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UEFA Conference League: Date, teams, venues, history & more

The UEFA Conference League is the most recently introduced of the major tournaments for football clubs across Europe.

Considered as the third-tier of major European tournaments, the Conference League still offers clubs a viable chance to lift a European trophy.

From the 2024/25 competition, the tournament has been renamed to UEFA Conference League from the UEFA Europa Conference League.

UEFA Conference League dates

The first round of qualifying for the 2024/25 UEFA Conference League will begin with the first legs on 11th July, with the return fixtures taking place a week later.

The League stage of the competition begins with matchday one on 3rd October and concludes with matchday six on 19th December.

The knockout phase runs from February to May, with the final being staged at Wroclaw Stadium, Poland on 28th May, 2025.

UEFA Conference League teams

There are currently no confirmed teams for the League phase of UEFA Conference League, with the first round of qualifying beginning in July.

After three qualifying rounds, the competition will then move into the play-off round where a total of 48 teams will compete - 10 in the Champions Path and 38 in the Main Path.

Thirty-six teams will go through to the League phase - the five winners from the play-off round (Champions Path), 19 winners from the play-off round (Main Path) and 12 teams eliminated from Europa League play-off round.

UEFA Conference League how to watch

TNT Sports will provide exclusive coverage of the 2024/25 UEFA Conference League.

UEFA Conference League format

The 2024/25 UEFA Conference League adopts a new format from previous iterations and will use a 36-team league stage, while teams will not be able to transfer from the Europa League to the Conference League knockout stage.

The first qualifying round will see 50 teams battle it out for a place in the second qualifying round, which will then see 100 teams - 14 in the Champions Path and 86 in the Match Path - vie for a spot in the third qualifying stage.

Teams from the Main Path include league non-champions and domestic cup winners, while sides from the Champions Path are the league champions which were eliminated from the Champions Path qualifying phase of the Champions League and the Champions Path qualifying phase of the Europa League.

The play-off round will involve the remaining 48 sides - 10 from the Champions Path and 38 from the Main Path - with 36 outfits then progressing to the League phase.

The League phase will see each side faces six different teams (three at home, three away), with the top eight overall advancing to the last-16 stage.

Sides finishing from ninth to 24th will contest the knockout round play-offs, with the winners of each tie going through to the last 16.

From this point on, the competition is a straight knockout, with quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final to come.

UEFA Conference League history

After 22 years with just two UEFA competitions, Europe's governing body decided to introduce the Europa Conference League in 2021.

Following the abolishment of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1999, the Champions League and Europa League had been a team's only means of continental competition.

But, deciding clubs needed another route into Europe, UEFA launched the Europa Conference League, which has proven to be a hit amongst teams that would otherwise struggle to win European silverware.

Previously known as Europa League 2 when plans were unveiled for a third club competition in 2018, the Europa Conference League was given its official name in 2019.

The inaugural Europa Conference League took place in the 2021/22 season as part of a new three-year cycle of UEFA club competitions.

Roma won the inaugural competition, their first European trophy of any kind, and 2023 saw West Ham United lift the silverware after overcoming Fiorentina in the competition's showpiece before the latter were then beaten in the 2024 final by Olympiakos.

The name of the competition has been changed from the UEFA Europa Conference League to the UEFA Conference League from the 2024/25 edition.

UEFA Conference League previous winners

Roma were the first winners of the Conference League. Jose Mourinho's men overcame Feyenoord 1-0 in the first final with Nicolo Zaniolo scoring the only goal of the game at the Arena Kombetare, Tirana, Albania.

David Moyes then led West Ham to the title in 2023 courtesy of a 2-1 success over Fiorentina in Prague. Jarrod Bowen proved the matchwinner with a last minute winner.

Fiorentina suffered more final heartache in 2024 against Olympiakos, when Ayoub El Kaabi scored a 116th-minute winner to hand the Greek side the trophy.

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