Dublin, December 3: UEFA has announced details of a new European club competition to be launched in 2021.
The creation of the tournament, which has the working title of UEL2, was approved following a meeting in Dublin, with the governing body saying its inception will ensure at least 34 countries will be represented in the group stages of UEFA club competitions.
Running alongside the Champions League and Europa League, the competition will feature 32 teams in the group stage, with games to be played on Thursdays.
Before the last 16 an additional knockout round will be played between the second-place finishers in the group stage and the sides who finish third in their respective Europa League groups.
The winner of the competition will qualify for the subsequent season's Europa League.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "The new UEFA club competition makes UEFA's club competitions more inclusive than ever before. There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages.
"This competition was borne out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association.
"There was a widespread demand by all clubs to increase their chances of participating more regularly in European competition.
"This has been achieved with a strategic approach, and in accordance with UEFA's objective of having both more quality and more inclusivity in our club competitions."