Possible opponents for Maltese clubs in UEFA Champions League, Europa Conference League revealed

The UEFA Champions League first qualifying round draw and the draw of the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round will be held on Tuesday at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland at 12:00 and 13:30 respectively.

Malta will be represented by runners-up Hibernians in the UEFA Champions League while Gzira United, Birkirkara and Mosta will take part in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Champions Hamrun Spartans were declared ineligible to participate by the UEFA Appeals Body “for being directly/or indirectly involved in activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match” in the Premier League 2012/13.

Gzira placed third, Birkirkara fourth and Mosta sixth last season. Mosta, in fact, were next in line after fifth-placed Sliema Wanderers withdrew their application for a UEFA licence. For Mosta, this will be the first time ever to participate in a UEFA club competition.

UEFA Champions League

The draw features the 31 teams entering this round (the champions of the associations ranked 20 to 51 according to their association club coefficient, except Liechtenstein), and one preliminary round winner. The teams will be divided equally between seeded and unseeded clubs in accordance with the club coefficient rankings. UEFA has formed four groups of eight teams with an equal number of seeded and unseeded teams (four each in every group) for the draw in accordance with the principles set by the Club Competitions Committee. Clubs from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

Hibernians, who are unseeded, were placed in Group 4 and will be drawn with one of the four seeded teams in the group, namely Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), Ferencváros (HUN), Žalgiris Vilnius (LTU) or Flora Tallinn (EST).

Ties take place on 6/7 and 13/14 July, with extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required. Winners advance to the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round (draw at 12:00 CET on Wednesday); all losing sides progress to the UEFA Europa Conference League Champions Path second qualifying round (draw at 13:30 CET on Wednesday).

Seeding groups

Group 1
Malmö (SWE)
Legia Warszawa (POL)
Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
Lincoln Red Imps (GIB)
Riga FC (LVA)
Fola Esch (LUX)
Shamrock Rovers (IRL)
Bodø/Glimt (NOR)

Group 2:
CFR Cluj (ROU)
Shkëndija (MKD)
Alashkert (ARM)
Budućnost Podgorica (MNE)
HJK Helsinki (FIN)
Connah’s Quay Nomads (WAL)
Mura (SVN)
Borac Banja Luka (BIH)

Group 3:
Ludogorets 1945 (BUL)
Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)
Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)
Kairat Almaty (KAZ)
Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR)
Neftçi (AZE)
Maccabi Haifa (ISR)
Teuta (ALB)

Group 4:
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Ferencváros (HUN)
Žalgiris Vilnius (LTU)
Flora Tallinn (EST)
Linfield (NIR)
Valur (ISL)
Hibernians (MLT)
Winners of the preliminary round – one of Folgore (SMR) / Prishtina (KOS) / HB Tórshavn (FRO) / Inter Club d’Escaldes (AND)

UEFA Europa Conference League

Meanwhile in the first qualifying of the UEFA Europa Conference League, Gzira United are seeded while Birkirkara and Mosta are not.

66 teams will feature in the first qualifying round. The UEFA administration has formed groups and seeded clubs according to the UEFA club coefficient rankings established at the beginning of the season. The clubs are divided into seven groups of eight teams (Groups 1 to 7), and one group of ten teams (Group 8), according to the above-mentioned UEFA club coefficient rankings.

In Group 2, Birkirkara are unseeded along with Velež (BIH), Mons Calpe (GIB) and Swift Hesper (LUX) and will therefore be drawn with one team among La Fiorita 1967 (SMR), Santa Coloma (AND), Coleraine (NIR) and Domžale (SVN)

Gzira United are seeded in Group 7 along with Stjarnan (ISL), The New Saints (WAL) and Europa (GIB). Their opponents are therefore one team among the unseeded sides, namely Sant Julià (AND), Glentoran (NIR), Bohemians (IRL) and Kauno Žalgiris (LTU).

In Group 8, Mosta are unseeded along with Honka Espoo (FIN), Newtown (WAL), Racing FC Union Lëtzebuerg (LUX) and Struga (MKD) and will be drawn with one team among NSÍ Runavík (FRO), Liepāja (LVA), Spartak Trnava (SVK), Dundalk (IRL) and Breidablik (ISL).

First qualifying round ties will be played on July 8 and 15. The winners advance to the second qualifying round, for which the draw will be made at 13:30 CET on Wednesday.

Group 1:
1 Levadia Tallinn (EST)
2 Puskás Akadémia (HUN)
3 Drita (KOS)
4 Sūduva (LTU)
5 Dečić (MNE)
6 Inter Turku (FIN)
7 St Joseph’s (GIB)
8 Valmiera (LVA)

Group 2:
1 La Fiorita 1967 (SMR)
2 Santa Coloma (AND)
3 Coleraine (NIR)
4 Domžale (SVN)
5 Velež (BIH)
6 Mons Calpe (GIB)
7 Birkirkara (MLT)
8 Swift Hesper (LUX)

Group 3:
1 Shkupi 1987 (MKD)
2 Tre Penne (SMR)
3 Partizani (ALB)
4 Maribor (SVN)
5 Sfintul Gheorghe (MDA)
6 Dinamo Batumi (GEO)
7 Llapi (KOS)
8 Urartu (ARM)

Group 4:
1 Laçi (ALB)
2 FK Sarajevo (BIH)
3 KuPS Kuopio (FIN)
4 Žilina (SVK)
5 Noah (ARM)
6 Milsami Orhei (MDA)
7 Podgorica (MNE)
8 Dila Gori (GEO)

Group 5:
1 FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL)
2 Śląsk Wrocław (POL)
3 KÍ Klaksvík (FRO)
4 Bala Town (WAL)
6 Paide Linnameeskond (EST)
7 Sligo Rovers (IRL)
8 Larne (NIR)

Group 6:
1 Fehérvár FC (HUN)
2 Sutjeska (MNE)
3 Petrocub-Hincesti (MDA)
4 Široki Brijeg (BIH)
5 Sileks (MKD)
6 Gagra (GEO)
7 Ararat Yerevan (ARM)
8 Vllaznia (ALB)

Group 7:
1 Stjarnan (ISL)
2 The New Saints (WAL)
3 Gzira United FC (MLT)
4 Europa (GIB)
5 Sant Julià (AND)
6 Glentoran (NIR)
7 Bohemians (IRL)
8 Kauno Žalgiris (LTU)

Group 8:
1 NSÍ Runavík (FRO)
2 Liepāja (LVA)
3 Spartak Trnava (SVK)
4 Dundalk (IRL)
5 Breidablik
6 Honka Espoo (FIN)
7 Newtown (WAL)
8 Mosta (MLT)
9 Racing FC Union Lëtzebuerg (LUX)
10 Struga (MKD)