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UEFA Cup undergoes major overhaul

The UEFA Cup is to be renamed re-named the Europa League from next season - but beaten Cup finalists can no longer qualify. The new-look league will have 48 clubs in 12 groups of four, with the top two in each joining the eight third-placed clubs from the Champions League in a 32-club knock-out stage.

A UEFA spokesman said: "The new format will result in many teams from all over Europe contesting the new UEFA Europa League, with teams from emerging countries or lesser known teams challenging the 'old' order of established European clubs.

"It is exactly this special character that the new identity will seek to capture."

UEFA President Michel Platini said: "I am convinced the new format will give the UEFA Europa League a successful new impetus."

UEFA are expected to formally confirm in December that Wembley will host the 2011 Champions League final.

Dublin's Lansdowne Road is viewed as favourite to be named as venue for the 2011 Europa League final.

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