UEFA General Secretary David Taylor has hailed the UEFA Cup as a "true European football adventure" as the competition moves into another eagerly awaited season.
Congratulating the 64 clubs who went into today's draw for the second qualifying round, Mr Taylor said he hoped the 2008/09 UEFA Cup would replicate not only the excitement of this summer's UEFA EURO 2008™ competition, but also the positive attitudes that prevailed on and off the field. "The UEFA Cup is Europe's largest club competition with a diverse mix of clubs from all around Europe," said Mr Taylor. "And for all it is the start of a true European football adventure.
"Of course, the fact you are with us here today means you are now one step further on your journey in this marvellous competition," he told club representatives. "Progress through the second qualifying round and you will be entered into the draw in Monaco on 29 August for the first round proper. Progress through that and you are in the UEFA Cup group stage beginning in October. So there is everything to play for."
Fair play and respect
The UEFA General Secretary said UEFA EURO 2008™ had shown how attacking play could "provide excitement, goals and drama as well as showing that fair play and respect between the fans, players and the officials is truly possible. This expression of respect, which incidentally was also widely picked-up and acknowledged by the media, was most satisfying for UEFA, as it is a campaign that is close to our hearts." Mr Taylor also emphasised the idea of respect was important for football's future well-being.
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