Fourth Place Might Not Grant Access to Champions League

Four teams are currently vying for the three Champions League spots up for grabs behind Napoli. Atalanta and Juventus are not too far behind. However, the fourth position might not necessarily lead to the qualification, Calciomercato reports.

It’s a long-shot scenario, but it’s possible because of Serie A’s success in Europe this season. The UEFA bylaws indicate that each country can have at most five teams in Champions League. Lifting the top two trophies automatically grants access to it, which has priority over the standings. Should Inter or Milan go all the way and finish outside the top four, or Juventus or Roma do it in the second-tier cup, they would get the nod over the fourth-placed side, Lazio or Atalanta, given the present situation.

If the combination came to fruition, such team would play in Europa League and be the lone participant, differently from what usually happens. The two behind it would play in Conference League. The total number wouldn’t change and stay at seven.

This year’s edition of the Coppa Italia throws a further wrench into the proceedings. The winner gets a direct pass to the Europa League’s group stage. Three of the four semi-finalists, Juventus, Fiorentina, and Cremonese, are outside the top six. The final will take place on May 24th, ten days before the end of Serie A. Europa League will conclude a week late, while Champions League will close out the season. Teams may not know which competition they have qualified for until that point.

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