The UEFA Executive Committee has confirmed the venues for the 2016 European club finals, the UEFA Youth League as a permanent competition with a new format and procedures for concussions.
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045 - UEFA Youth League to include domestic youth champions from 2015/16 season
The UEFA Executive Committee today met at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland and took a range of decisions, including the location of the European club competition finals in 2016, the confirmation of the UEFA Youth League as a permanent competition with a new format and new procedures to deal with concussions.
The venues for the 2016 club competition finals were appointed, with the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan hosting the UEFA Champions League final on 28 May 2016, the St. Jakob-Park in Basel staging the UEFA Europa League final on 18 May 2016 and the Lerkendal Stadion in Trondheim the venue for the UEFA Super Cup on 09 August 2016.
The distribution mechanism of the prize money unconditionally withheld due to non-compliance with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules was ratified. All amounts will be entirely redistributed to other clubs participating in the UEFA club competitions, since these clubs have been impacted by the non-compliance with FFP rules.
Of the amounts withheld, 80% are distributed to the clubs that played in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League in equal shares, with the exception of those clubs that have signed settlement agreements. The remaining 20% of the amounts withheld are distributed to the clubs eliminated during the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League in equal shares, with the exception of those clubs that have signed settlement agreements.
Since no definitive decision on amounts withheld provisionally is expected to be taken by the Club Financial Control Body before the end of 2014, the above-mentioned criteria can be applied to the 2013/14 season as follows:
• Amount of money withheld: Approximately €24m
• 80% for UEFA Champions League/UEFA Europa League group stage clubs (73) = Approximately €260k per club
• 20% for UEFA Champions League/UEFA Europa League qualifying phase clubs (155) = Approximately €30k per club
This distribution mechanism has been previously discussed and agreed with the European Club Association (ECA).
The UEFA Executive Committee reiterated its full opposition to third-party ownership of players and once again asked for FIFA to implement the necessary measures to prohibit it. It confirmed that it would look at prohibiting third-party ownership in its competitions, should FIFA not act on this matter.
The UEFA Executive Committee also confirmed that the UEFA Youth League will stay as a permanent competition with a different format as from the 2015/16 season. The number of teams competing will be increased from 32 to 64. The UEFA Champions League path is retained with the same format and system that is currently in place. A parallel path for the domestic youth champions is added. The domestic youth champions of the 32 best-ranked associations in the UEFA club coefficient ranking are given access to this path. These teams will play two home-and-away qualifying rounds. The eight winners of these ties will then contest a single leg play-off against the eight runners-up of the UEFA Champions League path, with the winners of these matches qualifying for the round of 16 together with the eight group winners of the UEFA Champions League path. A standard single leg knockout competition will then follow, with the last four qualified teams playing a final four tournament.
The UEFA Executive Committee approved a new procedure to deal with concussions that will be implemented with immediate effect in UEFA competitions. In the event of a suspected concussion, the referee will stop the game for up to three minutes, to allow the injured player to be assessed by the team doctor. A player will only be allowed to continue playing on specific confirmation by the team doctor to the referee of the player's fitness to do so.
The introduction of an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) – an innovative, reliable and legally tested anti-doping tool which will help to increase the efficiency of UEFA's anti-doping programme – was ratified for implementation in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League season. Doping that may not be detected by direct analysis could be shown in changes in the player's biological profile.
The UEFA Executive Committee received a report following the meeting between the Russian Football Union (RFS) and Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU), which took place prior to the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Nyon, and in which the situation of Crimean clubs was discussed. It was a constructive and ordered discussion with goodwill shown by both sides. As a result, a working group will be established and will report in approximately one month. There is optimism that a solution can be found which allows football to be played in Crimea, in a manner consistent with the statutes of both UEFA and FIFA.
The UEFA Executive Committee also decided to lift the ban on UEFA competition matches being played in Israel, updating the decision made by the UEFA Emergency Panel on 16 July 2014 due to the prevailing security situation at the time.
The distribution of solidarity contributions to clubs for players participating in the European Qualifiers and the UEFA EURO 2016 final tournament was also decided, as per the system operating used for UEFA EURO 2012.
Other decisions taken by the UEFA Executive Committee included:
• Ratification of a code of conduct on integrity (see media release 044); and
• Approval of the 2015-17 UEFA European Women's Championship regulations.
The UEFA Executive Committee will move to Geneva tomorrow, where it will select the 13 host cities for UEFA EURO 2020. The next two-day meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee will take place in Nyon on 04/05 December 2014.