The official website for European football

Competition format

The UEFA Europa League comprises three qualifying rounds, a play-off round, a group stage and five knockout rounds.
Competition format
The UEFA Europa League logo ©

Competition format

The UEFA Europa League comprises three qualifying rounds, a play-off round, a group stage and five knockout rounds.

In matches in the three qualifying rounds and the play-offs, clubs play two matches against each other on a home-and-away basis. The club which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.

Group stage
The play-off round winners join the ten losers from the UEFA Champions League play-offs and automatic entrants. The clubs are split into 12 groups of four teams, playing home and away against each of their pool opponents between September and December. Two sides from each section advance, proceeding into the round of 32 alongside eight third-placed teams from the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Knockout phase
From the last 32 until the semi-finals, clubs play two games against each other on a home-and-away basis with the same rules as the qualifying and play-off rounds applied. In the last 32, group winners and the four third-placed sides from the UEFA Champions League with the best records are seeded, guaranteeing they will play the second leg at home. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn together. From the round of 16 onwards the draw is free.

The final is decided by a single match, which this season will be played at the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday 15 May.

Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.

Draw schedule
Tine, dateLocationDraw details
13.30CET, 25/06/12NyonFirst and second qualifying rounds
13.30CET, 20/07/12NyonThird qualifying round
13.30CET, 10/08/12NyonPlay-offs
13.00CET, 31/08/12MonacoGroup stage
14.00CET, 20/12/12NyonRound of 32, round of 16
13.00CET, 15/03/13NyonQuarter-finals
tbc, 12/04/13NyonSemi-finals
Match calendar
First qualifying round, 1st leg05/07/12
First qualifying round, 2nd leg12/07/12
Second qualifying round, 1st leg19/07/12
Second qualifying round, 2nd leg26/07/12
Third qualifying round, 1st leg02/08/12
Third qualifying round, 2nd leg09/08/12
Play-off, 1st leg23/08/12
Play-off, 2nd leg30/08/12
Group stage, Matchday 120/09/12
Group stage, Matchday 204/10/12
Group stage, Matchday 325/10/12
Group stage, Matchday 408/11/12
Group stage, Matchday 522/11/12
Group stage, Matchday 606/12/12
Round of 32, 1st leg14/02/13
Round of 32, 2nd leg21/02/13
Round of 16, 1st leg07/03/13
Round of 16 2nd leg14/03/13
Quarter-finals, 1st leg04/04/13
Quarter-finals, 2nd leg11/04/13
Semi-finals, 1st leg25/04/13
Semi-finals, 2nd leg02/05/13
Final (Amsterdam ArenA)15/05/13

  • © 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE word, the UEFA Europa League logo and the UEFA Europa League trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.