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2021–22 UEFA Europa League
Tournament details
DatesQualifying:
5–26 August 2021
Competition proper:
16 September 2021 – 18 May 2022
TeamsCompetition proper: 32+8
Total: 20+37
2022–23 →

The 2021–22 UEFA Europa League will be the 51st season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 13th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.

The final will be played at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville, Spain. It was originally scheduled to be played at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest, Hungary. However, due to the postponement and relocation of the 2020 final, the final hosts were shifted back a year, with Budapest instead hosting the 2023 final. The winners of the 2021–22 UEFA Europa League will automatically qualify for the 2022–23 UEFA Champions League group stage, and also earn the right to play against the winners of the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League in the 2022 UEFA Super Cup.

This season will be the first since 1998–99 (the last season when the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was played) where three major European club competitions (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and the newly-created UEFA Europa Conference League) organised by UEFA are played, and the first where the Europa League (then the UEFA Cup) would be the secondary competition of the three. As a result, major changes to the format of the Europa League are made. The number of teams in the group stage are reduced from 48 to 32 teams, and the number of teams participating in qualifying are also reduced significantly. The first round of the knockout phase also now involves only the group stage runners-up and the Champions League third-placed teams, with the group winners directly advancing to the round of 16.

Association team allocation

A total of 57 teams from between 30 and 35 of the 55 UEFA member associations are expected to participate in the 2021–22 UEFA Europa League. Among them, 15 associations have teams directly qualifying for the Europa League, while for the other 40 associations that do not have any teams directly qualifying, between 15 and 20 of them may have teams playing after being transferred from the Champions League (the only member association which cannot have a participant is Liechtenstein, which does not organise a domestic league, and can only enter their cup winner into the Europa Conference League given their association ranking). The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:

  • Associations 1–5 each have two teams qualify.
  • Associations 6–15 each have one team qualify.
  • Moreover, 37 teams eliminated from the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League are transferred to the Europa League.
  • In future seasons, the title holders of the UEFA Europa Conference League will be given an additional entry in the Europa League. However, this berth is not used for this season as the first edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League has not been held.

Association ranking

For the 2021–22 UEFA Europa League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2020 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2015–16 to 2019–20.

Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Europa League, as noted below:

  • (UCL) – Additional teams transferred from the UEFA Champions League
Association ranking for 2021–22 UEFA Europa League
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
1  Spain 102.283 2
2  England 90.462
3  Germany 74.784
4  Italy 70.653
5  France 59.248
6  Portugal 49.449 1
7  Russia 45.549
8  Belgium 37.900
9  Ukraine 36.100
10  Netherlands 35.750
11  Turkey 33.600
12  Austria 32.925
13  Denmark 29.250
14  Scotland 27.875
15  Czech Republic 27.300
16  Cyprus 26.750 0
17  Switzerland 26.400
18  Greece 26.300
19  Serbia 25.500
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
20  Croatia 24.875 0
21  Sweden 22.750
22  Norway 21.750
23  Israel 19.625
24  Kazakhstan 19.250
25  Belarus 18.875
26  Azerbaijan 18.750
27  Bulgaria 17.375
28  Romania 16.700
29  Poland 16.625
30  Slovakia 15.875
31  Liechtenstein 13.500
32  Slovenia 13.000
33  Hungary 12.875
34  Luxembourg 8.000
35  Lithuania 7.875
36  Armenia 7.625
37  Latvia 7.625
Rank Association Coeff. Teams Notes
38  Albania 7.375 0
39  North Macedonia 7.375
40  Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.875
41  Moldova 6.750
42  Republic of Ireland 6.700
43  Finland 6.500
44  Georgia 5.750
45  Malta 5.750
46  Iceland 5.375
47  Wales 5.000
48  Northern Ireland 4.875
49  Gibraltar 4.750
50  Montenegro 4.375
51  Estonia 4.375
52  Kosovo 4.000
53  Faroe Islands 3.750
54  Andorra 2.831
55  San Marino 0.666

Distribution

The following is the access list for this season.

Access list for 2021–22 UEFA Europa League
Teams entering in this round Teams advancing from previous round Teams transferred from Champions League
Third qualifying round
(14 teams)
Champions Path
(10 teams)
  • 10 teams eliminated from Champions League second qualifying round (Champions Path)
Main Path
(4 teams)
  • 1 domestic cup winner from association 15
  • 3 teams eliminated from Champions League second qualifying round (League Path)
Play-off round
(20 teams)
  • 7 domestic cup winners from associations 8–14
  • 5 winners from the third qualifying round (Champions Path)
  • 2 winners from the third qualifying round (Main Path)
  • 6 teams eliminated from Champions League third qualifying round (Champions Path)
Group stage
(32 teams)
  • 7 domestic cup winners from associations 1–7
  • 1 domestic league fourth-placed team from association 5
  • 4 domestic league fifth-placed teams from associations 1–4
  • 10 winners from the play-off round
  • 4 teams eliminated from Champions League play-off round (Champions Path)
  • 2 teams eliminated from Champions League play-off round (League Path)
  • 4 teams eliminated from Champions League third qualifying round (League Path)
Preliminary knockout round
(16 teams)
  • 8 group runners-up from the group stage
  • 8 group third-placed teams from Champions League group stage
Knockout phase
(16 teams)
  • 8 group winners from the group stage
  • 8 winners from the preliminary knockout round

In the default access list, the title holders of the UEFA Europa Conference League qualify for the group stage. However, since this berth is not used for this season, the following changes to the access list are made:

  • The cup winners of association 7 (Russia) enter the group stage instead of the play-off round.
  • The cup winners of associations 13 (Denmark) and 14 (Scotland) enter the play-off round instead of the third qualifying round.

Changes will be made to the access list above, if any of the teams that qualify for the Europa League via their domestic competitions also qualify for the Champions League as the Champions League or Europa League title holders, or if there are fewer teams transferred from the Champions League due to changes in the Champions League access list. In any case where a spot in the Europa League is vacated, teams of the highest-ranked associations in earlier rounds will be promoted accordingly.

Redistribution rules

A Europa League place is vacated when a team qualifies for both the Champions League and the Europa League, or qualifies for the Europa League by more than one method. When a place is vacated, it is redistributed within the national association by the following rules:

  • When the domestic cup winners (considered as the "highest-placed" qualifier within the national association with the latest starting round) also qualify for the Champions League, their Europa League place is vacated. As a result, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place".
  • When the domestic cup winners also qualify for the Europa League through league position, their place through the league position is vacated. As a result, the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions qualify for the Europa League, with the Europa League qualifiers which finish above them in the league moved up one "place" if possible.
  • For associations where a Europa League place is reserved for either the League Cup or end-of-season European competition play-offs winners, they always qualify for the Europa League as the "lowest-placed" qualifier. If the League Cup winners have already qualified for European competitions through other methods, this reserved Europa League place is taken by the highest-placed team in the league which have not yet qualified for European competitions.

Teams

The labels in the parentheses show how each team qualified for the place of its starting round:

  • CW: Cup winners
  • 4th, 5th, etc.: League position of the previous season
  • UCL: Transferred from the Champions League
    • GS: Third-placed teams from the group stage
    • CH/LP PO: Losers from the play-off round (Champions/League Path)
    • CH/LP Q3: Losers from the third qualifying round (Champions/League Path)
    • CH/LP Q2: Losers from the second qualifying round (Champions/League Path)

The third qualifying round is divided into Champions Path (CH) and Main Path (MP).

Qualified teams for 2021–22 UEFA Europa League
Entry round Teams
Knockout round play-offs ? (UCL GS) ? (UCL GS) ? (UCL GS) ? (UCL GS)
? (UCL GS) ? (UCL GS) ? (UCL GS) ? (UCL GS)
Group stage Spain (CW) Spain (5th) England (CW) England (5th)
Germany (CW) Germany (5th) Italy (CW) Italy (5th)
France (CW) France (4th) Portugal (CW) Russia (CW)
? (UCL CH PO) ? (UCL CH PO) ? (UCL CH PO) ? (UCL CH PO)
? (UCL LP PO) ? (UCL LP PO) ? (UCL LP Q3) ? (UCL LP Q3)
? (UCL LP Q3) ? (UCL LP Q3)
Play-off round Belgium (CW) Ukraine (CW) Netherlands (CW) Turkey (CW)
Austria (CW) Denmark (CW) Scotland (CW) ? (UCL CH Q3)
? (UCL CH Q3) ? (UCL CH Q3) ? (UCL CH Q3) ? (UCL CH Q3)
? (UCL CH Q3)
Third qualifying round CH ? (UCL CH Q2) ? (UCL CH Q2) ? (UCL CH Q2) ? (UCL CH Q2)
? (UCL CH Q2) ? (UCL CH Q2) ? (UCL CH Q2) ? (UCL CH Q2)
? (UCL CH Q2) ? (UCL CH Q2)
MP Czech Republic (CW) ? (UCL LP Q2) ? (UCL LP Q2) ? (UCL LP Q2)

Schedule

The schedule of the competition is as follows. Matches are scheduled for Thursdays apart from the final, which takes place on a Wednesday, though exceptionally can take place on Tuesdays or Wednesdays due to scheduling conflicts. Scheduled kick-off times starting from the group stage are 18:45 (instead of 18:55 previously) and 21:00 CEST/CET, though exceptionally can take place at 16:30 due to geographical reasons.

All draws start at 13:00 (groups stage and round of 16 draws) or 13:30 (all other draws) CEST/CET, and are held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, except the group stage draw, at a venue to be confirmed.

Schedule for 2021–22 UEFA Europa League
Phase Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Qualifying Third qualifying round 19 July 2021 5 August 2021 12 August 2021
Play-offs 2 August 2021 19 August 2021 26 August 2021
Group stage Matchday 1 27 August 2021 16 September 2021
Matchday 2 30 September 2021
Matchday 3 21 October 2021
Matchday 4 4 November 2021
Matchday 5 25 November 2021
Matchday 6 9 December 2021
Knockout phase Knockout round play-offs 13 December 2021 17 February 2022 24 February 2022
Round of 16 25 February 2022 10 March 2022 17 March 2022
Quarter-finals 18 March 2022 7 April 2022 14 April 2022
Semi-finals 28 April 2022 5 May 2022
Final 18 May 2022 at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville

See also

External links

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UEFA competitions
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International competitions
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