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Qualification for the competition is based on UEFA coefficients , with better entrance rounds being offered to the more successful nations. In practice, each association has a standard number of three berths, except:.
Typically the teams qualifying via the league are those in the highest places not eligible for the UEFA Champions League ; however, the Belgian league awards one place via a playoff between First A and First B teams.
A team may qualify for European competitions through more than one route. The UEFA Europa League place is then granted to another club or vacated if the maximum limit of teams qualifying for European competitions is exceeded.
If a team qualifies for European competition through both winning a cup and league placing, the "spare" UEFA Europa League place will go to the highest placed league team which has not already qualified for European competition, depending on the rules of the national association, or vacated, if the described limit is reached.
The top three ranked associations may qualify for the fourth berth if both the Champions League and Europa League champions are from that association and do not qualify for European competition through their domestic performance.
In that case, the fourth-placed team in that association will join the Europa League instead of the Champions League, in addition to their other qualifying teams.
More recently, clubs that are knocked out of the qualifying round and the group stage of the Champions League can also join the UEFA Europa League, at different stages see below.
Formerly, the reigning champions qualified to defend their title, but since they qualify for the Champions League. Three nations had four places, five nations had three places, thirteen nations had two places, and eleven nations only one place.
Before , the entrance criteria of the last Fairs Cup was used. The competition was traditionally a pure knockout tournament.
All ties were two-legged , including the final. Starting with the —98 season , the final became a one-off match, but all other ties remained two-legged.
Before the —05 season , the tournament consisted of one qualifying round, followed by a series of knockout rounds. The sixteen non-qualifiers from the final qualifying round of the Champions League entered at the first round proper; later in the tournament, the survivors were joined by third-place finishers from the first group phase of the Champions League.
From the —05 season, the competition started with two knockout qualifying rounds held in July and August. Participants from associations ranked 18 and lower entered the first qualifying round with those from associations ranked 9—18 joining them in the second qualifying round.
Winners of the qualifying rounds then joined teams from the associations ranked 1—13 in the first round proper. In addition, non-qualifiers in the third qualifying round of the Champions League also joined the competition at this point along with the current title-holders unless they had qualified for the Champions League via their national league , for a total of 80 teams in the first round.
After the first knockout round, the 40 survivors entered a group phase, with the clubs being drawn into eight groups of five each. Unlike the Champions League group phase, the UEFA Cup group phase was played in a single round-robin format, with each club playing two home and two away games.
The top three teams in each of the eight groups qualified for the main knockout round along with the eight third-placed teams in the Champions League group phase.
From then on a series of two-legged knockout ties were played before a single-legged final, traditionally held on a Wednesday in May, exactly one week before the Champions League final.
The final is played in May, on the Wednesday ten days before the Champions League final. Qualification has changed significantly. Associations ranked 7—9 in the UEFA coefficients sent the cup winners and three two since —16 season other teams to the UEFA Europa League qualification, all other nations sent a Cup winners and two other teams, except Andorra and San Marino, who sent only a Cup winner and a runner-up, and Liechtenstein, who sent only a Cup winner.
Usually, the other teams will be the next highest ranked clubs in each domestic league after those qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, however France and England will continue to use one spot for their League Cup winner.
With the abolition of the Intertoto Cup , all participants of Europa League are qualified through domestic routes.
Generally, the higher an association is ranked in the UEFA coefficients, the later its clubs start in the qualification.
Apart from the teams mentioned, an additional 15 teams eliminated in the Champions League third qualifying round are transferred to the Europa League play-off round, and the 10 losing teams in the Champions League play-off round are transferred to the Europa League group stage.
The 12 winners and the 12 runners-up in the group stage advanced to the knock out round, together with eight third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage.
In , the distribution was changed to broaden the appeal of the competition, namely through giving the Europa League champions a Champions League qualification berth, which has been used since.
More teams automatically qualify for the group stage. If cup winners had already qualified for European competition through league performance, their place through the league is vacated and goes to the best ranked teams not qualified for European competition, This means that the cup runners-up is no longer qualified through the cup route.
Beginning with the —19 tournament , all domestic champions eliminated in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League will transfer to the Europa League, rather than just teams that are eliminated in the third-qualifying and play-off rounds.
Europa League qualifying will also provide a separate champions route for these teams, allowing more opportunities for domestic league champions to compete against each other.
The announcement of the Europa League 2 , a tertiary competition which would serve to split off the lower-ranked teams in the Europa League to give them a greater chance to compete, included a document from UEFA listing their intentions for qualification to the Europa League from onwards.
Similar to the UEFA Champions League, the prize money received by the clubs is divided into fixed payments based on participation and results, and variable amounts that depend of the value of their TV market.
Reaching the knock-out stage triggers additional bonuses: Molten is a secondary sponsor and supplies the official match ball. Since the inception of Europa League brand, the tournament has used its own hoardings in that year it debuted in the round of 32 like UEFA Champions League.
LED hoardings made their debut in the —13 final and will appear in —16 season from the round of 16; in the same season, from the group stage, teams are not allowed to show their sponsors.
It will appear in the —19 season for selected matches in the group stages and the round of Individual clubs may wear jerseys with advertising, even if such sponsors conflict with those of the Europa League.
However, only one sponsorship is permitted per jersey unless it is a non profit sponsor plus that of the manufacturer , and if clubs play a match in a country where the relevant sponsorship category is restricted such as alcohol in the case of France , then they must remove that logo from their jerseys.
The first final was played on 3 May in Wolverhampton and 17 May in London. The first leg between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur was won 2—1 by the away side.
The one-match finals in pre-selected venues were introduced in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.