European clubs group says UEFA is preparing 3rd competition

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Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who also serves as the chairman of the European Club Association and is a member of UEFA's executive committee, revealed that "the green light has been given" for a third tournament.

"This would bring the overall number of clubs in European competition to 96, as of the 2021/22 season".

Uefa competitions committee executive Andrea Agnelli confirmed the development.

When Lazio beat Mallorca 2-1 at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, in May 1999, the Roman side became the 39th and last winners of the European Cup Winners' Cup before the competition was abolished.

Initially, the idea was to expand the Europa League to 64 teams to give more clubs access to European competition and its obvious financial benefits. "The current model needs modernising", he said.

Details on how the new competition will work remain uncertain but it will not be a straight replacement for the Cup Winners' Cup, which was discontinued in 1999.

Agnelli, who is also chairman of Italian champions Juventus, said: "A detailed assessment of the existing worldwide match calendar is required prior to presenting a new model post-2024". Agnelli also repeated his call from previous year for a drastic overhaul of the worldwide match calendar, which is drawn up by global soccer body Federation Internationale de Football Association and allocates dates for national team games.

They will therefore play behind closed doors when Eintracht Frankfurt visit for their Europa League group game on September 20.

UEFA and European clubs have previously agreed not to change the Champions League until 2024, but wanted to modify the Europa League in 2021 when a new round of broadcast and sponsor deals begin.

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