UEFA have announced a raft of tweaks to both the Champions League and the Europa League to help keep things interesting as we stride ever onward toward the all-ending cataclysm.
Most of the alterations are fairly minor, bordering on superfluous, but the headline news is that as of next season teams in both competitions will be able to deploy a fourth substitution during extra-time of knockout games – much like in the FA Cup these days.
Via UEFA.com, here is the list of “fine-tuning” that will be implemented in Europe for the 2018/19 campaign:
- Fourth substitute allowed in extra-time during knockout stage matches.
- Permitted to name 23 players (increased from 18) in matchday squad for Champions League final, Europa League final and UEFA Super Cup.
- Standard kick-off time for all Champions League and Europa League matches shifted to 20:00 (GMT).
- However, two group stage games every Tuesday and Wednesday will kick off at 17:55 (GMT).
- All fixtures on the last matchday will be played simultaneously.
- Teams who have won the Europa League/UEFA Cup either three times consecutively or at least five times overall are permitted to wear special badges on their shirts.
That means, as of next season, Sevilla will be the only club entitled to wear said badges having won the Europa League in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – thus fulfilling both criteria.
So, not an awful lot to crow about – and a 12-man bench seems a little ludicrious – but hey, this is UEFA we’re talking about after all.