EUROPEAN football chiefs are expected to confirm today that Europa League winners will earn Champions League qualification from 2015.
Uefa’s executive committee will meet in London ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, with changes to the continent’s second cup competition high on the agenda.
It is also anticipated that the block on nations, including England, having more than four clubs compete in the Champions League in the same season will be lifted.
This would prevent a repeat of last season’s scenario which saw Tottenham finish fourth in the Premier League, but lose their Champions League place to competition winners Chelsea, despite the Blues finishing sixth in the table.
The changes come into effect after the 2014-15 season, when the Champions League final will be played at the Olympiastadion in Berlin and the Europa League final will be staged at Warsaw’s National Stadium.
In addition, Uefa has announced tough new rules to stamp out racism, plus new anti-doping measures.
General secretary, Gianni Infantino, said: “We’re keen to do what we can to fight against the scourges of our sport: match-fixing, racism and doping.”
The first incident of “discriminatory behaviour” from fans will lead to partial closure of the stadium and the second offence, full closure. Racism by players or officials will result in a minimum 10-match ban.
A new anti-doping research project has also been approved, which will see nearly 900 players face anonymous retrospective steroid testing, though no penalty will be imposed for violations.
Instead, the results will lead to a decision on whether or not to implement biological profiling passports.