As of the 2024-25 academic year, the one that inaugurates the reform of the Champions League to 36 teams, the maximum competition will also be played in January and on Thursdays. This was confirmed this Tuesday by UEFA, which incidentally gave England a slap on the wrist by insisting that local tournaments should avoid playing weekly matches that coincide with the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference. In this sense, it should be remembered that last season clashes in the Champions League round of 16 overlapped with Dortmund-Chelsea or Bruges-Benfica with an exciting FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Manchester City.
The body chaired by the Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin has been very explicit through a letter sent to the different federations. In this letter, UEFA reminds all its associations of “the fundamental principles” of the international calendar, which prevent such matches “unless exceptional circumstances so require.” And he adds that “scheduling league matches or national cups to directly coincide with others in UEFA competitions is not in the interest of fans and is detrimental to football.”
Regarding the new format, the Champions League will have four more teams and two more days in the first phase. A first week will take place in mid-September with matches on Thursday, eight games in the first phase, two days in January and an extra round of 32 tie. From there, the usual rounds until the final of the Champions League, scheduled for May 31, 2025. The Europa League will be held ten days before and the Conference on the 28th of that same month. .
No Spanish applications
On the other hand, it is worth highlighting the fact that among the cities and stadiums that opt for one of the upcoming continental finals that have not yet been assigned, there are no Spanish candidacies. Thus, the Puskas Arena in Budapest and San Siro in Milan are the only two competing to host the Champions League finals for the 26-227 and 27-28 seasons, as confirmed by UEFA on Tuesday through a statement. . For its part, Germany, with proposals from Gelsenkirchen, Munich or Stuttgart, the Ullevaal Stadion from Norway and Hampden Park from Scotland are the candidates for the women’s finals.
Regarding the Europa League, the second most important competition, the candidates to host the decisive match are again Germany (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Leipzig or Stuttgart), the National Arena in Bucharest, again the Hampden Park in Glasgow and the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.
Finally, the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig (Germany), the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem (Israel), the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo (Norway), the aforementioned Hampden Park, the Geneva stadium (Switzerland) and Istanbul will compete in the finals of the Conference League in those years 2027 and 2028.