UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
ISTANBUL - Turkey
Wednesday May 25th 2005
UEFA Champions League Cup Final , ISTANBUL
Porto won the Champions League last season (©UEFA)
Europe's premier club competition was launched exactly one month after UEFA's first-ever Congress, held in Vienna on 2 March 1955 yet, curiously, the so-called "European Cup" was not a UEFA initiative.
The 2004/05 season will see the start of UEFA's club licensing system. In order for a club to be admitted to any of the UEFA club competitions, minimum standards in areas including sporting matters, infrastructure, personnel and administration, legal matters and financial matters must be fulfilled
But the 2003/04 season will witness further change. The qualifying rounds remain, as does the 32-team group stage. However, the winners and runners-up from this part of the competition will advance to the first knock-out round (with the third-placed teams moving to the UEFA Cup, as before). From the first knock-out round until the semi-finals, teams play matches over two legs. The winners of the two semi-finals play in the final, which is staged in May as a single match.
For the final, if the scores are level at the end of normal time, extra time of two periods of 15 minutes will be played. If one of the clubs scores more goals than the other during extra time, they shall be declared the winners. But if the result remains deadlocked at the end of the second period of extra time, a penalty shoot-out will determine the winners. ( ©UEFA )
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