UEFA opens door to five teams

UEFA will announce on Friday that the winners of the Europa League will qualify for the Champions League - from 2015 onwards.

Last Updated: 24/05/13 at 12:09 Post Comment   

The move is designed to give a boost to Europe's second-tier competition and could mean five English teams playing in the Champions League.

From 2015, the Europa League winners and the European champions will automatically qualify for the Champions League - but an English winner of either would not preclude the team placed fourth in the Premier League from qualifying for the top competition.

That will eradicate the possibility of a repeat of last season, when Tottenham Hotspur clinched fourth only to find themselves entering the Europa League by virtue of Chelsea's Champions League success.

UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said: "We must do something to improve the Europa League and one way is to have a sporting incentive for the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League.

"It will be decided at the Congress on Friday. The new cycle will begin in 2015."

With security high on the agenda ahead of the Champions League final, Infantino added: "There's maybe an additional tension. We are in close contact with the police authorities. They know much better than we do how to deal with these matters.

"UEFA are saddened by what happened but we are not concerned because England and London know how to organise big events and everything is taken care of in a perfect way."

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