UEFA announce Champions League rule changes

Mar 28, 2018, 00:52
UEFA announce Champions League rule changes

Uefa have published a list of rule changes for the Champions League and Europa League in 2018-19, which involve a change in kick-off times, new regulations on player registration and the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra time.

The European global soccer body said in a statement that it would also allow teams to use a fourth substitute in extra-time during Champions League and Europa League knockout ties.

Previously, UEFA had announced changes to the qualification for next season's Champions League and Europa League with more teams automatically qualifying for the group stages. Teams will also be allowed to expand their bench to 12 players up from the current seven for tournament finals.

UEFA will also drop the "cup-tied" rule in another big change.

The Champions League and Europa League now run in three-year cycles in which no rules are changed and the format remains the same - but next season brings the start of a new cycle.

Champions League group stage matches are to be staggered, so that two fixtures on each day of games kick off at 5:55pm British time.

These changes will cover from the group stage until the round of 16, with all games from the quarter-finals onwards kicking off at 8pm.

The news will be welcomed by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was critical of the fact record-signing Aubameyang can not play in the Europa League knockouts because former club Borussia Dortmund dropped into the competition after finishing third in their Champions League group.

The days of cup-tying in European club football are over.

A club may register three new eligible players without any restrictions after the group stage.

The same applies to the Europa League.

However, the Gunners are able to pick Henrikh Mkhitaryan because he played in the Champions League, not the Europa League, for Manchester United.

That means, as of next season, Sevilla will be the only club entitled to wear said badges having won the Europa League in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016 - thus fulfilling both criteria.