Scotland will get two UEFA Women's Champions League berths for the first time in 2016/17 after the expanded list of 12 nations receiving more than one place was confirmed.
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Scotland is to have two UEFA Women's Champions League berths for the first time in 2016/17 after the expanded list of 12 countries receiving more than one place was confirmed.
From next season, 12 leagues will enter two clubs each into the UEFA Women's Champions League, up from eight since the present system was introduced in 2009/10, and as decided by the UEFA Women's Champions League association coefficient rankings. These nations are Germany, France, Sweden, England, Russia, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Scotland and Norway.
Of those, only Scotland have never before had two slots in the competition, their augmented ranking owing to Glasgow City's recent record including a run to the 2014/15 quarter-finals. Glasgow, in fact, have already secured a top-two finish in the 2015 Scottish Women's Premier League, with second-placed Hibernian well-positioned to join them for a European return.
The champions of the 12 leading nations will be assured of places in the round of 32, as will the runners-up of the best-ranked of those countries, the exact number depending on the number of association entries for 2016/17. The 2015/16 UEFA Women's Champions League winners will also get a bye to the knockout phase, even if they do not qualify through their domestic competition.
The format of the competition is otherwise unchanged, with a qualifying round played as mini-tournaments leading to a two-legged knockout phase beginning with the round of 32. The 2016/17 UEFA Women's Champions League final will be held in Cardiff on Thursday 1 June, two days before the men's decider in the Welsh capital.