The 2022/23 UEFA Europa Conference League will be the second season of the third tier of European club football competitions — after the Champions League and the Europa League.

The Conference League is primarily contested by teams from lower-ranked UEFA member associations.

No teams qualify directly to the group stage, with 10 teams eliminated in the Europa League play-offs and the rest coming from the Europa Conference League qualifiers.

The winners of the competition are awarded a position in the Europa League the following season unless they qualify for the Champions League.

Roma are currently the defending champions after winning the inaugural edition — defeating Feyenoord 1-0 in the final of the 2021/22 Conference League.

Jose Mourinho’s side will only be able to defend their title if they finish third in their Europa League group.

The 2022/23 Conference League will be played from the 8th of September 2022 to the 7th of June 2023.

Following its invasion of Ukraine, Russian teams will not be allowed to participate in this season’s Conference League.

As the 2022 FIFA World Cup takes place in Qatar between the 20th of November to the 18th of December 2022, the group stage of the UEFA Conference League will run from the first week of September and conclude in the first week of November, to make way for the World Cup.

Conference League matches are played on Thursdays. 

Format

For the group stage, 32 teams will be drawn into eight groups of four each.

For the knockout stages, there will be a preliminary round of 16 between 8 group stage runners-up and 8 third-placed teams from the Europa League group stage.

Then there will be another round of 16 between 8 group winners from the group stages and the 8 winners from the preliminary knockout round.

Followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final.

The competition features 141 matches over 15 match weeks, with a total of 48 teams taking part from the group stages to the final.

2022/23 UEFA Conference League
(Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

2022/23 UEFA Conference League

For the 2022/23 season, all the teams in the UEFA Conference League will be making their debut appearances in the competition EXCEPT: AZ Alkmaar, Basel, CFR Cluj, Gent, Partizan Belgrade, Slavia Prague, and Slovan Bratislava — who all competed last season.

Ballkani, Djurgårdens IF, Dnipro-1, Pyunik, RFS, Silkeborg, Slovácko, Vaduz and Žalgiris will all be making their debut appearances in the group stage of an UEFA competition.

Ballkani, Vaduz, and Žalgiris are the first teams from Kosovo, Liechtenstein, and Lithuania, respectively, to ever reach the group stage of a UEFA competition.

A total of 28 national associations will be represented in the group stages.

2022/23 UEFA Conference League Groups

2022/23 UEFA Conference League Group stage draws

 

Group A: İstanbul Başakşehir, Fiorentina, Heart of Midlothian, RFS.

Group B: West Ham United, FCSB, Anderlecht, Silkeborg.

Group C: Villareal, Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Austria Wien, Lech Poznań.

Group D: Partizan Belgrade, FC Köln, Nice, Slovácko.

Group E: AZ Alkmaar, Apollon Limassol, FC Vaduz, Dnipro-1.

Group F: Gent, Molde, Shamrock Rovers, Djurgårdens IF.

Group G: Slavia Prague, CFR Cluj, Sivasspor, Ballkani.

Group H: Basel, Slovan Bratislava, Žalgiris, Pyunik.

Where will the 2022/23 UEFA Conference League final be played?

The final of the 2022/23 UEFA Conference League will be played at Fortuna Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, on the 7th of June 2023

The Fortuna Arena previously hosted the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, as well as four matches at the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship — including the final.

The ambassador for the final is former Czech international Vladimír Šmicer — who won the 2000/01 UEFA Cup and the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League with Liverpool.

The winners of the 2022/23 Conference League will automatically qualify for the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League group stage, unless they manage to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage.

UEFA Conference League Prize Money

Similar to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the prize money received by clubs competing in the Conference League is divided into fixed payments based on participation and results as well as variable amounts that depend on the value of their TV market.

For the 2022/23 season, group stage participants in the Conference League were awarded a base fee of €2,940,000.

A victory in the group raked in €500,000 while a draw generated €166,000.

Also, each group winner earned €650,000, and each runner-up got €325,000.

Furthermore, reaching the knockout stage triggered additional bonuses:

€300,000 for the round of 32, €600,000 for the round of 16, €1m for the quarter-finals, and €2m for the semi-finals.

The losing finalists received €3m while the champions took home *€5m*.

Did you know?

The first-ever goal in the Europa Conference League group stage was scored on the 14th of September 2021 by Maccabi Tel Aviv player Stipe Perica in a 2021/22 group stage match against Alashkert.

On the 30th of September 2021, the competition’s first ever hat-trick was scored by Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur in a group stage match against Mura.

On the 24th of February 2022, PAOK became the first ever team to win a Conference League tie on penalties after defeating Danish side Midtjylland 5-3 in a knockout round play-off match.

On the 5th of May 2022, Feyenoord and Roma became the first ever teams ever to reach the final of the UEFA Conference League. The final ended with Roma crowned as the inaugural champions.

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