The UEFA Europa League is a national league competition organisationally supervised by the Union of European Football Associations. This competition is divided into three main divisions: the group stage, the knockout phase and the semi-finals. It is the biggest domestic soccer competition in Europe and is played every autumn. The competition is largely dependent upon the countries’ qualification to the European Union. Although qualification for this competition requires a nation to pass four screenings, qualifying from one of the groups is worth enough to enable a team to reach the quarter finals.
As it is the final competition of the year, qualification for this tournament is extremely tough. Only six nations from all across Europe are available for the competition. Amongst these six nations only holders of the EUROTO-FACO title are allowed to be part of the tournament. The holders of the title are the nations that have passed the following four qualification rounds: the knockout phase, group stage, semi-finals and the championship stage. So, any team that wishes to qualify for the EUROPA-LEAGUE must first win its group stage and then win its subsequent matches by score points or more.
Although all football teams qualify directly for the UEFA Champions League, teams are also permitted to represent their countries at the CONMEBOL and FTA tournaments. As a general rule, all eligible teams are allowed to participate in these competitions provided they have not yet qualified for the EUROPA-LEAGUE. However, there are certain CONMEBOL and FCC clubs that allow their respective players to be eligible for the EUROTO-FACO and therefore allow them to be eligible to represent their countries in the competition.
Each participating club is required to submit its registered list of players so that relevant matches may be arranged. All matches are played on special scheduling dates which are fixed by each association. The ranking of each team participating in the tournament is decided following a series of ranking matches. The rankings are based on the performance of each team throughout the qualification rounds.
As part of the qualification process, a play-off round is held between the top two teams from each association who have finished in first place in their respective groups. This can either be played in the home town venue or another neutral venue. The winner of this play-off round becomes the seeds for the semi-finals and the final, which is due to be held in the host country, usually happens within three months.
The format of this premier league is well deserving of note. Unlike the knockout stages, there is not a play-off phase. Conferences are made between the top two clubs from each association in turn with the objective of deciding who will go to the playoffs. Conferences are normally composed of 16 teams and are scheduled approximately once a year. This means that there is not necessarily a long break between the seasons. There is also the option for teams to play one another once or twice in an entire season but it is only applicable if the teams are playing at least four other teams.