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New format announced

Nyon: The Uefa Cup will include a new-style group stage from the 2004-05 season designed to improve the quality and credibility of Europe’s second-ranked club competition.

Uefa’s executive committee announced Thursday that from the season after next, the Uefa Cup would be based on a first round knockout of 80 teams, followed by a group phase of 40 teams in eight groups of five. The top three teams in each group — a total of 24 — would then advance, joined by eight teams eliminated from the Champions League. (Reuters)

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