UEFA Executive Committee: New competition structures finalised
The UEFA Executive Committee has decided that from the 1999/2000 season, matches in the UEFA Champions League will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. The decision came at its meeting on Thursday, 22 April, the first ever to be held in Tel-Aviv (Israel).
UEFA Cup scheduling offers some flexibility UEFA Cup matches will take place on Thursdays, although the Executive Committee decided that countries with three or more representatives in the competition could switch matches to Tuesday, provided that the games kick-off at 18.00 hours CET or earlier. No UEFA Cup matches will be played on Wednesday evenings, to prevent any conflict with coverage of UEFA Champions League matches on terrestrial television.
Coefficient calculation changes It was also decided that the procedure for the seeding of clubs in the two main UEFA club competitions should be changed from next season. Seeding is currently based on the coefficient of a club's respective national association. However, from the 1999/2000 season, the seeding will be based on the club's individual coefficient in UEFA competitions over the preceding five years, as well as half the national coefficient. A 50% weighting of the national coefficient has been retained, in order to ensure that clubs who represent a strong European league, but who have not qualified for UEFA competition for five seasons, would still enter the competitions at an advanced stage. In addition, for the qualifying phases of the two club competitions, it was decided that only half-points will be awarded for matches. Therefore, teams who win a match in this phase will receive one point for a win (as opposed to the present two), while a half-point will be awarded for a draw (as opposed to one point as at present).
Disciplinary matters altered Two changes were made in the disciplinary regulations for both club competitions. From next season, players who receive three yellow cards will be suspended for one match, rather than the two yellow-card suspension rule that currently applies. However, players who receive a fifth, seventh and ninth booking will automatically receive a one-match ban. No yellow cards issued throughout a competition will be deleted from a player's record. This is because all pending sanctions were annulled at the quarter-final stage of the 1998/99 season. From the 2000/01 season, if the winner of a national association's cup competition has qualified for the UEFA Champions League, the losing finalist will enter the UEFA Cup. However, if both teams involved in an association's domestic cup final have also qualified for the UEFA Champions League, then no representative will go through from the domestic cup to the UEFA Cup.
UEFA Cup final gets green light The UEFA Cup final between Parma AC and Olympique de Marseille will be staged in Moscow on Wednesday, 12 May 1999, as originally decided by the Executive Committee during its meeting in Lisbon last October. A letter had been received by UEFA from Olympique de Marseille expressing their concern at the current political situation in Europe. However, the Lord Mayor of Moscow reassured the UEFA Executive Committee that the city would be capable of staging the event without incident.
Balkan matches: Task Force given three-week mandate The ongoing situation in the Balkan region was also a topic for discussion, and the Executive Committee decided that the Task Force would be given three weeks to prepare a plan, in the event that matches cannot be played in the region because the security of teams and supporters is not guaranteed. It is UEFA's intention to find a solution, to ensure that the matches can be played. The FIFA World Club Championship, the inaugural competition of which will be held in January 2000, also came up for discussion, and UEFA has decided that Europe will be represented at the event, although there is no guarantee that the winners of the UEFA Champions League would be the European representative. It would instead be up to the club in question to decide whether or not it would participate.
Negotiations to be held regarding future of UEFA Intertoto Cup The UEFA Executive Committee also decided to continue with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, as it is viewed as another expression of UEFA's solidarity principle. On the one hand, the competition gives larger clubs who fail to qualify for the major club competitions through their domestic league and cup the opportunity to participate in the UEFA Cup. On the other hand, it gives smaller clubs the chance to gain the valuable experience which is unique to European competition. UEFA's summer club competition does not attract much media attention, as it takes place during the close-season break, and therefore does not generate large financial support. However, it serves the needs of the various pools companies throughout Europe. The Executive Committee believes that the spirit of the competition should remain intact, although UEFA will now approach the European Football Pool the regulatory body of the various pools companies to re-negotiate the financial terms of the competition, in order to secure a larger financial contribution.
England's UEFA Champions League allocation clarified
Following various enquiries, UEFA has clarified the situation regarding the allocation of places to English clubs in next seasons UEFA Champions League, as the number of participating clubs from England depends upon Manchester United FCs final position in the English Premier League.
Two scenarios If Manchester United FC win the UEFA Champions League final against FC Bayern München in Barcelona on 26 May 1999, and also finish in first, second or third place in the English Premier League, then three clubs from England would take part in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League, ie. the teams finishing in the first three positions in the Premier League would participate in the competition (the league champions and runners-up would enter the first group stage directly, and the third-placed team would play in the third qualifying round).
However, if Manchester United FC win the final, but were to finish below third place in the English Premier League, then four English clubs would participate in next seasons UEFA Champions League (Manchester United FC would qualify automatically as UEFA Champions League title-holders, and would be joined by the teams which finish in first, second and third place in the English Premier League. The latter three teams would enter the competition as stated above).
Rosenborg BK earn automatic place in 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League
The champions of Norway, Rosenborg BK, have gained a place on the starting-grid for the first group phase of the 32-team 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League, instead of having to enter the competition in the third qualifying round. The Norwegians have to thank Manchester United FC and FC Bayern München for the good news.
Finalists have already confirmed UEFA Champions League places for 1999/2000 Both of the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League finalists have already ensured places in the first group stage of next seasons UEFA Champions League campaign, which means that the place provisionally reserved for the title-holder can be released. This place is only used when the title-holder has not otherwise qualified for the following UEFA Champions League season. The champions of nine countries were already sure of a place in the first phase of the UEFA Champions League and the place not needed for the title-holders means that the champion of the tenth country on the national association ranking list will also gain direct access to the first group phase. This country is Norway. The runner-up in the Norwegian domestic league, Molde FK, will still enter at the second qualifying round stage.
Knock-on benefits The knock-on effect is that the champions of Switzerland will now enter the competition in the third qualifying round instead of the second and that the champions of Israel and Slovenia will now enter at the second qualifying round stage instead of the first.
Galatasaray SK and Besiktas JK played the Turkish Cup Final. As both teams have already qualified for the UEFA Champions League, the two losing semi-finalists played a play-off match to determine the Turkish Cup representative which MKE Ankaragücü won (beating Sakaryaspor 5-0). According to article 1, paragraph 6 of the UEFA Cup regulations, in that specific case "the UEFA Cup representative of the association in question that finishes the top domestic league championship in the highest position enters the competition at the stage initially reserved for the domestic cup-winners (see also Annexe Ia).
Therefore, as the winners of the play-off between the two losing semi-finalists, MKE Ankaragücü, have finished the league in 14th position, the 3rd of the league, Fenerbahçe SK qualifies directly for the first round of the UEFA Cup, while the Cup representative MKE Ankaragücü will have to enter the competition from the qualifying round.
UEFA Fair Play Ranking List (includes matches from 01/08/97 up to 31/12/98)
A special event will take place during the half-time interval at the Group 1 EURO 2000 qualifier between Switzerland and Italy in Lausanne on Wednesday 9 June. For the first time, two additional places in next seasons UEFA Cup will be up for grabs in a special Fair Play draw conducted by Giacinto Facchetti, capped 91 times by Italy and now a member of the UEFA Fair Play Committee, accompanied by the UEFA General Secretary, Gerhard Aigner. Several countries have expressed interest in televising the draw.
New system set for launch
At the end of every season, UEFA compiles a Fair Play ranking based on all
European competition matches played at club and national team levels. In the past, the top
three national associations have automatically been awarded an additional place in the
following seasons UEFA Cup. However, the draw in Lausanne represents the launch of a
new system whereby only the Fair Play champion is automatically awarded an extra place. As
Scotland finished at the top of the 1998/99 ranking, Kilmarnock FC are already sure of a
place in the qualifying round of next seasons UEFA Cup.
All national associations which averaged 8.00 points or more during the season will now go into the Lausanne draw with the other two places in the UEFA Cup qualifying round at stake. There are eight contenders: England, Norway, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden and Germany. The prize of the UEFA Cup place goes to the team which has won the Fair Play award in its domestic top division. If the winner has already qualified for the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Cup, the next team in the domestic Fair Play ranking can claim the reward.
Two from eight
So the clubs which stand to emerge as winners from the draw in
Lausanne are: Leicester City FC (runners-up to Manchester United FC in the English Fair
Play ranking), FK Bodĝ Glimt (winner of the Norwegian Fair Play award), Myllykosken
Pallo-47 RU alias MyPa (Fair Play champion in Finland), JK Tulevik Viljandi
(Fair Play champion in Estonia), Örebro SK (Fair Play champion in Sweden) and SC Freiburg
(runner-up to 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the German Bundesliga Fair Play ranking). The
contenders from the Ukraine and Denmark will be known once the domestic championship has
The six associations which are not lucky in the draw will be rewarded with a cash prize to be spent on Fair Play projects. A total amount of CHF 150,000 is available for distribution.
UEFA Fair Play Ranking List
(includes matches from 01/08/97 up to 31/12/98)
Pos. Country Total pts. Matches played
Total matches 1,856
- Scotland 8.223 71
- England 8.212 137
- Norway 8.189 97
- Ukraine 8.109 90
- Finland 8.093 74
- Estonia 8.084 41
- Denmark 8.058 89
- Sweden 8.021 85
- Germany 8.012 170
- Holland 7.994 118
- Ireland 7.989 55
- Wales 7.987 39
- Poland 7.953 86
- Latvia 7.952 47
- Russia 7.931 118
- Spain 7.930 185
- Belgium 7.921 99
- France 7.918 164
- Switzerland 7.906 88
- Slovakia 7.902 80
- Lithuania 7.891 53
- Croatia 7.882 78
- Czech Republic 7.882 84
- Belarus 7.837 48
- Turkey 7.834 93
- Hungary 7.830 82
- Portugal 7.829 103
- Armenia 7.827 37
- Yugoslavia 7.790 77
- Italy 7.786 183
- Romania 7.783 77
- Georgia 7.699 59
- Israel 7.686 77
- Greece 7.666 109
- Iceland 7.634 45
- Slovenia 7.573 55
- Austria 7.546 74
- Bosnia-Herzeg. 7.514 40
- Cyprus 7.483 51
- Bulgaria 7.328 48
- Faroe Islands 8.078 30
- Northern Ireland 7.993 33
- Luxembourg 7.800 30
- Andorra 7.766 17
- Liechtenstein 7.551 20
- FYR Macedonia 7.488 35
- San Marino 7.471 19
- Moldova 7.463 33
- Albania 7.449 26
- Azerbaijan 7.441 31
- Malta 7.283 32
Yugoslav clubs offered places in club competitions
Yugoslav clubs will participate in next season's UEFA club competitions, although Bosnia-Herzegovinan clubs, Polish champions TS Wisla Kraków and Yugoslavian club FK Obilic have been excluded for various reasons following the meeting of UEFA's Emergency Committee on Monday.
Wisla ban upheld
The committee - which comprised UEFA President Lennart Johansson, and three vice-presidents Egidius Braun, Senes Erzik and Per Omdal - examined the plea for clemency submitted by TS Wisla Kraków through the Polish Football Federation. The newly-crowned Polish champions were given a one-year suspension from UEFA club competitions after a knife-throwing incident during their 1998/99 UEFA Cup second-round match against Parma AC. However, the Emergency Committee decided to uphold the decisions of the UEFA Control & Disciplinary Body and UEFA Appeals Body on reasons of principle. Therefore, Widzew Lódz will represent Poland in the UEFA Champions League, while Legia Warszawa and KS Amica Wronki will play in the UEFA Cup.
Improving Yugoslavian situation
Although the Yugoslavian Football Association (FSJ) had declared that their national league was unable to fulfil its full season of matches, it was decided that, owing to the improved situation in Yugoslavia, the FSJ will still be represented by three clubs in next seasons club competitions. FK Partizan, who were declared by the FSJ as league champions, will enter the UEFA Champions League in the first qualifying phase. FK Obilic, who finished the Yugoslav league as runners-up, will not be offered a place in UEFAs club competitions for next season. The Belgrade club recently submitted documentation to UEFA stating that Zeljko Raznatovic was a club official and his wife, Svetlana, is President of the clubs Executive Board. However, the Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague has issued an indictment against Mr Raznatovic for various war violations and crimes against humanity, and the Emergency Committee decided, for moral and ethical reasons, to deny FK Obilic a place in the UEFA Cup. Only if credible and acceptable amendments are made to the Executive Board of the club would FK Obilic be granted a place in UEFAs club competitions in future seasons. FK Crvena Zvezda and FK Vojvodina will now represent Yugoslavia in the UEFA Cup. It should be noted that this decision regarding the participation of the three aforementioned clubs is subject to approval by the UEFA Task Force, as this body has been requested to monitor the situation closely, and to check whether the logistical conditions required to play the matches concerned in Yugoslavia are fulfilled. Their final decision will be made on 29 June 1999.
League change demanded for Bosnia
The Emergency Committee also decided not to admit any clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the 1999/2000 club competitions, as the qualifying tournament involving clubs from the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and "Herzeg-Bosnia" was recently cancelled. In future, UEFA will only admit clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina if a representative domestic championship involving clubs from all territories of the country is staged.
Ireland issue set for Thursday investigation
The circumstances regarding the postponement of the European Football Championship qualifying Group Eight match between the Republic of Ireland and Yugoslavia, which had been scheduled to take place in Dublin on Saturday, 5 June 1999, will be investigated by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body at its meeting on Thursday in Geneva.
Norway and Estonia gain UEFA Cup places from Fair Play draw
Norwegian club FK Bodo/Glimt and Estonia's FC Tulevik Viljandi will play in the UEFA Cup next season after their countries were selected in a UEFA Fair Play draw. FK Bodo/Glimt's participation means that Norway will have to change their representative in the upcoming UEFA Intertoto Cup.
Kilmarnock FC automatically qualify Scotland, as winners of the Fair Play competition, were automatically awarded an additional spot. That left two clubs to win places in a random draw involving representatives of eight countries. Norway and Estonia were the lucky ones while England, Ukraine, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany lost out. The draw was made at the half-time interval in a European championship group one qualifying match between Switzerland and Italy. The associations awarded the additional UEFA Cup places are entitled to enter the winners of their domestic top-division fair play competition.