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Football: Switzerland gets extra Champions League spot

Two Swiss clubs will be given the chance to qualify for next season's European Champions League as a result of Switzerland's improved position in UEFA's international ranking system.

It will be the first time in the tournament’s history that more than one Swiss team has been involved in the qualifying stages. Switzerland’s climb to 14th in the UEFA rankings, came at the expense of Austria and Denmark who will only be able to enter one team in next season’s competition.

The winners of this season’s Swiss championship will now join the Champions League in the third and final qualifying round, the same point at which the current champions, St Gallen, entered the competition this season. The league’s second-placed team will begin their campaign one round earlier.

The total number of Swiss teams taking part in European competition will not change however, with the number of available UEFA Cup spots dropping from three to two. The team that finishes third in the Swiss league will still have to qualify for Europe’s second-biggest club competition, while the Swiss Cup winners go straight into the first round proper.

As expected, Spain rose to the top of the international rankings following an incredible season for Spanish clubs last season. No less than three of the four semifinalists in last year’s Champions League were from Spain, including the eventual winners, Real Madrid, and runners-up, Valencia.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR