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UEFA confirms plans revamp to Champions League seedings

The champions of the seven highest-ranked European leagues will join the previous winner as the top eight seeds.

The Champions League seedings are getting a makeover.
The Champions League seedings are getting a makeover.

UEFA HAS CONFIRMED they have put forward a revamp of the seedings system for the Champions League group stage that will see only defending league winners and the tournament holders in the top pool.

The current system sees clubs drawn in specific pots based on their co-efficient ratings, which are derived from past performances in the tournament by specific clubs themselves and other teams from their own country.

UEFA confirmed last month that a proposed new seeding set-up was being considered, as the old format began to draw increasing criticism due to its failure to recognise the achievements of certain clubs in their domestic leagues.

European football’s governing body has now confirmed the new seedings system, which could come into effect for next season, is to be put forward to the Uefa Executive Committee to be ratified.

“The club competitions committee will recommend to the UEFA Executive Committee a change to the seeding structure for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, with the UEFA Champions League title-holder to be top seeded and the domestic champions of the seven top-ranked countries in the UEFA country co-efficient to be the other seven Pot 1 seeds,” UEFA said in a statement.

“This proposal will be put forward to the UEFA Executive Committee at one of its upcoming meetings.”

According to UEFA’s current co-efficient tables, such a format would see the champions of Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and Russia join the winners of the 2014-15 Champions League in Pot 1 for the group-stage draw.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino believes the plan is a clear eagerness from clubs to see a change to a system which has often seen national champions ranked lower than clubs from the same country in the draw.

“It will be ratified later on by the executive committee but it’s a clear recommendation of the club competition’s committee that the seeding system changes in this respect as from next season,” Infantino was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“This will give another dynamic with the draw and in the way the groups are composed. It will be approved with the regulations at the start of next year.

“The club committee felt that there should be somehow an additional award given to the winners of the different national competitions.

“It was maybe a bit difficult to understand especially in the last few years where the winner of the national league was not necessarily the best-ranked club.

“It happened in France and it happened in England, people had difficulties in understanding how the champion of a country is in a lower pot than the third ranked in that country.

“Football is about winning, it’s about competition it’s about sporting merit. I think it’s kind of a natural thing to give to those who have won a competition a special treatment like this.”

- Joe Wright – Goal.com

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