UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino confirmed that the European governing body will introduce changes to the Champions League group-stage, so that only the winners of the highest ranking leagues and the title holders will be among the top-seeded teams.
Currently, UEFA ranks clubs over five years of results, leaving domestic champions Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain among the number two-seeded teams (Pot 2) this season. Arsenal and FC Porto, who placed fourth and third in their respective leagues last season, were included in Pot 1.
Speaking at the Leaders sports summit, Infantino said: “It happened in France and it happened in England, people had difficulties understanding how the champion of a country ended up in a lower pot than the third ranked in that country.”
A statement from UEFA reads: “The club competitions committee will recommend to the UEFA Executive Committee a change to the seeding structure for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, with the UEFA Champions League title holder to be top seeded and the domestic champions of the seven top-ranked countries in the UEFA country co-efficient to be the other seven Pot 1 seeds.”
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino went on to say: “It will be ratified later by the executive committee but it’s a clear recommendation of the club competition’s committee that the seeding system changes – in this respect – starting next season.”
The new system will place a greater emphasis on winning either the domestic league title or the Champions League crown in order to guarantee one of the coveted Pot 1 spots.
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