Format & Regulations

Action from the 2015 final in Nyon
Action from the 2015 final in Nyon ©Getty Images

The UEFA Youth League involves the Under-19 teams of the 32 UEFA Champions League entrants, joined by the youth domestic champions of 32 nations.

The competition is open to the following 64 teams:
a) The 32 youth teams of the clubs which qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League – UEFA Champions League path.

b) The domestic youth champions of the 32 best-ranked associations in the UEFA association coefficient rankings (the same rankings used to decide access to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League) – Domestic Champions path.

• If a team is eligible for both, they enter the UEFA Champions League path.

• If there is a vacancy in the UEFA Champions League path, replacement criteria will be defined by the UEFA administration.

• A vacancy in the domestic champions path (including if a club is instead eligible for the UEFA Champions League path) is, in principle, filled by the domestic youth champion of the next best-ranked association.

UEFA Champions League path
The 32 clubs entering via the UEFA Champions League will compete in groups with the identical make-up and fixture list as for the senior competition. The eight group winners will progress straight to the round of 16 while the eight runners-up will go into the play-offs.

Domestic Champions path
The 32 teams will compete in two knockout rounds of home-and-away ties to produce eight survivors, who will progress to the play-offs.

The eight Domestic Champions path survivors will be drawn at home to the eight UEFA Champions League path runners-up in one-off ties to decide the eight remaining round of 16 berths.

Knockout phase and final
The knockout phase, starting with the round of 16, will consist of single-leg ties. This means a maximum of ten matches for any team, with the semi-finals and final played in the form of a final tournament at the Colovray stadium, Nyon, Switzerland. There will be no third-place play-off game.

More information can be seen in the competition's official regulations.