Portugal is angry about losing its place in the UEFA rankings to the Netherlands. Pedro Proença, president of the Portuguese League, has rebelled against the “unfair” points system set by UEFA. “We can no longer accept this injustice,” Proenza said in a statement.
UEFA’s five-year classification determines the European tickets that participating countries can distribute. Portugal had been out of reach of the Netherlands in this ranking for years, but the introduction of the conference league put relations between the two countries on the brink. Although there are differences in bonus points, winning each European Championship results in exactly the same amount. The Netherlands, now in fifth place, has begun to make huge progress, and France has also overtaken Portugal. If fifth place can be retained, the Netherlands will eventually be allowed to hand out three tickets for the Champions League group stage, plus one ticket for the preliminary round.
This season, for the first time in history, Portugal has three active teams in the Champions League group stage. “Yes, Portuguese clubs really work miracles,” says Proenca. Everything will be different in a year, as the competition’s president knows: Portugal has only one ticket for the group stage and one ticket for next season’s preliminary round. The Netherlands will then participate in the Champions League with at least two teams and will have the chance to win third place through the qualifying round.
He added: “We cannot ignore the insufficient scoring system that allows a country that obtains 75% of its points in the Champions League to lose its position in the UEFA classification to another country that obtains 85% of its points in the European League and conferences.” The league has been locked down… as if all matches could be of the same value… and we can’t continue to watch all these injustices in silence!
“The fact that our medium-sized teams are not able to compete at international level ultimately hurts all clubs greatly,” says Proenca. The Portuguese league is widely less developed than the Dutch league. Top Portuguese clubs (including Sporting Braga) can compete at international level, but the clubs behind them have withdrawn from the preliminary rounds for two seasons in a row. In recent years, top-flight Dutch clubs have achieved a significant number of points in smaller leagues.
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