UEFA is confident that the UEFA Europa League will become a competition with appeal and stature, with a history to match its illustrious predecessor, the UEFA Cup.
History and heritage
"This new competition builds on the strengths of its predecessor in terms of its sheer size and scale," UEFA General Secretary David Taylor said at the UEFA Europa League play-off draw in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday. "The history and heritage of the UEFA Europa League will indeed be traced back to the UEFA Cup itself – 38 years of epic European football adventures involving some of the best known clubs, players and managers.
Much to achieve
"Looking to the future, I want to stress that the UEFA Europa League is a competition that is only accessed on merit. And it will be a very difficult competition to win. European success is a wonderful thing for clubs and their supporters, and, although the route to the final in Hamburg may seem very long at this stage, there can be much to achieve for clubs and their supporters along the way."
Values of football
Mr Taylor urged the clubs to maintain their commitment to values of football. "Please ensure that respect for the game is shown by your club, your players, and perhaps most importantly by your supporters for whom you as a club in European competitions are held responsible," he said. "In particular, I have to stress that racism will not be tolerated. This season, any racist behaviour may result in matches being suspended or abandoned by the referee. And this of course would subsequently bring severe disciplinary sanctions. "
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