly recommended them to finish domestic top league and cup competitions, although in some special cases where it is not possible, UEFA would develop guidelines concerning participation in its club competitions in case of a cancelled league or cup.[8][9] After the UEFA Executive Committee meeting on 23 April 2020, UEFA announced that if a domestic competition is prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons in accordance with conditions related to public health or economic problems, the national associations concerned are required to select their participating teams for the 2020–21 UEFA club competitions based on sporting merit in the 2019–20 domestic competitions, and UEFA reserves the right to refuse their admission if UEFA deems the termination of the competitions not legitimate, or the selection procedure not objective, transparent and non-discriminatory, or the team is perceived by the public as qualifying unfairly. A suspended domestic competition may also be restarted with a different format from the original one in a manner which would still facilitate qualification on sporting merit.[10][11] All leagues should communicate to UEFA by 25 May 2020 whether they intend to restart their competitions,[12] but this deadline was later extended. On 17 June 2020, UEFA announced that associations must enter their teams by 3 August 2020.[1] If a cup is abandoned or not completed by the UEFA registration deadline, the Europa League places are distributed by league positions only.

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 of the previous season
  • LC: League Cup winners
  • RW: Regular season winners
  • PW: End-of-season Europa League play-offs winners
  • UCL: Transferred from the Champions League
    • GS: Third-placed teams from the group stage
    • CH/LP PO: Losers from the play-off round (Champions/League Path)
    • CH/LP Q3: Losers from the third qualifying round (Champions/League Path)
    • CH/LP Q2: Losers from the second qualifying round (Champions/League Path)
    • Q1: Losers from the first qualifying round
    • PR: Losers from the preliminary round (F: final; SF: semi-finals)
  • Abd-: League positions of abandoned season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe as determined by the national association; all teams are subject to approval by UEFA as per the guidelines for entry to European competitions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic[13]

The second qualifying round, third qualifying round and play-off round are divided into Champions Path (CH) and Main Path (MP).

Note: Teams in italics may still qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League by winning the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League or the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

Qualified teams for 2020–21 UEFA Europa League
Entry round Teams
R32 (UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS)
(UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS) (UCL GS)
GS Spain Villarreal (5th) Spain Real Sociedad (6th)[Note ESP] England Arsenal (CW) England Leicester City (5th)
Italy Napoli (CW)[Note ITA] Italy Roma (5th) Germany Bayer Leverkusen (5th)[Note GER] Germany 1899 Hoffenheim (6th)
France Lille (Abd-4th)[Note FRA] France Nice (Abd-5th)[Note FRA] Russia CSKA Moscow (4th) Portugal Braga (3rd)
Belgium Antwerp (CW) Ukraine Zorya Luhansk (3rd) Turkey Sivasspor (4th)[Note TUR] Netherlands Feyenoord (Abd-3rd)[Note NED]
Austria Wolfsberger AC (3rd) (UCL CH PO) (UCL CH PO) (UCL CH PO)
(UCL CH PO) (UCL LP PO) (UCL LP PO) (UCL LP Q3)
(UCL LP Q3) (UCL LP Q3) (UCL LP Q3)
PO CH (UCL CH Q3) (UCL CH Q3) (UCL CH Q3) (UCL CH Q3)
(UCL CH Q3) (UCL CH Q3)
Q3 CH (UCL CH Q2) (UCL CH Q2) (UCL CH Q2) (UCL CH Q2)
(UCL CH Q2) (UCL CH Q2) (UCL CH Q2) (UCL CH Q2)
(UCL CH Q2) (UCL CH Q2)
MP Russia Rostov (5th) Portugal Sporting CP (4th) Belgium Charleroi (Abd-3rd)[Note BEL] Ukraine Desna Chernihiv (4th)
Turkey Alanyaspor (5th)[Note TUR] Netherlands PSV Eindhoven (Abd-4th)[Note NED] Austria LASK (4th) Czech Republic Sparta Prague (CW)
Greece AEK Athens (3rd)[Note GRE] Croatia Rijeka (CW) Denmark SønderjyskE (CW) Switzerland St. Gallen (2nd)[Note SUI]
(UCL LP Q2) (UCL LP Q2) (UCL LP Q2)
Q2 CH (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1)
(UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1)
(UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1)
(UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1) (UCL Q1)
(UCL Q1) (UCL PR F) (UCL PR SF) (UCL PR SF)
MP Spain Granada (7th)[Note ESP] England Tottenham Hotspur (6th) Italy Milan (6th) Germany VfL Wolfsburg (7th)
France Reims (Abd-6th)[Note FRA] Russia Dynamo Moscow (6th) Portugal Rio Ave (5th) Belgium Standard Liège (Abd-5th)[Note BEL]
Ukraine Kolos Kovalivka (PW) Turkey Galatasaray (6th)[Note TUR] Netherlands Willem II (Abd-5th)[Note NED] Austria Hartberg (PW)
Czech Republic Jablonec (4th) Czech Republic Slovan Liberec (PW) Greece Aris (5th) Greece OFI (6th)[Note GRE]
Croatia Osijek (4th) Croatia Hajduk Split (5th) Denmark Copenhagen (2nd)[Note DEN] Switzerland Basel (3rd)[Note SUI]
Cyprus Anorthosis Famagusta (Abd-2nd)[Note CYP] Serbia Vojvodina (CW) Scotland Rangers (Abd-2nd)[Note SCO] Belarus BATE Borisov (CW)
Sweden IFK Göteborg (CW) Norway Viking (CW) Kazakhstan Kaisar (CW)
Q1 Denmark AGF (PW) Switzerland Servette (4th)[Note SUI] Cyprus APOEL (Abd-3rd)[Note CYP] Cyprus Apollon Limassol (Abd-4th)[Note CYP]
Serbia Partizan (2nd) Serbia TSC Bačka Topola (4th) Scotland Motherwell (Abd-3rd)[Note SCO] Scotland Aberdeen (Abd-4th)[Note SCO]
Belarus Shakhtyor Soligorsk (3rd) Belarus Dinamo Minsk (4th) Sweden Malmö FF (2nd) Sweden Hammarby IF (3rd)
Norway Bodø/Glimt (2nd) Norway Rosenborg (3rd) Kazakhstan Kairat (2nd) Kazakhstan Ordabasy (3rd)
Poland Cracovia (CW) Poland Lech Poznań (2nd) Poland Piast Gliwice (3rd) Azerbaijan Neftçi (Abd-2nd)[Note AZE]
Azerbaijan Keşla (Abd-3rd)[Note AZE] Azerbaijan Sumgayit (Abd-4th)[Note AZE] Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva (CW) Israel Maccabi Haifa (2nd)
Israel Beitar Jerusalem (3rd) Bulgaria Lokomotiv Plovdiv (CW) Bulgaria CSKA Sofia (2nd) Bulgaria Slavia Sofia (PW)
Romania FCSB (CW) Romania Universitatea Craiova (2nd) Romania Botoșani (4th)[Note ROU] Slovakia Žilina (2nd)
Slovakia DAC Dunajská Streda (3rd) Slovakia Ružomberok (PW) Slovenia Mura (CW) Slovenia Maribor (2nd)
Slovenia Olimpija (3rd) Liechtenstein Vaduz (Abd-Cup)[Note LIE] Hungary Honvéd (CW) Hungary Fehérvár (2nd)
Hungary Puskás Akadémia (3rd) North Macedonia Shkëndija (Abd-3rd)[Note MKD] North Macedonia Renova (Abd-4th)[Note MKD] North Macedonia Shkupi (Abd-5th)[Note MKD]
Moldova Petrocub Hîncești (CW) Moldova Sfântul Gheorghe (2nd) Moldova Dinamo-Auto (4th) Albania Teuta (CW)
Albania Kukësi (2nd) Albania Laçi (3rd) Republic of Ireland Shamrock Rovers (CW) Republic of Ireland Bohemians (3rd)
Republic of Ireland Derry City (4th)[Note IRL] Finland Ilves (CW) Finland Inter Turku (2nd) Finland Honka (PW)
Iceland Víkingur Reykjavík (CW) Iceland Breiðablik (2nd) Iceland FH (3rd) Bosnia and Herzegovina Željezničar (Abd-2nd)[Note BIH]
Bosnia and Herzegovina Zrinjski Mostar (Abd-3rd)[Note BIH] Bosnia and Herzegovina Borac Banja Luka (Abd-4th)[Note BIH] Lithuania Žalgiris (2nd) Lithuania Riteriai (3rd)
Lithuania Kauno Žalgiris (4th) Latvia RFS (CW) Latvia Ventspils (3rd) Latvia Valmiera (4th)
Luxembourg Progrès Niederkorn (Abd-2nd)[Note LUX] Luxembourg Differdange 03 (Abd-3rd)[Note LUX] Luxembourg Union Titus Pétange (Abd-4th)[Note LUX] Armenia Noah (CW)
Armenia Alashkert (3rd) Armenia Shirak (4th) Malta Valletta (Abd-2nd)[Note MLT] Malta Hibernians (Abd-3rd)[Note MLT]
Malta Sirens (Abd-4th)[Note MLT] Estonia FCI Levadia (2nd) Estonia Nõmme Kalju (3rd) Estonia Paide Linnameeskond (4th)
Georgia (country) Saburtalo Tbilisi (CW) Georgia (country) Dinamo Batumi (2nd) Georgia (country) Locomotive Tbilisi (4th) Wales The New Saints (Abd-2nd)[Note WAL]
Wales Bala Town (Abd-3rd)[Note WAL] Montenegro Sutjeska Nikšić (Abd-2nd)[Note MNE]
PR Wales Barry Town United (Abd-4th)[Note WAL] Montenegro Iskra Danilovgrad (Abd-3rd)[Note MNE] Montenegro Zeta (Abd-4th)[Note MNE] Faroe Islands HB Tórshavn (CW)
Faroe Islands B36 Tórshavn (2nd) Faroe Islands NSÍ Runavík (3rd) Gibraltar St Joseph's (Abd-2nd)[Note GIB] Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps (Abd-3rd)[Note GIB]
Northern Ireland Glentoran (CW) Northern Ireland Coleraine (Abd-2nd)[Note NIR] Kosovo Prishtina (CW) Kosovo Gjilani (2nd)
Andorra FC Santa Coloma (2nd) Andorra Engordany (3rd) San Marino Tre Penne (Abd-3rd)[Note SMR] San Marino La Fiorita (Abd-4th)[Note SMR]

Notes

  1. ^
    Azerbaijan (AZE): The 2019–20 Azerbaijan Premier League and the 2019–20 Azerbaijan Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Azerbaijan. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Neftçi, Keşla and Sumgayit, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, entering the first qualifying round.[14]
  2. ^
    Belgium (BEL): The 2019–20 Belgian First Division A was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium. The third-placed and fifth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Charleroi and Standard Liège, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Royal Belgian Football Association, entering the third qualifying round and second qualifying round respectively.[15]
  3. ^
    Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH): The 2019–20 Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the 2019–20 Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Željezničar, Zrinjski Mostar and Borac Banja Luka, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, entering the first qualifying round.[16]
  4. ^
    Cyprus (CYP): The 2019–20 Cypriot First Division and the 2019–20 Cypriot Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Cyprus. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Anorthosis Famagusta, APOEL and Apollon Limassol, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Cyprus Football Association, entering the second qualifying round (second-placed team) and first qualifying round respectively.[17]
  5. ^
    Denmark (DEN): Copenhagen will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.
  6. ^
    France (FRA): The 2019–20 Ligue 1 was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in France. The fourth-placed, fifth-placed and sixth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment based on the average number of points per matches played for each team, Lille, Nice and Reims, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the French Football Federation, entering the group stage and second qualifying round (sixth-placed team) respectively.[18]
  7. ^
    Germany (GER): Bayer Leverkusen will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.
  8. ^
    Gibraltar (GIB): The 2019–20 Gibraltar National League and the 2020 Rock Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Gibraltar. The second-placed and third-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, St Joseph's and Lincoln Red Imps, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Gibraltar Football Association, entering the preliminary round.[19]
  9. ^
    Greece (GRE):
    • The 2019–20 Greek Football Cup could not be completed by the UEFA registration deadline of 3 August 2020. However, since both finalists, Olympiacos and AEK Athens, were in the top three of the 2019–20 Super League Greece, the result of the final would have no impact on qualification for the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League.
    • Panathinaikos, the fourth-placed team of the 2019–20 Super League Greece, would have qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, but were banned from UEFA club competitions for the first season they would qualify between the 2018–19 and 2020–21 seasons by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body on 24 April 2018 due to overdue payables, which turned out to be the 2020–21 season since they did not qualify for either the 2018–19 or 2019–20 season.[20] As a result, OFI, the sixth-placed team, qualified for this berth.
  10. ^
    Italy (ITA): Napoli will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League.
  11. ^
    Liechtenstein (LIE): The 2019–20 Liechtenstein Cup was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Liechtenstein. The team remaining in the cup with the highest UEFA club coefficient, Vaduz, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Liechtenstein Football Association, entering the first qualifying round.[21]
  12. ^
    Luxembourg (LUX): The 2019–20 Luxembourg National Division and the 2019–20 Luxembourg Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Luxembourg. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Progrès Niederkorn, Differdange 03 and Union Titus Pétange, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Luxembourg Football Federation, entering the first qualifying round.[22]
  13. ^
    Malta (MLT): The 2019–20 Maltese Premier League and the 2019–20 Maltese FA Trophy were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Valletta, Hibernians and Sirens, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Malta Football Association, entering the first qualifying round.[23]
  14. ^
    Montenegro (MNE): The 2019–20 Montenegrin First League and the 2019–20 Montenegrin Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Montenegro. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Sutjeska Nikšić, Iskra Danilovgrad and Zeta, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Football Association of Montenegro, entering the first qualifying round (second-placed team) and preliminary round respectively.[24]
  15. ^
    Netherlands (NED): The 2019–20 Eredivisie and the 2019–20 KNVB Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. The third-placed, fourth-placed and fifth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven and Willem II, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Royal Dutch Football Association, entering the group stage, third qualifying round and second qualifying round respectively.[25]
  16. ^
    North Macedonia (MKD): The 2019–20 Macedonian First Football League and the 2019–20 Macedonian Football Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in North Macedonia. The third-placed, fourth-placed and fifth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Shkëndija, Renova and Shkupi, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Football Federation of North Macedonia, entering the first qualifying round, as the second-placed team, Sileks, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League to replace the top team, Vardar, who failed to obtain a UEFA licence.[26]
  17. ^
    Northern Ireland (NIR): The 2019–20 NIFL Premiership was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Ireland. The second-placed team of the league at the time of the abandonement, Coleraine, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Irish Football Association, entering the preliminary round.[27]
  18. ^
    Republic of Ireland (IRL): Derry City are a club based in Northern Ireland but play in the Republic of Ireland's league system, and qualify for the Europa League through one of the berths for the Republic of Ireland.
  19. ^
    Romania (ROU): Astra Giurgiu, the third-placed team of the 2019–20 Liga I, would have qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League first qualifying round, but failed to obtain a UEFA licence.[28] As a result, Botoșani, the fourth-placed team, qualified for this berth.
  20. ^
    San Marino (SMR): The 2019–20 Campionato Sammarinese di Calcio and the 2019–20 Coppa Titano were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in San Marino. The second-placed and third-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment, Folgore and Tre Penne, were originally selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the San Marino Football Federation, entering the preliminary round.[29] However, Folgore were banned by UEFA due to previous match-fixing, and were replaced by the fourth-placed team, La Fiorita.[30]
  21. ^
    Scotland (SCO): The 2019–20 Scottish Premiership was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland, and the 2019–20 Scottish Cup was postponed and could not be completed by the UEFA registration deadline of 3 August 2020. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment based on the average number of points per matches played for each team, Rangers, Motherwell and Aberdeen, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Scottish Football Association, entering the second qualifying round (second-placed team) and first qualifying round respectively.[31]
  22. ^
    Spain (ESP): The 2019–20 Copa del Rey was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain and could not be completed by the UEFA registration deadline of 3 August 2020. As a result, the sixth-placed and seventh-placed teams of the 2019–20 La Liga entered the group stage and second qualifying round respectively.[32]
  23. ^
    Switzerland (SUI): The 2019–20 Swiss Cup was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland and could not be completed by the UEFA registration deadline of 3 August 2020. As a result, the second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the 2019–20 Swiss Super League entered the third qualifying round, second qualifying round and first qualifying round respectively.[33]
  24. ^
    Turkey (TUR): Trabzonspor, the second-placed team of the 2019–20 Süper Lig, would have qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but were banned from all UEFA club competitions for the 2020–21 season by the UEFA Club Financial Control Body on 3 June 2020 due to breaches of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.[34] Trabzonspor appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[35] but on 30 July 2020, it was announced that the ban on them participating in UEFA club competitions was upheld.[36] As a result, Beşiktaş, the third-placed team, qualified for this berth instead of entering the Europa League group stage, Sivasspor, the fourth-placed team, entered the Europa League group stage instead of the third qualifying round, Alanyaspor, the fifth-placed team, entered the third qualifying round instead of the second qualifying round, and Galatasaray, the sixth-placed team, qualified for the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
  25. ^
    Wales (WAL): The 2019–20 Cymru Premier and the 2019–20 Welsh Cup were abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales. The second-placed, third-placed and fourth-placed teams of the league at the time of the abandonment based on the average number of points per matches played for each team, The New Saints, Bala Town and Barry Town United, were selected to play in the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League by the Football Association of Wales, entering the first qualifying round and preliminary round (fourth-placed team) respectively.[37]

Schedule[edit]

The schedule of the competition is as follows (all draws are held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).[38] The tournament would originally have started in June 2020, but had been delayed to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.[39] The new schedule was announced by the UEFA Executive Committee on 17 June 2020.[40]

All qualifying matches, including the play-off round, will be played as single leg matches, hosted by one of the teams decided by draw, and will be played behind closed doors.[1][41] Matches may also be played on Tuesdays or Wednesdays instead of the regular Thursdays due to scheduling conflicts. Video assistant referees will not be introduced for the group phase as planned (now to start in 2021–22), but will still be used in the knockout stage.

Schedule for 2020–21 UEFA Europa League
Phase Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Qualifying Preliminary round 9 August 2020 20 August 2020
First qualifying round 10 August 2020 27 August 2020
Second qualifying round 31 August 2020 17 September 2020
Third qualifying round 1 September 2020 24 September 2020
Play-off Play-off round 18 September 2020 1 October 2020
Group stage Matchday 1 2 October 2020
(Athens)
22 October 2020
Matchday 2 29 October 2020
Matchday 3 5 November 2020
Matchday 4 26 November 2020
Matchday 5 3 December 2020
Matchday 6 10 December 2020
Knockout phase Round of 32 14 December 2020 18 February 2021 25 February 2021
Round of 16 26 February 2021 11 March 2021 18 March 2021
Quarter-finals 19 March 2021 8 April 2021 15 April 2021
Semi-finals 29 April 2021 6 May 2021
Final 26 May 2021 at Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Gdańsk

The original schedule of the competition, as planned before the pandemic, was as follows (all draws held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).

Original schedule for 2020–21 UEFA Europa League
Phase Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Qualifying Preliminary round 9 June 2020 25 June 2020 2 July 2020
First qualifying round 16 June 2020 9 July 2020 16 July 2020
Second qualifying round 17 June 2020 23 July 2020 30 July 2020
Third qualifying round 20 July 2020 6 August 2020 13 August 2020
Play-off Play-off round 3 August 2020 20 August 2020 27 August 2020
Group stage Matchday 1 28 August 2020
(Monaco)
17 September 2020
Matchday 2 1 October 2020
Matchday 3 22 October 2020
Matchday 4 5 November 2020
Matchday 5 26 November 2020
Matchday 6 10 December 2020
Knockout phase Round of 32 14 December 2020 18 February 2021 25 February 2021
Round of 16 26 February 2021 11 March 2021 18 March 2021
Quarter-finals 19 March 2021 8 April 2021 15 April 2021
Semi-finals 29 April 2021 6 May 2021
Final 26 May 2021 at Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, Seville

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the following special rules are applicable to the qualifying phase and play-offs:[42]

  • Prior to each draw, UEFA will publish the list of known travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All teams must inform UEFA if there are other existing restrictions other than those published. If a team fails to do so which as a consequence the match cannot take place, the team is considered responsible and to have forfeited the match.
  • If travel restrictions imposed by the home team's country prevent the away team from entering, the home team must propose an alternative venue that allows the match to take place without any restrictions. Otherwise they are considered to have forfeited the match.
  • If travel restrictions imposed by the away team's country prevent the away team from leaving or returning, the home team must propose an alternative venue that allows the match to take place without any restrictions. Otherwise UEFA will decide on a venue.
  • If after the draw, new restrictions imposed by either the home team's or away team's country prevent the match from taking place, the team of that country are considered to have forfeited the match.
  • If either team refuses to play the match, they are considered to have forfeited the match. If both teams refuse to play or are responsible for a match not taking place, both teams are disqualified.
  • If a team has players and/or officials tested positive for COVID-19 preventing them from playing the match before the deadline set by UEFA, they are considered to have forfeited the match.
  • In all cases, the two teams may agree to play the match at the away team's country or at a neutral country, subject to UEFA's approval. UEFA has the final authority to decide on a venue for any match, or to reschedule any match if necessary.
  • If, for any reason, the qualifying phase and play-offs cannot be completed before the deadline set by UEFA, UEFA will decide on the principles for determining the teams qualified for the group stage.

Four countries (Poland, Hungary, Greece and Cyprus) have provided neutral venue hubs which allow matches to be played at their stadiums without restrictions.[43]

Preliminary round[edit]

Note: All qualified teams below are listed with their 2020 UEFA club coefficients (CC),[44] updated after 2019–20 UEFA Champions/Europa League matches through 7 August 2020. Club coefficients which are not final and may increase are marked by ≥. For any team whose club coefficients are not final at the time of a draw, their club coefficients at that time (taking into account of all Champions/Europa League matches played up to that point) will be used (Regulations Article 13.03).[2]

The draw for the preliminary round will be held on 9 August 2020, 13:00 CEST. A total of 16 teams are expected to play in the preliminary round. Seeding of teams is based on their 2020 UEFA club coefficients.[44] The first team drawn in each tie will be the home team. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

Qualifying rounds[edit]

First qualifying round[edit]

The draw for the first qualifying round will be held on 10 August 2020, 13:00 CEST. A total of 94 teams are expected to play in the first qualifying round: 86 teams which enter in this round, and 8 winners of the preliminary round. Seeding of teams is based on their 2020 UEFA club coefficients from matches played through 8 August 2020.[44] For the winners of the preliminary round (whose identity is not known at the time of draw), the club coefficient of the highest-ranked remaining team in each tie is used. The first team drawn in each tie will be the home team. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

  1. ^ a b As their 2020 club coefficients are not final at the time of the first qualifying round draw, their club coefficients at that time (taking into account of all Champions/Europa League matches played up to 8 August 2020) will be used (Regulations Article 13.03).[2]

Second qualifying round[edit]

A total of 94 teams are expected to play in the second qualifying round, but the exact number may change depending on the results of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League and 2019–20 UEFA Europa League. They are divided into two paths:

Seeding of teams in the Main Path is based on their 2020 UEFA club coefficients.[44] The first team drawn in each tie will be the home team. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

Note: As the draw for the second qualifying round will be held after the matches of the first qualifying round are played, the seeding will be confirmed after the first qualifying round.

Champions path

Main path

  1. ^ a b Team will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

Third qualifying round[edit]

A total of 72 teams are expected to play in the third qualifying round, but the exact number may change depending on the results of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League and 2019–20 UEFA Europa League. They are divided into two paths:

Seeding of teams in the Main Path is based on their 2020 UEFA club coefficients.[44] For the winners of the second qualifying round (whose identity is not known at the time of draw), the club coefficient of the highest-ranked remaining team in each tie is used. The first team drawn in each tie will be the home team. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

Note: As the draw for the second qualifying round will be held after the matches of the first qualifying round are played, the seeding will be confirmed after the first qualifying round.

Champions Path

Main Path

  1. ^ a b Team will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

Play-off round[edit]

A total of 42 teams are expected to play in the third qualifying round, but the exact number may change depending on the results of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League and 2019–20 UEFA Europa League. They are divided into two paths:

Seeding of teams in the Main Path is based on their 2020 UEFA club coefficients.[44] For the winners of the third qualifying round (whose identity is not known at the time of draw), the club coefficient of the highest-ranked remaining team in each tie is used. The first team drawn in each tie will be the home team. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

Note: As the draw for the play-off round will be held after the matches of the second qualifying round are played, the seeding will be confirmed after the second qualifying round.

Champions Path

Main Path

  1. ^ a b Team will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

Group stage[edit]

A total of 48 teams play in the group stage: 17 teams which enter in this stage, the 21 winners of the play-off round (eight from Champions Path, thirteen from League Path), the six losers of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League play-off round (four from Champions Path, two from League Path), and the four League Path losers of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

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 2020 UEFA club coefficients.[44]

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 2020–21 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Antwerp, Leicester City and Sivasspor will make their debut appearances in the group stage.

  1. ^ Team will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League.
  2. ^ Team will qualify for the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League if they win the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "UEFA competitions to resume in August". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Regulations of the UEFA Europa League, 2020/21". UEFA. 15 July 2020.
  3. ^ "UEFA to ask FIFA/IFAB for new concussion protocol". UEFA.com. 29 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Country coefficients 2018/19". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Champions League and Europa League changes next season". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  6. ^ "UEFA postpones all June national team matches". UEFA.com. 1 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Clubs risk Champions League exclusion if seasons abandoned prematurely". The Guardian. 3 April 2020.
  8. ^ "UEFA meets National Associations for update on ongoing works". UEFA.com. 21 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Uefa says some leagues could be cancelled 'in special cases'". BBC Sport. 21 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Executive Committee approves guidelines on eligibility for participation to UEFA competitions". UEFA.com. 23 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Uefa keen on sporting merit qualification method for European competitions". BBC Sport. 23 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Uefa asks European Leagues for decision on domestic seasons by 25 May". BBC Sport. 28 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Guidelines on eligibility principles for 2020/21 UEFA Club Competitions – COVID 19" (PDF). UEFA.com. 23 April 2020.
  14. ^ "İcraiyyə Komitəsinin iclası keçirilib". Azərbaycan Futbol Federasiyaları Assosiasiyası. 18 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Communication à la suite de l'Assemblée Générale". Jupiler Pro League. 15 May 2020.
  16. ^ "ODRŽANA 51.SJEDNICA IO NS/FS BiH". Nogometni/Fudbalski savez Bosne i Hercegovine. 1 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Δ.Σ. ΚΟΠ: Απόφαση για διακοπή του Πρωταθλήματος Cyta και του Κυπέλλου Coca – Cola". Κυπριακή Ομοσπονδία Ποδοσφαίρου. 15 May 2020.
  18. ^ "PSG champions as season ended". Ligue 1. 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Domestic Football Season Terminated". Gibraltar Football Association. 1 May 2020.
  20. ^ "CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber renders Panathinaikos FC decision". UEFA.com. 24 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Aus für alle Nationalen Wettbewerbe". Liechtensteiner Fussballverband. 11 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Informations aux clubs de la FLF – crise du CORONA COVID-19 Décisions du Conseil d'Administration". Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Football. 28 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Malta Football Association Council – Statement". Malta Football Association. 25 May 2020.
  24. ^ "Saopštenje Izvršnog odbora - 07.07.2020". Fudbalski savez Crne Gore. 7 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Afwikkeling voetbalseizoen 2019/'20 een feit". Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond. 22 April 2020.
  26. ^ "Седница на Управен одбор на ФФМ". Фудбалска Федерација на Македонија. 26 June 2020.
  27. ^ "STATEMENT: 26 JUNE 2020". Northern Ireland Football League. 26 June 2020.
  28. ^ "Informare privind soluționarea cererilor de acordare a licenței UEFA". Federația Română de Fotbal. 5 June 2020.
  29. ^ "La prossima stagione inizierà il 1 luglio, Tre Fiori e Fiorentino campioni 2019-20". Federazione Sammarinese Giuoco Calcio. 23 June 2020.
  30. ^ "La UEFA non ammette la Folgore, in Europa League ci va La Fiorita". Federazione Sammarinese Giuoco Calcio. 29 July 2020.
  31. ^ "Ladbrokes Premiership and SPFL Season 2019/20 curtailed". Scottish Professional Football League. 18 May 2020.
  32. ^ "Acuerdo entre Athletic y Real Sociedad para jugar la final de Copa del Rey con público". marca.com. 4 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Aktuelle Informationen zum Helvetia Schweizer Cup". Schweizerischer Fussballverband. 3 July 2020.
  34. ^ "CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber issues order excluding Trabzonspor AŞ". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  35. ^ "Sports court to announce Trabzonspor verdict this month". aa.com.tr. 16 July 2020.
  36. ^ "CAS issues its decision in the appeal filed by Trabzonspor A.S. against UEFA" (PDF). tas-cas.org. 30 July 2020.
  37. ^ "FAW Board decide to curtail National Leagues season". Football Association of Wales. 19 May 2020.
  38. ^ "2020/21 UEFA Europa League match calendar". Union of European Football Associations. 24 September 2019.
  39. ^ "2020/21 UEFA Europa League: all you need to know". UEFA.com. 9 July 2020.
  40. ^ "Updated UEFA competitions calendar". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  41. ^ "Venues for Round of 16 matches confirmed". UEFA.com. 9 July 2020.
  42. ^ "Annex I – Special rules applicable to the qualifying phase and play-offs due to COVID-19" (PDF). UEFA. 4 August 2020.
  43. ^ "UEFA meets with General Secretaries from its 55 member associations". UEFA.com. 6 August 2020.
  44. ^ a b c d e f g "Club coefficients 2019/20". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations.

External links[edit]