UEFA UEFA Women's Champions League

UEFA Makes Major Changes To Women’s Champions League

December 5, 2019

UEFA will transform the format of its Women’s Champions League in 2021/22 – a move designed to boost competitiveness and increase exposure of women’s club football through its elite competition.

The changes, announced today by the UEFA Executive Committee, represent a fundamental shift from the current format. As of the 2021/22 season clubs in rounds 1 and 2 will be split into champions (for domestic league winners) and league paths as they try to reach the new 16-team group stage. This new round will see four groups of four teams playing each other home and away, with the top two in each group progressing to quarter-final matches.

“Today’s decision is a game-changer for women’s football,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. “The world’s best women’s club competition will get both the platform and visibility it deserves.”

Maximising media coverage

UEFA’s decision also includes specific steps to increase exposure of its elite women’s club competition. Marketing and television coverage will be centralised from the group stage onwards, while – in its first season – eight matchdays (two in round 2, four in the group stage and both quarter-final legs) will be scheduled to ensure that they do not clash with any other major fixtures in the European football calendar.

The package of changes agreed demonstrates the commitment of European football’s governing body to implementing its five-year strategic goal for the women’s game: to double the reach and value of the UEFA Women’s Champions League by 2024.

“When we launched our ground-breaking women’s football strategy #TimeForAction earlier this year, we promised to take concrete steps to ensure a more professional and prosperous women’s game,” said Mr Čeferin. “By guaranteeing teams more matches against their elite rivals, we believe that the group structure will raise the quality of the women’s game even more.”

UEFA Head of Women’s Football, Nadine Kessler said on the UEFA website: “I’m thrilled that we are taking this significant and critical step for the development of women’s football.

“Women’s club football has seen impressive growth in recent years. It deserves a competition that not only better reflects the progress but enhances it. We witnessed a fantastic Women’s Wold Cup in the summer and the UEFA Women’s EURO in 2021 will make more headlines. This made it even more important that we raised the bar for the UEFA Women’s Champions League and put the focus on women’s club football. The competition is the most prestigious club competition in female football globally. We want to build on this reputation in the future.

“We are excited about this step, because it’s the right one. I hope players, teams and fans get behind it too. My only regret is that I can’t play in it any more!”

UEFA UEFA Women's Champions League