UEFA Europa League Qualifiers
UEFA Europa League qualifiers are determined using a complex system that takes into account a number of factors when determining which football teams will be channelled into the tournament, and how many teams will be permitted entry from each UEFA member country.
The number of teams that each UEFA member is allowed to submit is determined by that member country’s position in the UEFA League. Countries with the most successful club records at all the levels of European club competition over the previous 5 years rank highest in the UEFA League and are given the most UEFA Europa League places.
In some cases smaller national football associations will be also be given a greater number of UEFA Europa League berths than their position in the UEFA league might suggest.
Generally the specific clubs permitted to contest the UEFA Europa League from UEFA member nations are the domestic knockout cup winners as well as domestic league runners-up. England and France are the only two countries permitted to submit clubs that claimed secondary knockout cup titles.
The UEFA Europa League qualifying process is inseparable from the process clubs go though when qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. If a club should qualify for both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, the Champions League will take preference. If a club has won both the domestic league and the domestic cup title, it will be entered into the Champions League and its UEFA Europa League berth will be offered to another club from the qualifying country.
UEFA Europa League qualifiers are not determined solely by domestic league position or success in the domestic cup. Qualifying round berths for the UEFA cup are allocated to UEFA Intertoto Cup participants that achieved 3rd round wins in that competition. Three further qualifying berths are made available to clubs from national leagues that have scored highest on FIFA’s fair play rankings.
The remaining UEFA Europa League berths are open to football teams that were knocked out in the 3rd qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. These teams enter the UEFA Europa League in the first round. The eight 3rd placed teams in the Champions League group stages are later granted access to the 3rd stage of the UEFA Europa League.
The very last UEFA Europa League berth is reserved for the previous season’s UEFA Europa League winner.